Monday, October 20, 2008

The Urgency of Going Green

"Indian physicist and environmental activist Vandana Shiva said the financial crisis showed it was high time for countries to rebuild local, diverse farms to become independent from global turmoil. “The lesson to be learned from the financial meltdown is that the world is at a tipping point,” Shiva told Reuters at the Frankfurt Bookfair on Thursday, where she is promoting her new book ‘Soil not Oil’.

“When one thread rips somewhere its effect is felt around the world,” said Shiva, a board member of the International Forum on Globalisation, which examines the effects of globalisation on local economies and communities.

Shiva was also one of the first tree-huggers in the 1970s, participating in the Chipko movement of female peasants in the Uttaranchal region of India, which adopted the tactic of hugging trees to prevent their felling. Shiva said industrial farmers were running short on funds to buy pesticides and fertilisers amid reduced lending and borrowing worldwide but switching to small-scale, organic farming would eliminate the need to buy chemicals. Shiva, who received her Ph D. in physics at the University of Western Ontario, argued that diverse, organic farming was the answer to climate change and world hunger."

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