Learning to control the elements is the only way left to negate human effects on climate change

The fact that climate change and its potentially disastrous consequences if left unresolved has been a hot topic of debate for quite some time now. Even school going children have greater awareness to this threat to our planet and our survival. On March 15, they took matters into their own hands. Tens of thousands of them around the world skipped their classes and took to streets to demand greater action to control pollution and save the environment from their governments and world bodies.

Why has the focus on climate change increased? One reason is because scientists and researchers have comprehended that the 6th mass extinction event is underway on our planet. The trademark identification of such an event are the increasing cases of complete extinction of many species of animals because of the overpopulation of one or certain number of species.

Population explosion of humanity and industrialization, especially in the last 100 years has exponentially increased green house effects. But what many people do not know is that this is not the first instance of our planet experiencing the drastic and adverse effects of green house effects. Herbivore dinosaurs had chomped their way through massive forests and expelled humongous amounts of methane gas from their belly after digestion creating massive greenhouse effect.

I had attended a seminar on wetland conservation at the Agricultural University in my hometown a few weeks back. One of the speakers was a researcher on greenhouse effect and he did an excellent presentation on the topic. But I realized that one critical factor was missing from his presentation. If our planet is in the midst of the 6th mass extinction, it means complete destruction of our planet and all its beings has happened five times before. Each time nature has been reset and life has taken roots again. The last time it happened dinosaurs became extinct. But interestingly, crocodiles, cockroaches and turtles survived. So if it happens again, can we survive and what will it take for us to survive? I asked the speaker these questions and he admitted that he had never considered those aspects in his research.

Interestingly, I found the answer to my question on social media the next day itself.

The arrival of the Spanish Inquisition in Central America in the 16th century and the subsequent destruction of the thriving civilization of the Incas resulted in the Amazon forest reclaiming its lost land to people. The unintended effect of this reforestation was the drastic drop in temperature in Europe in the 17th century and large number of people dying because of unbearably cold conditions. We keep adapting to small increases in temperature and changes in weather conditions without realizing that the overall impact of the changes is considerable. Only when the changes are reversed by nature will we know what its effects will be on us.

The floods in Kerala and the destruction it caused is a fresh reminder of what can happen to us when nature resets itself. Kerala has traditionally been a rainfall abundant region because of its proximity to the Indian ocean and Western Ghats. I have learned in school that after Cherapunji, it is Kerala that receives the most rainfall during monsoon season every year. In spite of this known fact, people encroached into low lying areas to build their houses.

While rainfall in Kerala has decreased considerably in the last decade or so, it never meant it would never rain like before. When it did rain, water had nowhere to go. So where water could flow it swept away everything in its path and where it couldn’t flow it got stuck causing massive floods. There was also an enduring image circulating on social media of a bridge filled with plastic bottles and containers, which the water had deposited back on to land.

So mass extinction and resetting of nature has been an ongoing phenomenon on our planet. We can blame human overpopulation and wanton industrialization for climate changes now but that has always been the problem with dominant species as the dinosaur case illustrates. We are the only species on the planet that destroys nature’s ecosystem to create our own. No animal cuts trees to make its own shelter.

Animals adapt to what is available in nature. The reason could be that we were created to rule over nature and not protect it as the quote from Bible suggests. In Genesis 1:26, God says, “Let Us make man in Our image, after Our likeness, to RULE over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air, over the livestock, and over all the earth itself and every creature that crawls upon it.”

The question now is how to control our effect on climate change. I believe we are a little too late to think about it. A few billion of us have to die off to restore parity in nature. But there is a catch here. The few billion of us have to die without disturbing the nature, which is impossible without a natural calamity on a massive scale or a man made disaster like a nuclear war. There is an analogous situation happening right now. Flickr, the online photo sharing community has created a new rule which restricts its free users to upload and retain only 1000 photos on its website. The difference here is, nature cannot tell us the size of the human population it can manage. The onus is on us to find it out, reduce our population accordingly and keep it below the threshold number.

