“What we needed is not loud talk about green politics but a green civilization,” A. Achyuthan and Thayatt Balan, social activists and environmentalists, said here on Tuesday.
Dr. Achyuthan and Mr. Balan said environmental movements had lost their momentum in recent times compared to the days when a mass action by nature lovers saved Silent Valley from destruction.
Dr. Achyuthan said the decline in public fervour to protect the environment was evident in the debates on issues related to protection of Western Ghats. What was clear in these debates was absence of environmental literacy resulting in proper awareness of the importance of Western Ghats as the source of life for flora and fauna though it had become fashionable to use terms like “green politics” and sustainable development.”
Dr. Achyuthan remarked the failure to find solutions to problems raised by endosulfan pollution in Kasaragod, the agitation against airport project in Pathanamthitta and the public agitations against garbage disposal systems in Vilappilsala, in Thiruvananthapuram, Njelinyanparamba in Kozhikode and Nitjelatin company in Kathikoodam also remained as question marks before environmentalists.
The environmentalists blamed blind pursuit of development models of Europe and the U.S. for the environmental problems thrown up by development projects in the country.
Such issues got aggravated by foreign investments which were made to reap high profits, they said and added that University Grants Commission pay scales and fat salary hike for government staff awarded by pay commission from time to time were part of government strategies to make the middle class turn a blind eye to the benefits given to corporates and foreign companies to indulge in overexploitation of the country’s natural resources.
“That is why Gadgil and Vijayan (who prepared report on Western Ghats protection) were attacked and the term green politics has become a joke. What is needed is green civilization and not green politics. Remember carbon dioxide content in atmosphere which was 280 ppm before industrial revolution is now 400 ppm,” Dr. Achyuthan said.