Why global warning and climate change? This phenomenon is attributed mainly to the chronic degradation of natural ecology and disequilibrium of the environmental bio-systems and resources by pollution – air, soil, water, marine and destruction of natural habitats etc.
The Bhagavad Gita, Bhagavad Purana and the Vedic Science prescribe on the panch-tatwa (five gross natural elements) – Earth (pritvi), Water (jal), Air (vayu), Fire (agni) and Space (akash) and on their natural balancing and functioning.
Maha Bhutani Panchaiva Bhorapa-agni … (verse). Whenever this natural balance is disturbed in its habitat and realm, in terms of its quality and quantity, it ultimately causes a disequilibrium, resulting in environmental and social concerns – natural disasters, epidemics, social problems/chaos …. In consequence, it affects society in hard and soft – body, mind, intellect, and the five senses…
Economics v/s Ethics
In economic terms, it’s “de-facto” that resources are scarce and our wants are unlimited. The utilitarian approach is economic and transactional. It calls for an optimisation of the elements and resources for the benefits of society, but when these resources are utilized excessively, they definitely cause a natural disequilibrium. The production possibility frontier of an economy which reflects the law of diminishing returns has to be well managed. Economic liberalism and consumerism are these factors, adding negative externalities – pollution, noise, wastage, etc, disrupting the quality/quantity of the “paanch-tatwas” (five elements).
On the soft plane the disequilibrium also leads to social/mental conflicts. The body, mind, intellect get “polluted”. This results in an erosion of values, principles which affect our quality of life. A situation where greed for these natural elements/resources exceeds our needs; when water, food, natural resources (land, etc) are greedily over exploited, wasted, these certainly spur conflicts, disputes, violence (physical and emotional). This problem of natural disequilibrium is impelling governments to formulate security strategies for water, air, land, etc in view to contain any crisis. Albert Einstein expounds that the 3rd World war will be on water and not on petrol. The ethicotanian views the five elements as sacred and strive for its smart and judicious utilization, in view to restore their natural/ecological equilibrium.
Today human intelligence – (Knowledge capital from which artificial intelligence, etc is created) is on cascade flow, but human intellect is at its ebb (fall of human intellect as described by Prahalad, Indian strategist due to greed and misuse of the five gross elements and supported by the following verse:
Indriyani paranya … param manah, mana samastu … (Gita Chapter 3). Senses are greater than body. Greater than the senses is the mind and greater than the mind is the intellect and greater than the intellect is the Self.
The five gross elements represent five fundamental laws (Kumar S, 2004). Law of Sky – the infinite “aham brahmasmi” (B/Gita), Law of Earth (law of consolidation of physical resources, Law of Water (life), Law of “Fire” (heat), Law of Space. The Big Bang theory adds to this process. Life is the interaction of these elements. The theories of evolution – Darwin’s theory of Natural Selection, Lamark’s theory of inheritance of acquired characters, De Vries’ theory of mutation provides some evidence that nature carries its equilibrium per se. Darwin’s process of natural selection states that it is the natural habitat that selects and preserves the better type and destroys the unsuitable ones.
Carbon v/s Ecological Footprint
The Ramayana and Bhagwat Purana clearly stipulate – beware of the effects of this “kali era” (modern/industrial era), which will put pressure on the earth and the biosphere, resulting in meteo extremes with dire consequences on human development (e.g. dry spell, flash flood, extreme cold …).
Deva Varasshati dharani na jamahi dhan…. verse. Adverse climatic conditions will cause havoc to the food crops (Ramayana). Carbon dioxide emission and greenhouse gases are increasing substantially depleting the ozone layer (O3). These are having a domino effect on the water, nitrogen and carbon cycles.
The right balance of carbon and ecological footprints should therefore be struck out to prevent the natural disequilibrium of the panch tattwas (five gross elements).
Mauritius as a SIDS
Mauritius is a SIDS (Small Island Developing State) vulnerable to climate change and a water stress country. In that vein, a green and sustainable development strategy is fundamental, supported by an ethicotarian and holistic philosophy which would instill a holistic green mindset to restore the eco balance of natural resources/elements, which is the essence of the panch-tattwa theory.
Climate change must be addressed by culture change, mind change … The sacred Gita precept can be applied. Be the change to bring the change.