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.”

H. P. Lovecraft: "What a man does for pay is of little significance. What he is, as a sensitive instrument responsive to the world's beauty, is everything!"

Martin Amis: “Gogol is funny, Tolstoy in his merciless clarity is funny, and Dostoyevsky, funnily enough, is very funny indeed; moreover, the final generation of Russian literature, before it was destroyed by Lenin and Stalin, remained emphatically comic — Bunin, Bely, Bulgakov, Zamyatin. The novel is comic because life is comic (until the inevitable tragedy of the fifth act);...”

Werner Herzog: “We are surrounded by worn-out, banal, useless and exhausted images, limping and dragging themselves behind the rest of our cultural evolution.”

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."

Justin E.H. Smith: “One should of course take seriously serious efforts to improve society. But when these efforts fail, in whole or in part, it is only humor that offers redemption. So far, human expectations have always been strained, and have always come, give or take a bit, to nothing. In this respect reality itself has the form of a joke, and humor the force of truth.”

विलास सारंग: "… . . 1000 नंतर ज्या प्रकारची संस्कृती रुढ झाली , त्यामध्ये साधारणत्व विश्वात्मकता हे गुण प्राय: लुप्त झाले...आपली संस्कृती अकाली विश्वात्मक साधारणतेला मुकली आहे."

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