Eco-spirituality, Food sovereignty and Climate justice
(16 August 2019)
Pipal Tree, Bangalore
A recent study from Australia proposed the stunning news that the majority of human beings may be eliminated from the planet in the coming decades. Obviously, this is a process, and whether the worst will happen by 2050 or a few decades later, the writing on the wall is clear for all to see.
Global organisations like 360.org, founded by the well-known writer Bill McKibben, still hold out some hope for combatting Climate Change and ushering in a measure of Climate Justice for the poor. Others are less sanguine, asserting that governments are doing pretty little to reduce emissions and that we must prepare for the worst. A few are even asking how we can learn to grieve in the Anthropocene.
As for food security global warming will severely impact the most vulnerable sections of the population in India. There is likely to be a 15-17 % reduction in food production in north India if temperatures rise by 2 degrees Celsius. Due to heat stress wheat growing areas may see 30% to 70 % of the agricultural areas harshly effected.
The migration of climate refugees from heat-stressed areas has already begun and will accelerate in the decades to come. Climate Justice necessitates that the rich nations, who first created the problem, should make amends. It also means that within the different nations the poor and the excluded, who are not responsible for what is happening, should be protected. Restorative justice at different levels needs to be embraced, not shunned.
How do we understand climate resilience? Can a qualitatively different green revolution in rainfed areas, with an emphasis on millets (which are sturdier and need much less water) be planned and implemented? Can all our states introduce millets in the Public Distribution system, apart from wheat and rice?
A large number of groups and organisations all over the world are reflecting and acting on climate resilience, especially in the context of the poor.
What is the hope we can offer the youth of today? How do we act in the face of seemingly impossible odds? If we have to grieve, what is the grieving process about? What are the secular and spiritual resources we can draw from?
Over the ages Eco-spirituality has been part of our global experience in one form or the other. Most religions have dwelt upon it, particularly the indigenous people’s religions. Poets have composed on the theme and there is a body of modern literature that offers potentially healing submissions.
Indian Institute of Advanced Study
Phone (0177) 2831376, 2832195
Like us on Facebook
Copyright © 2019, Indian Institute of Advanced Study
Drupalized by Rupinder Singh