ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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At Least No Ballot Papers

Climate change is a 21st century issue (“King Canute’s Land?”, EPW, 12 April 2014). For the vast majority of our citizens (including most politicians), who live in the 20th, 19th, 18th centuries, going right back into medieval times (some even earlier in history), such an issue presents an existential conundrum. If god has willed it, then so shall it be. Some religious texts (and Nostradamus, was it?) have talked about the “apocalypse” and kayamat. Even though our “people” simultaneously straddle several centuries with the equanimity of karmic fatalism, issues of contemporary irritation like no house, too little of the same food, not enough water for an occasional bath, having to pay bribes everywhere and of contemporary aspiration, primarily to get rich quick, drive the cut-throats into politics and with them multitudes of followers with similar inclinations.

To become aware and “worked up” about things like climate change and species extinction, we need citizens with a scientific temper, something our educational systems are simply not geared to deliver.

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