It is easy to defend the view that resource scarcity is a crucial causal factor in most conflicts. And since scarcity of resources increases with increasing populations, a greater balance between resources and population numbers could reduce strife.
I see the result of extreme imbalance between resources and populations every day in Mumbai. People lose their dignity in the face of dehumanizing poverty. I have also seen the other extreme — of affluence. I have lived in the US for over a couple of decades and witnessed their profligate over-consumption which is also unsustainable. Somewhere between the thoughtless affluence of the few and the de-humanizing poverty of the many, is the middle-path of sustainable development of all humanity. The problems of our system are easy to see and are stated easily enough though they are hard to solve.
Although I am not a religious person in the traditional sense of the word, I hold some things sacred. I believe that life in the universe is the most profound mystery second only to the mystery of why something, rather than nothing, exists. And that mystery of life is deserving of our most profound respect and wonder. Preservation of all life on Earth, therefore, is the most sacred of duties. Not just preservation but to see that it flourishes in all its infinite variety and diversity. I believe it is a moral imperative that every human being born to this life should have the opportunity to live a life of dignity, purpose, and meaning. Living in harmony with nature and with other fellow life on earth is axiomatic to a good life.
My interests lie in the interaction between the environment, the world economic order and humanity. I have spent some time thinking about growth, development, sustainability and the environment. I recognize that there is a distinction between growth and development. The natural evolution of any system in the initial stages requires growth but that there is a natural limit to the growth past that stage. Development could go on without limits at all stages without it being linked to growth. I feel that if in a system growth is a necessary condition for its continued development, then the development of that system is unsustainable due to the limits to growth in a world of finite resources. How to develop without growing is one of the greatest challenges that faces India.
We need to understand the meaning of progress, what its implications are with respect to the impact on the ecological systems we inhabit and what are the limits to growth: of populations, of the economic system’s physical throughput and other related factors.