Sounds ridiculous right? We cannot wipe off our own population that too on such a massive scale. What we can do is control our population growth and not increase our negative impact on nature anymore. One purpose all species procreate is to stay dominant in nature. We do not need to procreate like other species anymore. All of us do not have to leave our own unique genetic imprint on our population.

There is something more left for us to do though. Humans have been trying to understand nature from the dawn of our existence. Exponential technological advances we have made has helped us to investigate and understand every aspect of nature closely. Even then, we are restricting our research to simply collecting data about nature. The more we learn about something it is natural that we also learn how to control and manipulate it. This is how the field of medicine has grown and how we have learnt to treat diseases.

But surprisingly, other than cloud seeding to create artificial rain, we have not been able to control weather and climate changes. There are places in our country like Kerala which receive abundant rainfall and other areas which suffer from extreme drought every year. All government departments and research institutions watch this unfold every year helplessly. None of them have even wondered if it would be possible to distribute rain clouds or rainwater to all parts of the country uniformly.

There is a story in ancient Indian texts about the young Hanuman who leapt into the sky to catch the rising sun to play with it. Indra, the God of lightning and thunder, in his apprehension threw the Vajrayuda (thunderbolt) at Hanuman who got struck by it and fell back to earth unconscious. Maruti, the God of wind who was Hanuman’s biological father got enraged and pulled out all the air flowing on earth and relented only after Hanuman’s health was restored. The takeaway from this story for me is that air flow on our planet can be controlled. Ancient Indian texts are treasure troves of extremely advanced technology and interpreting them correctly can answer and solve most of the problems we are facing now.

There are primarily three obstacles we are facing for space exploration and one of them is creating and controlling weather conditions suitable for us on other planets. The key to this lies in greater understanding and controlling weather and climatic changes on our own planet. The fact that children are speaking about climate changes reflects poorly on their parents and exposes the ignorance they have on the subject. People have to start talking about solving social problems and these discussions have to start from educational institutions. The research that the speaker did on the greenhouse effect creates no value because all the effort he put in does nothing to help humanity. What is the objective of doing research on any subject if it is not helping in the survival and evolution of our species?

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I write because the world desperately needs enlightenment, problem solvers & rediscover critical thinking & commonsense

I started my life with the biggest mistake I could ever make. My grandfather was an excellent oil and canvas painter and my earliest memories are of him creating his exquisite paintings. I picked up the painting brush when I was a year and a half old. Grandpa lost both his eyes to cataract when I was three and I decided not to learn painting from anyone else and hold the brush again. As years rolled by, I became the most misunderstood person anyone could ever become, in family and in school. I was raised up by my grandmother who was very strict even with me going out and talking to people. Being good in studies and not talkative was a deadly concoction which I realised only a few years back. Schoolmates used to think I wanted to keep myself as unapproachable and distance myself from everyone else. Grandpa was my only friend and companion during those years and when he left the world suddenly, what followed were years of loneliness and emotional upheavels. What I missed through those times and the first 30 odd years of my life was a way to express myself. That’s when the enormity of giving up on painting dawned on me.

Fortunately, I realized that I could write decently after a spell as Business Correspondent and Caption Writer with an advertising company. A busy career kept me pinned down and gave me no time to pursue anything else. Finally, I was in the middle of a one year MBA program when I got the news of the passing of a teacher who was a true inspiration to thousands and whom I will revere forever. The grief was too much to bear and out tumbled all my emotions in the form of my first blog. After that, I used to write about whatever I wanted to for some time. Simply put, writing was my way to think aloud and empty my mind. In between, I started reading a lot as well and it must be the combination of reading and expressing my thoughts through writing that has opened my mind.

I write now because of 3 reasons. 1) The darkness of ignorance in the world is growing and rather than maturing, we are slipping further into it’s depths with time 2) We are not using our logic and commonsense to ask questions and by not doing so we are dumbing ourselves down and becoming less intelligent with time 3) We are all following our natural instinct of getting stuck in and talking on about problems without thinking ahead and talking about solving problems. Let me illustrate with a couple of examples.

