Both dependence and independence are extremes. Reality is exactly in the middle; it is interdependence. Everything is interdependent. The smallest blade of grass and the biggest star, both are interdependent. This is the whole foundation of ecology. However, we behave without understanding the reality of interdependence. That is why we have destroyed so much of the organic unity of life – it is like cutting off our own limbs.
Forests have disappeared, with millions of trees being cut every day. Now scientists are giving warnings – but nobody is ready to listen – that if all trees disappear from earth, we cannot survive. We are in a deep inter-exchange. Man goes on breathing in oxygen, and throwing out carbon dioxide; trees go on inhaling carbon dioxide and exhaling oxygen. Neither can you exist without trees, nor can trees exist without you.
Because many trees have disappeared, so much carbon dioxide has accumulated in the atmosphere, raising the earth’s temperature by four degrees. To you, four degrees may seem insignificant – but it is not. Eventually the temperature will be high enough to melt so much ice that oceans will rise by four feet. One degree increase in temperature possibly means a one foot higher ocean. Coastal cities will then get flooded.
Trees are being cut, without any understanding. Trees are being cut down for paper, for instance, and you are in fact destroying life. There is a possibility that if the ‘eternal’ ice of the Himalayas starts melting, then all the oceans will rise so much higher that the waters will drown almost the whole of earth. They will destroy all your cities – Bombay and Calcutta , New York, London, and San Francisco. Perhaps a few who live high in the mountains may survive.
Such is the interdependence that when your first astronauts landed on the moon, we became acutely aware that the earth is enveloped by a thick sheet of ozone, like a blanket. It is because of this ozone blanket that life has been possible on this planet, because ozone does not allow in the death rays that come from the sun. It allows in only the life rays and prevents the death rays that bounce back.
But in our stupidity, we have made holes in the blanket. And now we are trying to reach Mars! With death rays gaining entry through holes in the ozone blanket, scientists are saying that incidence of diseases like cancer could go up by almost 30%; and other, smaller diseases are not counted.
The stupid politicians are not listening. And if you call them stupid, then you are jailed, you are punished; false allegations are made against you. But i don’t see what else to call them. Stupid seems to be the most gentle and the most cultured word for them. They don’t deserve it; they deserve something worse. Because most of them do not acknowledge the fact that life is a deep interdependence.
In my vision of a new world, there are no nations, no big cities, no isolated families, but millions of small communes spread all over the earth in lush green forests, in mountains, on islands. The smallest commune manageable could be of 5,000 people, and the biggest commune, 50,000 people. From 5,000 to 50,000 – more than that will become unmanageable; then again comes the question of law and order, the police, courts.