Monday, May 14, 2012
New Column at APOSL
Founder, Green Party of Malaysia
I’m delighted to have been invited to contribute to APOSL. My column is called Harithabhoomi, which is Sanskrit for Green Earth. In this column, I plan not just to inform you on matters green, but also to challenge your way of thinking. For it is only by discarding our current thinking and accepting new paradigms that progress in science is made.
Every major advance in science was first met with disbelief and the innovative thinker ridiculed and persecuted, even. But the truth has a way of prevailing and wins out in the end. For thousands of years, it was accepted without question that the sun, stars and planets orbited around the Earth. When Tycho Brahe and Johannes Kepler introduced the idea that the Earth and planets revolved around the Sun, their novel idea was met with much resistance. More recently, similar reception was afforded to an Australian physician by the name of Barry Marshall when he declared that the bacterium Helicobacter pylori is the cause of most peptic ulcers, reversing decades of medical doctrine holding that ulcers were caused by stress, spicy foods, and too much acid.
It is only by pushing the envelope, questioning everything that we take for granted, that a space is created for new ideas to flourish and for progress to be made. So some of the ideas I present in my column may disturb you but I hope it would be a creative disturbance ~ some food for thought for you to ponder upon and wonder about. And maybe even improve upon.
The fact is, for most of the 200,000 years that the human species has roamed this planet, we were quite benign. In the last 50 years, however, we have more than doubled in population, from 3 billion to more than 7 billion. Such a dramatic increase in numbers in such a tiny fraction (0.025%) of our existence has put tremendous and unprecedented demands on resources and the environment.
We are living in exceptional times. We are in a unique position in the history of human existence, for it is within our lifetime that it will be decided whether we will destroy this planet, irrevocably and forever, or not. If we want to keep the planet fit for human habitation, we have to make changes. Big changes. Scientists tell us that we have 10 years to change the way we live, avert the depletion of natural resources and the catastrophic change of the Earth's climate. The “business as usual” type of thinking that got us into this mess, is not the type of thinking that will help us get out of this quagmire. Radical new thinking is required to ensure our collective future, the survival of the human species and, indeed, survival of the planet itself.
And remember, the planet does not need humans. In fact, the planet would be much better off if humans became extinct. Life on Earth without humans is very feasible. But humans need the planet. This planet is our home, our only home. If we want to survive as a species, we need a home ~ this planet ~ to live in. The stakes are high for us and our children. Everyone should take part in the effort, and I implore you to take a message of mobilization out to every human being to ensure our collective future. Welcome to Harithabhoomi.
Posted by Green Party of Malaysia at 11:17