“An emotional roller coaster ride” pretty much sums up my 21-day whirlwind trip to India. It took me through the lush hills and valleys in the Bandhipur area near Bangalore (the silicon city of Karnataka State), where wild elephants are thriving, as the conservation movement in this region is alive and well. Of the approximately 45,000 Asian elephants in the wild, more than 25,000 of them are in India, mostly concentrated in the Bandipur, Wynad and Nilgiris belt — located in Southern India.
A squirrel lies motionless in the middle of a street, its guts splattered out of its body, seemingly crushed beneath a car as it tried to cross over. In the past I’ve seen raccoons, pigeons and even cats in this pathetic state, and often wondered what if a person crossing the street was even hit by a vehicle. I know. All hell would break loose, emergency vehicles flashing red lights and sirens would be dispersed and inevitably criminal charges will be laid against the driver.
As people in Colorado are reeling from the aftermath of what some call the “1,000-Year Flood,” it may be timely to take a closer look at the ramifications of global warming on food security. The unprecedented downpour, 21 inches in one week — twice the annual rainfall, that left eight people dead, thousands of homes destroyed, their farmlands submerged and cattle stranded has left many people wondering if global warming worsened the torrential rains and floods.
Although much has been lost between the translation of climate science language which reveals no direct links, few would deny that extreme weather patterns are becoming more frequent and intense with devastating consequences on human civilization. Most climate scientists (97 per cent) also agree that greenhouse gases (GHG) emitted from human activities is exacerbating climate change.
It was around 10:30 a.m. on a Friday this past June that a close friend and wildlife enthusiast, Mohan was driving me down the winding hills of Ooty — a hill station in southern India. We were on our way to a wildlife sanctuary in Wynad, a village in the southern state of Kerala, India.
Suddenly Mohan’s phone rang. It was a distress call from a forest warden desperately trying to save an elephant. It had slipped and fallen into a two-metre deep trench (that separated the forest and village). The mighty animal that frequented the village couldn’t make it this day.
As the number of Homo sapiens grows exponentially, unless there’s a dramatic shift in our attitudes and behaviours, it would be safe to predict that our environmental and economic degradation will only exacerbate. As of January 2013 our global population at 7.2 billion is projected to reach 9.2 billion by 2050, with China’s population at 1.35 billion — the largest on the planet, and India trailing slightly behind at 1.2 billion.
But this equation is about to change in the wake of China’s recent decision to relax its one-child policy, as one research points out this could result in additional 9.5 million births per year with the population in China alone expected to reach 1.6 billion by the year 2030.
This Biblical quote from Genesis 1:26 has sparked intense debates in the past, as it seems to insinuate that humans should dominate nature. In a published article, The Historical Roots of Ecological Crisis, Lynn White Jr., a prominent 20th century historian posits Judeo Christian theology has been fundamentally exploitative of the natural world, and the impact of this attitude lingers in an industrial, “post Christian” era.