G C Lichtenberg: “It is as if our languages were confounded: when we want a thought, they bring us a word; when we ask for a word, they give us a dash; and when we expect a dash, there comes a piece of bawdy.”

W H Auden: "But in my arms till break of day / Let the living creature lie. / Mortal, guilty, but to me/ The entirely beautiful."

Will Self: “To attempt to write seriously is always, I feel, to fail – the disjunction between my beautifully sonorous, accurate and painfully affecting mental content, and the leaden, halting sentences on the page always seems a dreadful falling short. It is this failure – a ceaseless threnody keening through the writing mind – that dominates my working life, just as an overweening sense of not having loved with enough depth or recklessness or tenderness dominates my personal one.”

John Gray: "Unlike Schopenhauer, who lamented the human lot, Leopardi believed that the best response to life is laughter. What fascinated Schopenhauer, along with many later writers, was Leopardi’s insistence that illusion is necessary to human happiness."

Art Spiegelman: "You know words in a way are hitting you on the left side of your brain, music and visual arts hit on the right side of the brain, so the idea is to pummel you, to send you from left brain to right brain and back until you're as unbalanced as I am."

विलास सारंग: "संदर्भ कुठलेही असोत, संस्कृत, इंग्रजी, बुद्धिवादी, तांत्रिक, इतिहासाचे, खगोलशास्त्राचे, आधुनिक पदार्थविज्ञानाचे, शिवकालीन व पेशवाईतील बखरीचे, अगणित ज्ञानक्षेत्रांचे, अशा वैविध्यपूर्ण ज्ञानावर लेखन- विशेषत: कवितालेखन- उभं राहत."

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Avoiding Plastic Bags at the Mall will not Offset Your Car’s Emissions

In middle-class India, environmentalism has become as fashionable as it is in the West. It is in schoolbooks, on TV, in after-dinner discussions.

I hope those Indians who could not stand what Michael Crichton said in his book “State of Fear” 2004, will read JOHN TIERNEY in NYT March 25, 2008:

“…Installing a solar-powered hot-water heater or a windmill at your place in the country is not going to erase the carbon footprint of maintaining and traveling to a second home. Recycling glass bottles and avoiding plastic bags at the grocery store will not offset your car’s emissions.

Switching to a Prius will not undo the effects of frequent air travel. A couple of international trips can be worse for your carbon footprint than driving a Hummer for a year. If the delegates to future conferences on climate change are expected to wear illuminated symbols of their energy consumption, they won’t be visiting any more spots like Bali…”

This comes on top of what Jared Diamond said in NYT on January 2, 2008:

“…The average rates at which people consume resources like oil and metals, and produce wastes like plastics and greenhouse gases, are about 32 times higher in North America, Western Europe, Japan and Australia than they are in the developing world…

A real problem for the world is that each of us 300 million Americans consumes as much as 32 Kenyans

The only approach that China and other developing countries will accept is to aim to make consumption rates and living standards more equal around the world…

Other aspects of our consumption are wasteful, too…The world has serious consumption problems, but we can solve them if we choose to do so.”

“Consumption Factor” related problems are not just between nations but also within an individual country.

Economic & Political Weeky March 15-21 2008 said:

“Despite rapid economic growth, more than 75% of Indians are poor and vulnerable with a level of consumption not more than twice the official poverty line…

There is evidence to suggest that inequality is widening between the common people and the better-off sections of society.”

With great effort and luck, if you swim to an island, unlike in the past, a windmill and not a tree is likely to greet you!


The Spectator