The Fate of the Tiger

Posted by: Bittu Sahgal on

As my friend Ian McCullum, author of Ecological Intelligence once opined, nature is not slipping through our fingers, we are slipping through nature's fingers!

Despite all the bad news around us and despite Jairam Ramesh's quixotic U-turn on environmental issues, I think we might just about manage to keep the tiger's head above water, at least in around five or six relatively safe landscapes.

Frankly its our own heads I worry about. Our ostrich-like attitude to climate change is going to unleash floods, droughts, disease, famines and social unrest on us... even as disparities between the rich and the poor widen. I know there is no more democratic way to distribute the resources of the world than to have a decentralised resurrection of ecosystems, whose fruits can freely be harvested "downstream". Literally millions of jobs will be created in the process as people work to enhance the quality of their own lands and their own lives. This way, this tigers water can slake our thirst, water our fields, the nutrients from its forests can fertilise our fields, its green sponge can control floods and moderate droughts. None of this is possible using machines, which Dr. Manmohan Singh and Dr. Montek Singh Ahluwalia and the World Bank are trying to foist on us by replacing our infrastructures of survival with their tawdry infrastructures of commerce.