A city like Bombay, a population of almost
20 million, and the greater Bombay area, large parts of which will be underwater according to this report by 2050, that area includes where two nuclear installations are housed. Oh, there’s a tremendous amount of infrastructure right by the coast everywhere including nuclear facilities, hazardous waste sites of every
kind. If the ocean rises to submerge those areas, all kinds of nuclear waste or toxins and other noxious material can be spread around. So we have an enormous cleanup—or better, a defense effort—in front of us. This is an entirely new problem in the course of human civilization. We really don’t have the institutions or
the precedent to deal with the loss of land. And I hope that with adequate warning, decades of warning, we have some chance of finding and investing resources to defend the places that we are able. But there is a great inequity of resources
around the world. It is going to be very expensive. And some places, just by their geography,
may be prohibitive to defense. So yes, this really is a new chapter. Everything points to the unsustainable development model that we have created that continues to exploit nature, whether it is about extraction of water at unsustainable levels and man-made crisis or climate change that we have caused. I think we need to look at how we treat development. What is our definition of development? And who is causing that destruction? Some of these fundamental questions we need to ask. The whole orientation towards GDP growth and completely ignoring what we are doing to environment has to change. Environment now has to be at the center of everything that we are doing, how we’re using our natural resources, how we are building our homes, how we are using water. All of that has to change. And that thinking is not yet there despite
some of these challenges that we are seeing and look at the kind of actions we are now forced to take. But our political leaders are still stuck
with that thinking that corporations are going to solve the problems, and we are seeing privatization and not really rebooting the development model that we have created, which is responsible for all the crisis that we are facing in this world today.