Both Ramayan and Mahabharata talk about catastrophic wars and the use of highly destructive weapons such as Brahmastra and Vajrayuda which could supposedly annihilate thousands and even a million people every time it was used. And all these weapons are illustrated as bows and arrows. I have seen people glued to their TV sets watching serialized versions of these epics and these weapons were shown as arrows with dazzling colours. I have never come across anyone till now who has questioned the logic of mere arrows being such catastrophic weapons. It could be possible that the original authors of the epics did not understand the technology behind these weapons. But a reason of far greater significance could also be possible. The objective was to illustrate weapons that caused massive destruction and no one could have understood if they had been explained with technology. These stories were meant to endure and live on through time, so the best way was to do a simple illustration with bows and arrows and write a brief description. But what we need to consider here is, what has been written are about nuclear or even more powerful weapons that were used with hand held devices. Whats more, of all the destructive weapons, only Brahmastra could not be stopped by the user from causing destruction once it was used. This means other weapons could be stopped by the user after they were used. We still have no understanding or knowledge of such advanced technologies. What cannot be explained either rationally or with technology we attribute it to the Gods. As we learn and understand more about technology, our understanding of the Almighty will also become simpler.

India has been rocked by the brutal rape and murder of an 8 year old girl. 8 years old, mind you. Suddenly there is a religious angle to it. The girl was from one community and the crime was executed by people of another community in one of their places of worship. It has become confusing as to what is significant now, the crime or the religions of everyone involved in the incident. If 99% people cannot fathom or digest such horror and if religion has taken center stage here, then clearly the objective of the 1% is to incite violence in the name of religions and tear the fabric of the society. But see how it is getting reported, how news channels are projecting it for boosting their TRP and how people are reacting. No commonsense, no rationale, simply following what they are reading and hearing like robots. What happened to our critical thinking ability? Why can’t we just treat every such incident as what it is and not allow anyone or any perspectives to sway and influence our thoughts? Why is no one talking about stopping such incidents once and for all?

There is a fundamental problem with the law and justice in our society. Law punishes criminals to deter them from committing crimes again. Punishment should rather be given to ensure that those crimes are not committed again by anyone. Question to ask here is, for law and order to prevail, what is more important, the criminals or the crime itself? Punish the criminals and the demon of crime will continue to live among us. Punish the crime and no one will want to become a criminal.

What we need is a cold hard deterrent for rapes especially of children, like either burning rapists alive on stakes the way the Church did to non-believers and free thinkers during the Dark Ages or do it the native American Indian style of burying criminals up to their necks in anthills, pouring molasses over their heads and making the entire country watch what unfolds. Now people will be aghast and say we are a maturing society with police and judiciary and an eye for an eye will have only make everyone blind. Well, I cannot see any maturity in the actions of rapists and murderers. Moreover, criminals are no longer afraid of police, courts and punishment. We no longer need courts to put criminals in jail. We need courts to determine the heinousness of each crime and pronounce the punishment accordingly. So more heinous the crime is more severe the punishment should be.So more heinous the crime more severe the punishment should be.

I am hoping that everything I am writing will help people understand about the superficial lives they are living now and start looking beyond it. We were given intelligence and the ability to speak so that we could be better than the beings in the animal world. Yet we have descended into destruction and cruelty to our own kind and to this world that will put the animals to shame. We have been raping and killing our own kind for thousands of years and as time passes by, we are finding new reasons to continue the atrocities. What we need are not laws, regulations, police and courts but knowledge, enlightenment and a better and higher purpose for our existence. What we need is a world devoid of money, religion, race, caste and skin colour and the collective resolve to agree to disagree and live together. What we need is to feel blessed for getting the privilege for this life as humans in this beautiful world and not try to own anything here because we know we are all going to die and leave some day and we take nothing with us except memories and experiences.