In conversation with environment activist Bittu Sahgal

geetanjali

Geetanjali Minhas | June 30, 2015 | Mumbai


#bittu sahgal   #bittu sahgal interview   #environmentalist bittu sahgal  


Bittu Sahgal, environment activist and writer, is known for speaking about impacts of climate change. He was a member of the National Board for Wildlife of the ministry of environment and forests. Sahgal is also the founding editor of Sanctuary Asia, a wildlife and ecology magazine. He believes that though natural wealth has many claimants, in reality it belongs to the future and today’s children must carry this truth forward.


The book I am reading: The Social Conquest of the Earth by Edward O Wilson

The book I enjoyed writing most: The Bandhavgarh Inheritance

If not an environmentalist, I would have been: Hopefully a cricket test opening batsman-wicket-keeper...

Wildlife and forests are important because: Human life depends on them, not the other way round.

One thing I wish I could change: Ingratitude. I would want homo sapiens to be less ungrateful for the gift of life.

My greatest challenge so far: Retaining my inner happiness surrounded by circumstances that conspire to inject despair into the world.

My favourite pastime: Observing species, plant or animal, any species that is not homo sapiens.

My favourite vacation spot: Ouch! Just one?  Dachigam. Ranthambhore. Tadoba. Kanha. Umred Karhandla. Kruger National Park. The A&N Islands and Lakshadweep. Bastar river. Melghat. Pench. Periyar. Great Himalayan National Park... but you only asked for one, so I better stop.

My comfort food: Jeera alu, namkeen parantha and tadka yellow dal.

Development or ecological preservation? Ecological harmony is development; it’s not an either or choice.

Worst effects of environment degradation are: The early demise of homo sapiens and the fact that we would take several innocent species currently at the apex of their evolution.

Tigers are important because: They are a metaphor for all of nature and their ecosystems are critical to our fight against climate change.

My advice to the young generation: Trust in nature. It can repair all the damage my generation has inflicted. And, mercifully, you will outlive us. Celebrate each day. Rest assured in the knowledge that the world will repair itself. But don’t be complacent and don’t underestimate my absolutely ignorant, irresponsible, arrogant and avaricious generation. Be heard. Speak out and say to my generation: “Run your race for development until we take charge, but please, not in our name.”

What nobody knows about me: I hate to fight, absolutely hate it. Yet I am forced to fight against those destroying what I love – this planet and its miraculous life forms.

Climate change is serious concern because: People should try holding their breath for a minute to truly understand why climate stability and forest conservation are serious concerns.

My favourite quote: “In nature nothing exists alone”: Rachel Carson in Silent Spring.

 

Comments

 

Other News

Soil Health Cards scheme moves at snail’s pace

An ambitious scheme to provide Soil Health Cards for 14 crore land holdings spread across the country seems to be moving at a painfully slow pace.   Prime minister Narendra Modi on August 21 reviewed the progress and he was informed that 16 States/UTs have completed the first

Major train accidents since May 2014

With two major train accidents in succession this week, we list the major train accidents that have occurred since 2014:    26 May 2014 – 12556 Gorakhdham Express collided with a stationary freight train near Khalilabad station in Uttar Pradesh. 25

“Stressed assets liquidation key to de-clog bank balance sheets”

Swift, time-bound resolution or liquidation of stressed assets will be critical for de-clogging bank balance sheets and for efficient reallocation of capital, said Reserve Bank of India governor Urjit Patel.   Addressing the inaugural session of the “National Conference

Tweaking MSP: Is PDP the right formula?

Should the practice of paying farmers a minimum support price (MSP) for some crops be scrapped? That is what several experts have suggested. This is part of the discourse that follows the recent supreme court advice to the government to formulate a national policy to protect farmers.  MSP ha

Should there be uniform civil code in India?

Should there be uniform civil code in India?

From Shah Bano to Shayara Bano: How Rajiv’s blunder undid secularism

History could have repeated itself as a farce, but in the triple talaq case today, there has been no replay. A historic blunder has been undone, though it has taken three decades. The supreme court has once again taken a stance in favour of individual freedom and against fundamentalism &nda



Video

Punjab and Haryana are on high alert before judgement on baba ram rahim

Current Issue

Opinion

Facebook    Twitter    Google Plus    Linkedin    Subscribe Newsletter

Twitter