Why are we such born losers?

Like Barack Obama, I think we must all say, “Now is the time for change.”

We must change the way we live in our cities. Just think about the price of oil, which is going to hurt us all badly in the future; change the way travel; the way we grow and consume our food.

There was never a better time to do the following:

  • Start a solid car pool / ride share service using our 275 million-plus cellphones and the Internet.
  • Practise home farming and roof gardening.
  • Build our houses green (with systems for water harvesting, grey water recycling, CFL and LED lighting, solar thermal and photovoltaic power and so on).

    Our leaders are shouting from the rooftops about oil price and oil companies are stopping LPG cooking gas supplies. But have they done enough to cut oil dependence? Have they devoted some of their profits to design, say, a solar cooker that will help millions of Indians?

    In a country that is forever praising itself about its ancient prowess in just about everything, including positions for sex, there is not a single inventor or entrepreneur in sight with a good design for us to use the maximum energy that we get — from the sun, at 42 plus degrees C this summer — to cook our food. There’s something called solar thermal to generate power even in the hotter parts of the US. But here in the sunny southern hemisphere, we have nothing. We heat our matchbox houses by day and some of us cool them with giant air-conditioners at night. We cut trees to show off billboards and shop fronts. We are glad to eat more pesticide and fertiliser, and do without medical systems when we develop cancer. We are willing to pay all our taxes and bribes when we are healthy and just crawl into a hole and die when we get sick.

    We prevent ourselves from walking, cycling and enjoying fresh air. And in the process, we kill one lakh people and injure 15 lakh people badly each year with our fast cars and trucks.

    Why are we such born losers? 

    This is the time for change. As much for us as for America.


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