By Nani Palkhivala
The lesson, ‘The Ailing Planet: the Green Movement’s Role’ focuses on the deteriorating health of the Earth because of human being’s growing lust to exploit all its natural resources. A Zoo in Lusaka, Zambia calls the man as the most dangerous animal in this world. Fortunately, the Green movement launched in 1972 has been responsible for a new awareness that has dawned upon the human race. There has been an irrevocable shift from a mechanistic view to a holistic and ecological view of the world. There is a growing worldwide consciousness that the earth itself is a living organism -an enormous being of which we are parts. It has its own metabolic needs that must be respected and preserved. But, today, its vital signs reveal a patient in declining health. In 1987, the World Commission on Environment and Development popularized the concept of sustainable development – a development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of the future generations to meet their needs.
According to Mr Lester R. Brown, there are four biological systems, namely fisheries, forests, grasslands and croplands. They form the basis of the global economic system. They supply food to us and raw materials for our industries. But in large areas of the world, these systems are reaching unsustainable levels. Their productivity is being damaged.
For the first time in human history, we are concerned about the-Survival of not just the people but of the planet. In this era of responsibility, an industry can play a crucial role. Today, many industrialists and politicians have realized their responsibility in preserving the natural resources for the future generation.
The growth of world population is another factor distorting the future of our children. Development is not possible if population increases. The writer says that fertility falls as incomes rise, education spreads, and health improves. Thus, development is the best contraceptive.