Article written by Eshwer Kale published in the Economic and Political Weekly (EPW) (Vol. 52, Issue No. 3 dated 21 Jan, 2017)
The “religion” of the 21st century Western Civilization has most certainly been Growth at all costs – a seething, creativeTcauldron of brilliant imagination, incredible innovations and heartwarming courage. No doubt, the last 200 years have seen a phenomenal human history in creation. But this has not been without consequence. This orgy of growth has brought Earth and humanity to the brink of catastrophe. If we are to survive on this planet, we must open our eyes to what our civilization has wrought, and act – decisively and boldly – to at least cope with, if not avert, the coming Climate
catastrophe. While the US, the BASIC countries and the rest of the world continue to play tug of war with emissions reduction commitments, the Maharashtra state environment department has taken a bold step in initiating a first-of-its-kind project to study the impact of climate change in Maharashtra. At WOTR, we too have launched our Climate Change project in the semi-arid regions of Maharashtra. While we, at WOTR, don't claim to have all the answers, our experience on the ground shows us that the concepts of Growth and Sustainability themselves have to undergo fundamental changes. We are currently exploring the concept of Adaptive Sustainable Development in light of the triple threats of Climate Change, Resource Depletion and Globalization, and will begin to implement it at the grassroots level. We will also be sharing some of the thinking and reflections that are going on in WOTR on Climate Change and Adaptation in our newsletters this year. In this edition, we share the thinkings that were shared and that emerged during our Conference on Climate Change Adaptation held on 24-25, February , 201 1 at Pune, where over a 100 people who came from difference parts of the country , put their heads and hearts together to mull over the way forward.