Victims of Growth

The population of India has reached 134 crores which is becoming a burden for the subcontinent where the population density is 450 per sq km, says the Worldometer Population Survey. Moreover, the global population reached around 7 billion and the resource consumption is getting even higher. The materialistic and westernized culture is promoting unsustainable consumeristic behaviour among people.

Due to the fetish of consumerism, various industries are growing day by day. That’s why the number of greenhouse gases is increasing and causing an increase in temperature of the atmosphere. According to NASA, this heat could intensify the storms by decreasing the temperature differences between poles and equator.

 

“Important elements of human nature are open to delight in the acquisition of new goods. Add growing prosperity and money earnings, which allowed these elements to shine through. Add attractive new goods and marketing methods that provided new opportunities to manipulate ordinary folks and build on their natural impulses and their new earnings. And the result is assured: consumerism will emerge and grow.” (Stearns, 2001)

 

Take the case of Kedarnath disaster occurred in 2013, the sudden cloudburst due to atmospheric temperature difference, which flooded the Charbari lake (upstream) and then Kedarnath. Many people died due to drowning and panic-driven stampede. Apart from that the reasons are “high expansion of hydro-power projects and construction of roads to accommodate ever-increasing tourism, especially religious tourism, are also major causes for the unprecedented scale of devastation”, say experts. “Our mountains were never so fragile. But these heavy machines plying every day on the kutcha roads have weakened it, and now we suffer landslides more often,” says Harish Rawat, a BSc student in Uttarakhand’s Bhatwari region that suffered major landslide in 2010. These types of construction works harm ecology and cause various disasters. Similar situations are calculated to be occurring due to the Pancheshwar Dam being sanctioned in Uttarakhand, flooding more than a hundred villages.

Agriculture has become a cash cow for some companies who produce high yielding genetically modified seeds, insecticides, and pesticides. But the consumer knowingly or unknowingly gets attracted towards those toxic fruits and vegetables that look fresh and delicious. This facilitates industries to grow more chemical pesticides which cause severe diseases and become a public health disaster.