PLUNDER of nature which is inseparable from the mainstream development paradigm has reached the level of a global environmental catastrophe today. Industrial revolution and the colonization process in the mad pursuit of installing factories, plantations, mines and other constructions without any concern for vulnerable and sensitive environment had already done irreparable damages to global environment. It got a further momentum in the postwar neocolonial period when rapid technological advances provided new avenues to corporate capital for intensified exploitation of world people and nature leading to the contradiction between capital and nature as one of the major trends under neo-liberal corporatization. Its outcome has been an unprecedented pressure on the ecology of the earth. Internationalization of production and global market expansion led by monopoly finance capital leading to change in the life styles and growth in the conspicuous consumption and wastage of energy by the superrich financial elite have directly contributed to ecological damages everywhere. Today, this damage is exemplified through unpredictable climate change, loss of biodiversity, desertification, melting of the glaciers, ocean acidification, fresh drinking water scarcity, global warming, chemical pollution, deforestation, conversion of food agriculture to bio-fuels, alarming extinction of species, and above all the threat of radioactive contamination from nuclear industry. The repercussions of these transformations on climatic patterns have resulted in loss of livelihood, food shortages, massive displacement and migration of people, all leading to the worsening of already existing poverty, unemployment, hunger, oppression and inequalities. Meanwhile, in response to people’s ever-growing ecological consciousness and consequent worldwide environmental struggles and emergence of worldwide movements against environmental destruction, ecology has come to the centre-stage of policy decisions today.
It is common knowledge that the hindrance to a harmonious co-evolution of nature and human society is the insatiable and uncontrollable profit motive of corporate barons who control the reins of political power in one way or another. The development orientation based on the so called GDP as a yardstick for economic progress led by bureaucratic and technocratic decision-making apparatus in gross disregard of the concrete realities of societies is the stumbling block that stands in the way of building up an egalitarian social order. The so called development which today is inseparably linked up with capital’s plunder of nature is not only posited as universal but also used as an ideological weapon against progressive and democratic forces who struggle for an alternative pro-people, pro-nature and pro-women paradigm of development. To expose and defeat this depoliticizing offensive on the part of all vested interests is also one of the major tasks of those who are committed to traverse the tortuous path of evolving a people oriented perspective of social progress that is both democratic and in harmony with nature.
Mere talk of ‘sustainable development’ while keeping silence on the unsustainable resource appropriation and its use by a few connected with the higher echelons of power both at national and international levels is nothing but populism. For instance, the same imperialist centres which are ardent proponents of neoliberal accumulation and free market ideology that work behind ecological devastation today also seem to have no qualms to be protagonists of ‘sustainable development.’ As a result, the various international agreements and protocols signed by them have become meaningless. The consistent US violation of even “legally binding” international environmental regulations and mandated reductions in green house gas emissions is just an example. In this context, mere lamenting at the consequences of environmental catastrophe without going in to the root cause of it is irrelevant. Concerned people cannot be silent on the way in which scientific and technological gains are utilized for the interests of MNCs and corporate houses and other elite classes at the expense of the vast majority of working and oppressed people. Therefore, the struggle for a sustainable development free from environmental degradation is the integral component of the struggle for building up an egalitarian, democratic and humane social order.
With this orientation, ecopolitiks.org itself envisages as a platform for pooling, mutual exchange and dissemination of all relevant information and knowledge pertaining to ecology and development in sharp focus. Let it be an inspiring source for all those concerned with and striving for a genuine people’s development paradigm.
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