Honorary Senior Fellow, NCAER, Chairman,
Pahle India Foundation, New Delhi
It gives me great pleasure to have this opportunity to make some concluding remarks on this wonderful session. For the last one year, we at Pahle India Foundation have been dreaming of having a similar conference. Thanks to Dr. H.P Kanoria for this opportunity. It’s been a remarkable experience and perhaps I should put it in the context of my profession of an economic and political analyst.
There is no doubt that we are facing an existential crisis due to climate change. As economists, we have been trying to come up with many policy reforms which would check climate change. Political leaders have been talking about it. The scientists have been coming up with many innovations to slow down climate change. But I think we have to admit that little progress has been made. In fact, just last month 15000 scientists from 184 countries issued a communiqué which basically states, “Humanity has failed to make sufficient progress in solving the environmental challenges and alarmingly, most of them are getting far worse.”
In a way, we are going backwards and perhaps only a divine intervention can save the earth. And as representatives of the divine, the spiritual leaders are our guides and what we heard today gives us encouragement. We hope spiritual leaders would succeed where political scientists and economists have failed.
They spoke unanimously about our attitude towards nature, about our attitude towards consumerism and on the importance of love and treating everything in the ecosystem as part of themselves.
In my opinion, this is only the beginning. We have to continue this process to broaden and deepen its impact and ambit. Broaden to include other spiritual traditions into this dialogue and deepening it so as to take this movement to the masses. The problem will persist until the spiritual leaders can take this message to their followers, the problem will not be solved.