There was much fanfare as the leaders of the U.S. and China, the world’s largest carbon polluters signed what was trumpeted as an “historic” deal cutting greenhouse gas emissions. But the Center for Science & Environment in India denounced the agreement as “self-serving” and “business as usual.” Much more urgent action is required to avoid a catastrophic rise in global temperatures. As the eco-crisis accelerates and the major contributors to climate change make grandiose statements but then take halfhearted measures, it is easy to despair. But we simply can’t afford to do nothing and wallow in negativity. The moment calls for action and engagement not passivity and indifference. The magnitude of the crisis requires radical compassion for the Earth and all its inhabitants and flora and fauna. Despite probes landing on comets this is the only home we have.
Vandana Shiva is an internationally renowned voice for sustainable development and social justice. She’s a physicist, scholar, social activist, and feminist. She is Director of the Research Foundation for Science, Technology and Natural Resource Policy in New Delhi. She’s the recipient of the Sydney Peace Prize and of the Right Livelihood Award, the alternative Nobel Prize. She is the author of many books, including Water Wars, Earth Democracy, Soil Not Oil and Making Peace with the Earth. She is the editor of the book Seed Sovereignty, Food Security.