We are progressing in science with lots of grey areas being uncovered & getting clearer with rational explanations. But the more we know, the more we seem not to know; in a way, justifying the old saying, ignorance is bliss! Even the birth of the universe is cloudy with no clear explanation like what was there before the big bang! We can go on with our research but the real truth could be beyond our comprehension, though we know at least some who give a feeling that the whole universe revolves around them; that they are at the center of creation!
Despite our obvious progress, we are still indebted to the old ways of living; unable to put into practice what we know is necessary. The coal mine disaster in Chile has trapped 33 miners, with months to go before they could be saved! Our insatiable appetite for resources has also resulted in many disasters like the Gulf of Mexico oil spill that has mercifully been capped, at least for the time being, at enormous costs both in terms of money & the environmental after-effects, still to unfold.
We certainly lack the resolve, choosing to go with the flow. China has given incentives to the auto industry with capacity addition that would mean annual production of 33 million units by 2015! India is also pushing in its own way, though the resultant environmental issues & gridlocks are not factored-in. The major casualty is the lop-sided priorities in allocation of resources; rather than investing in mass transport, governments give-in to demand for personalized transport. Also, internal combustion engines are still holding sway, with the promised switch-over to greener technologies lagging, and lacking in sincerity.
The poor everywhere bear the brunt of nature’s fury. The climate change is very real for them as the rich can bolster their defenses better. The flood disaster in Pakistan & elsewhere affects those who depend on the land for their very survival. Even their meager possessions are consumed by nature leaving them with nothing to make a living from. Also, the health costs in mindless consumerism, pollution from increased auto population are not evaluated when we refuse to abandon coal mines, oil dependency etc. Once these are factored in, the costs of clean energy would prove favorable when compared to polluting oil & coal. Add to these, the enormous risks & the loss of lives in mining coal, looking for oil in more difficult terrains, the behemoths increasingly being used to dig the bowels of earth looking for more and more of everything!
Can the world act as one to re-prioritize our future in the light of harsh realities that make it clear that we are going to face one disaster after another if we persist in depending on fossil fuels & thereby increasing the pollution to meet our increasing needs? We are putting the lives of the vulnerable in society everywhere in jeopardy with each passing day. Many among our best are taking the easy way out that money that can be made justifies our actions. The governments also baulk at taking the necessary steps, busy as they are in putting out the existing fires!
Many just hope against hope that the luck would hold & nature would re-balance itself to save our skins against our excesses! The warnings from nature & the right-minded people are not heeded that the time is now to reverse the process & make drastic changes in the way we live our lives! Let us make the changes now in the face of ongoing disasters, as our duty to the most vulnerable in society. We should make the needed sacrifices to our lifestyles than run for cover & lose everything, all our possessions & even hopes; we have living proof like those living in disaster-hit Pakistan and the coal miners in Chile, now!