Author: Saamdu Chetri, The Minister of Happiness in Bhutan
Nature can exit without human being but this law is not reversible, human beings cannot exist without the Mother Earth that provides clean water, food, air, health and happiness. Look at the perceived folly of human kind who consult to provide the Rights to Mother Earth, which has provided patiently for us to flourish. With our folly and very little understanding of the interdependence, we are walking to the edge of the cliff with open eyes.
If we look into its constitution of mother earth, the largest part of the nature is occupied by minerals, soil, rocks, rivers, oceans, followed by plants, and then finally animals. If we separate ourselves from the animal kingdom, we have the smallest place on the planet. Yet look at our ego – we behave as if we rule the planet. We are not sure how long the mother earth will consider us to live on her. She is distressed. There are enough signs now and scientifically proven.
We inherited a bountiful world where ecology encompassed the society and within society was the economy. Today the economic has taken the place of ecology, due to human greed.
Quantum physics proves that we constitute 99.9 percent our cells from genes of plants, animals, birds, insects, and amphibians. And we are constitute 75 percent of water. Any species extinguished brings changes to our constitution because its genes needs to be replaced and therefore we are evolving all over again and many unknown living diseases begin to live with us as our self-invited guests.
The Malaysia rainforest is almost gone. There are only two rainforest left namely Congo and Amazon. The latter is already under attack. There is massive cattle ranching done including growing feed for cattle in this rainforest. The Living Planet Report 2016 of WWF documents reports major declines in vertebrate population of 58% from 1970 to 2016. If the current trends continue, the report predicts a total loss of 67% by 2020. If we consider that we are because of the nature, is this not a catastrophe of the first kind for all life form on Earth?
We claim that there is population explosion and we need to extract more from the nature for human survival. That way we are consuming 60 percent more than earth’s bio-capacity. Let us stop borrowing from the future, there will be nothing left for our grandchildren to survive on. However, food grown presently on 20% arable land feeds the global population and they say one year’s waste in two of the rich continents on the planet is enough to feed the global population for three years. In other words, if we grew food organically on 20% of arable land and distribute it equitably, there is enough food for four years for the present global population. Further if we grow organic food in the entire arable land, instead of growing feed in 80 percent of the arable land, it will be enough for 30 billion people for 4 years.
It is high time that human being connect within themselves inwardly and connect with other forms of life. We need to change the patterns of life and living. Enough research has been done how human interference is bringing sufferance to the mother earth. We now need to be humane again and grow forests on at least 70% of global arable land instead of feed. The citizens of the earth need to plant bamboos, plants and trees to sequester the atmospheric carbon, which is the major cause of global warming. And we need to reduce fossil fuel, in organic agriculture, excessive animal raring and use of coolers etc. drastically.
Water is reducing from the earth, simply because all water is drained back to the ocean from where there are water tables. Example, Mexico City has sunken by over 7 meters in last 50 years because of water being drawn up and its lake is now drained to the ocean throw dykes and big waterways. More than half of the global disasters are human induced. Image one of the many mining done is drilling billions of gallons of oil each day creating vacuum on earth. Any vacuum has to refilled and this enables shifting of plates in the earth.
The aquatic biodiversity is declining fast. It has reduced by 49% in the last 50 years. It is expected that the marine life will be further exacerbated with global warming. We all know ocean life is vital to life on earth…it provides us with 80% of the oxygen needs.
No country is spared by global warming. Glaciers are receding at a fast speed. Snow leopards dying fast trying to adopt below the snowlines in the Himalayas. Artic ice has broken and is melting at a fast rate. It is estimated that with the same level of sea level rise most of islands, many coastal cities including Shanghai, Kolkata, Florida, Boston, and even NYC will be under water rendering close to 200 million people homeless in about 70 years from now. Just two million people from Mideast and Northwest Africa are giving nightmare to Europe and the world, can we then imagine what is going to happen with 200 million homeless?
The world needs to have a shared vision if we were to save our children, grandchildren and their generations in future. It is a global challenge and we cannot isolate ourselves – everyone is now a global citizen when it comes to sustainability and the future of our generations.
“We are because Mother Earth is”. Her signs are warning bells for us. We need to act in support of Nature – it has become now or never.
It would be inaccurate to say that we give Nature rights; rather, she should be giving us the right to live in her. The Constitution of the Kingdom of Bhutan has mandated that 60% of Bhutan’s land shall be always covered by forests, while we are 80 percent green and 72 percent forest covered. All other countries’ constitutions must be changed accordingly.
We have no right to rape Nature for our benefits – we must be the guardians for future because our children will live there. We are not separate, we are one, a large global family, and we need to create a world order together to enable ourselves to take refuge in Nature.
We need to develop human consciousness and honour the rights of Nature. To do this, we need to have a universal Nature’s Ecocide Law drafted on the duties, roles and responsibilities of every nation and individuals on earth towards Nature, and ratified by every nation recognising that Nature is our saviour and has the right to hold us accountable for anything that we do unsustainably.
May Nature be the future religion of every nation and every person, as regarded by various religions and indigenous people on earth? Finally, it is not with governments, businesses, corporations or industries, it is in the hands of each individual to bring collectively inner transformation for a societal change with the understanding whatever and however we consume directly affects Nature.