Green Economy and Scheme of Living
Meeting No: 158 373 4122
A human being is healthy when there is a balance - appetites cannot grow unchecked or they cause obesity and disease and finally death. As a friend puts it more metaphorically, a child grows up to become an adult but after that you can only grow around the waist and invite trouble. Thus the object of our living scheme should be to maintain a balance – a healthy steady state and not growth. The same applies not only to our economies but our cities and our consumption. What we want is quality of life – good air, food water, natural soil and food .However, the paradox is that many modern cities are now concrete jungles that need air conditioning to combat warming, purifiers for air, purifiers for water....... More and more technology is used to restore all the essential life services that were provided by nature. But intoxicated by our inventions we have made the cardinal mistake of electing higher consumption and standard of living over quality of life.
All our megacities are way beyond any natural carrying capacity, unsustainable, unhealthy, high on cost and conspicuous consumption. All living beings and living resources and habitats have a carrying capacity which we are violating indiscriminately. That is why human activity must subscribe to optimal scale – a sentiment expressed in Schumacher’s, ‘’ Small is beautiful.’’
In this presentation the speaker examines the today''s Global Dilemmas arising from technology and modes of production, waste and pollution, climate change, loss of living natural resources - all the elements on which our life depends. Since we have coevolved with nature our metabolism is inextricably linked with it -- be it natural mineral water,organic food or soils. We conclude that the global economy is untenable just as a profit net and needs to be a safety net as well, like the air and the oceans . It needs to transform to one where the growth is to a healthier living state for us and the planet and not just for GDP. We then give tangible and lucrative solutions for our living scheme which are non invasive for the planet and are based on 'Conserving and Using' the renewable natural infrastructure of the planet.
About the Speaker
Vikram Soni is an Emeritus Professor of Physics at the Centre for Theoretical Physics, Jamia Millia Islamia and at JNU. Earlier, he has been a Professor at the Universities of Sussex in England, Orsay and Saclay in France, Berkeley and Syracuse in the U.S and Regensburg in Germany. Later, he was a UGC Professor at the National Physical Laboratory in New Delhi, India. He has worked mainly in High Energy Physics and Astrophysics. He has made seminal contributions in our understanding of phenomena ranging from the nucleon to neutron stars and from the matter-antimatter puzzle to evolutionary networks.
Alongside, seeing the tragic shrinking of India’s rich jungle wilderness, he has always worked quietly for conservation. More significantly he has produced a body of work in public interest science that deals with non invasive, ‘Conserve and Use’, solutions to contemporary problems, particularly water problems. This work is published in prestigious science journals. Acting on his convictions, he has worked tirelessly to protect living natural resource both with the courts and government. The Aravalli biodiversity park in Delhi exists thanks to these efforts. The protection and moratorium on building on the floodplain of the river Yamuna followed from the novel natural water storage scheme proposed by him and co-workers.
He has also pioneered ( with Romi Khosla and Arvind Virmani) a blueprint for ‘Natural Cities’ which are patterned after a ’chessboard’ of green and white (built) squares that work on self sustaining renewable natural infrastructure. The green squares carry, pasture forest, park and vegetable fields, ‘Natural Cities’ are self sufficient on water, vegetables and milk, harmonise climate and are lean on energy. He is the author of the acclaimed book, “Naturally, Tread Softly on the Planet’’ ( Harper Collins 2015) which elucidates how we can transform our scheme of living to work non invasively with the planet.