Village water

Virtual Water – The Blue Gold

The developed nations of USA and Europe have discreetly offloaded their supply chain manufacturing processes to developing countries like India. The finished products include Textiles, Leather and consumables like Bread and Burgers. Nakeeran, in a forceful essay, documents the depletion of water resources that is driving the exporting countries to starvation and collapse. Surface river bodies are polluted and ground water reserves are fast diminishing to near famine conditions. He makes a plea to put an end to virtual water trade by steering to local economic activity, reducing time, distance and becoming self-sufficient within a Geographical zone. 

Photo by Latha Nagarajan

Moving towards the local and the regional

The concept of Swadeshi, as stated by Gandhi, is that self-sufficiency in food at the local and regional levels can ensure food sovereignty.

Siddhartha explains that the cultivation of millets, practicing mixed cropping and making use of the public distribution system’s warehouses can consolidate sustainability. Furthermore, trading of surpluses between villages and towns can enhance the economic viability of the rural community. Efforts to improve livelihoods by utilizing compost and traditional crops would also ensure stability.

Photo by Pradeep Kumbhashi

Saving South Asia

Zulfiquar Shah has forecast that South Asia, with its shared natural resources, would be most affected with the onset of accelerating climate change. Himalayan glaciers would melt, floods and dry spells would be common, and those living in the coastal regions would be particularly vulnerable as sea levels rise and islands submerge. There would be mass migrations and pressure on the infrastructure in towns and cities. The environment is no respecter of boundaries, so the emphasis of the article is to call for a regional meeting of concerned scientists and policymakers of the affected regions to work out modalities to cope with the inevitable changes that are bound to occur with the looming crisis.

Photo by awaterma (Flickr)

Distorted government policies will lead to eventual food shortages

Siddhartha of Pipal Tree explains how globalization, in its wake, has brought a distorted distribution system with local retail outlets storing products that have crossed great distances and blurred transnational boundaries. The carbon footprint that it leaves behind is decreasing our ability to live as a human species.

Before globalization, unpolished rice and vegetables were grown locally without chemical fertilisers and genetic modification. Market fundamentalism and financial strength by multinational corporations are holding sway and destroying a whole way of live that was fundamental to the traditional ethos. A wholesome way of life is gradually being annihilated by mega-agribusiness.