04 October 2009

the fury of water

Photo: NDTV headline for 4th Oct 2009. www.ndtv.com © NDTV

The recent headlines have been alarming - another tsunami in Samoa, a typhoon in Philippines, earthquake in Indonesia and half of India seems to be drowning in floods. Just a little over a month ago there were serious concerns of droughts in India with water levels running dangerously low in the very states that are now flood-hit. This is further evidence that climate change causes erratic weather patterns. The brunt of the effects are being borne by the developing nations in a twist of unfair fate. These nations have not the resources for neither mitigation nor adaptation to the dark side of climate change. Their economies are fragile and dependent on climate-sensitive such as agriculture.

The furies of Nature being unleashed here are always borne by a patient understanding of fate. The influence of Eastern religion and the emphasis of karma can be clearly witnessed on how people struck by such calamities cope. "This is our fate", they say pragmatically and go about rebuilding lives from scratch with nothing. What do they know about the polluting west and climate change? Will they be angry if they knew their lives are at stake so that somewhere, someone can drive a bigger car?

So for so long this part of the world has been ignored because for many reasons, they are voiceless. And if you are voiceless, you are also faceless. So after years and years of being ignored, this part of the world is waking up. Nature lashes out regardless of blame, we are all at fault. As a prototype of the human race, it is my fault. Mea Culpa. We all have the collective arrogance to believe that we inherit the Earth, we are all subject to those feelings of helplessness and apathy. We all should shoulder the responsibility. And yet, there is a imbalance in the way that Nature chooses to punish. We all do not inherit the Earth equally, there are some who pay a higher price.

Philosophizing helps when the Truth gets bitter to take. But how is it going to help the ones who have been rendered homeless? The ones who have lost their home, loved ones, livelihood? Every Man's worth is ultimately judged by a combination of these three factors and when everything is destroyed, will be perish? Is this the survival of the fittest? Will Time eventually reveal to us what he conceals in his cleverly made web of false promises? Will we care to see redemption when all is lost?

Such questions are hard to articulate and even harder to answer. But what we do know is that the day of reckoning will come. And when that happens, the furies we see now will pale in comparison.

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