This article is written as a response to 11th hour, a documentary movie released in 2007.
Corporate economic globalisation and governments fail the common person. It is tragic that consumption of fossil fuel driven products have drained our natural resources, which took millions of years to form, to a point where they may last us just a few more decades. The good part, as documented in the movie, and all sorts of media platforms today, is that we are becoming aware of this. And here is the first step towards change. In trying to bring that to the fore, let us keep in mind ideas of impermanence, and the quest to know the truth behind any idea.
Now, the world is millions of years old. In all those years, many species of organisms have come and gone. May it be natural extinction like the dinosaurs, or the ones caused by humans, like the Dodo bird of Mauritius. Extinction seems unfathomable to humans. Though one of the youngest species on the planet, our ego is our sin, as much as our brain is our power. It leads us to think we can outsmart nature and prevent our doom, whereas we are preparing our doom. But extinction is a natural phenomenon.
Nature will take its course, and the house always wins. We should, as a sentient race, use that knowledge to make the most of our time here on the planet, and using methods in tune with the ecosystem, further the quality of this short time we have on the planet, instead of hastening our doom with mindless destruction of resources.
Here I come to the second part, the part of the truth behind any idea. The only way we can start reprogramming our ways is by being aware of the priceless bounty available to us in nature, and how we cannot ever imagine replacing it with technology. None of us can purify the air, like trees do. None of us can pollinate flowers, like bees do.
We have to, with no bias to our selfish needs, see how the powerful organisations have used their influence to fuel our greed. One can very slowly and mindfully, step away from it, one little step at a time. No suggestion of utopia here; we all live in a willingly or unwillingly globalised world. But there are places you can start to be mindful about your consumption – such as plastic, paper, and waste disposal.
If you have excuses for this, look at Bhutan for inspiration. With a GDP of only 2 billion USD has gone all organic with free healthcare, free education, and carbon negative. It is a huge step for a small country, which is inspiring nations and people too. This teaches us to always choose substance over convenience.
This article is co-written by Roy Kulkarni, a musician, martial artist, and friend.