Fetish with GDP and the techno-arrogance to control Nature

(Dr. krishan Bir Chaudhary)

World’s total GDP, all countries included, whatever accounting systems they use, is estimated at 33-35 trillion US dollars. The value of eco-system goods and services provided free of cost by Mother Nature has been estimated at 72-74 trillion dollars.

Has it occurred to the economist Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh and his techno fixers in Planning Commission that of Nature refuses to cooperate, all his dreams of Super Power India would end up in a colossal mayhem as the nation is witnessing year after year?

Prime agricultural lands are being acquired for ‘development’ projects that take away nation’s capacity to produce food. The latest directive of the PM actually demolishes the regulatory regime to conserve natural resources.

Deforestation goes on and on relentlessly. Even satellite data was misused and misinterpreted, showing increase in forest cover. Decline in natural vegetation is escalating erosion of top soil with each monsoonal rain.  Seasonal rivers are dead; perennial rivers becoming seasonal. River originating in Uttarakhand feeding Yamuna and Ganga are so polluted that those waters are unfit for any purpose. Highly polluting industries located by these rivers are discharging in treated effluents; all have environment clearance, all have installed treatment plants but these plants work when inspectors arrive.  

Rivers are fed water from melting snow during summer and the seepage from the mountains during winter.  These two systems make our northern rivers or Himalayan Rivers perennial. When politicians and corporations destroy the green cover to ‘develop’ mountain areas, it affects the great Indian farm lands of Punjab, Haryana, UP, Bihar and Bengal.

It is the shortage of water from eco-system disruption that has led farmers to depend upon underground water resources. Underground water resources are being gobbled up for exportable and commercial crops, not to ensure food and nutrition security of Indians.  Forty years ago no farmer depended on diesel pump set to pump water up; today no farmer can do without that.

Production of diesel pump set adds to GDP; the gift Nature by way of free water does not. In the globalized idiocy of Multinational Corporation driven agenda of valuing ecosystem goods, attempt is on to value the contribution of water so that private corporations can price it and charge our farmers. That process is already on.  

Because of the huge value of eco-system goods and services, politicians in positions of power exploit the concept of eminent domain. If a single source of globalized corruption could be identified, it is linked to untrammelled exploitation of Mother Nature’s gift to mankind by misusing the power of the State.

To justify that exploitation this idiotic term GDP was coined. All economists and ‘development experts’ worship the GDP God. Have they ever asked a basic question of survival? Where do they get their food from? Does Walmart or Tesco produce food? They are distributors of processed food; food comes from farmlands, worked by millions of below poverty line farmers who this government believes can survive on 28 rupees per day. Try buying anything in big super stores in India for Rs 28.

World’s most advanced country, United States of America, is now into record breaking longest draught. Heat has caused huge forest fires and many towns are completely gutted. The corn crop has dried out and collapsed and price has shot up to US$8.20 per bushel. Where are techno-fixers?  Can even one ‘expert’ in the Ministry of Agriculture or in the Planning Commission say that technology can fix Nature’s power?

Can the dream-boat of privatization cause rain? Can any company in the world cause rain to fall exactly on 15th June according to the Gragorian Calendar followed by Indian Met Department? Rains start to fall in the month of Sawan in North Indian Plains. Sawan started on 4th July, it started to rain on 5th.  It rained in Bihar and UP and in Northern Bengal, Monsoon rain.

Do our politicians in Delhi who represent 1.2 billion people respect Mother Nature? Can economists ever assess the value of Mother Nature? Can they truthfully assess the contribution of Nature in GDP? In the ultimate analysis Nature ensures GDP, not techno-fixers or economists or politicians.



(Editorial : Kisan Ki Awaaz Magazine)