- This is an intriguing question raised by the hardcore environmental degradation activists on the one hand and the supporters of developments in line with the fast-changing urban landscape witnessed across the world on the other hand. The emergence of humanity and the accompanying civilizational changes over the millennium vis-à-vis innovations, inventions, developments, and the embracing of new technological aids has ushered in tremendous alterations in how society functions. We are in the middle of information technology-driven advances that have revolutionized how the global community goes about its day-to-day business. Indisputably, the perpetual introduction of more user-friendly measures and amenities has been a big boon.
PC: Pure Leisure
- The moot point to ponder over here is at what cost these developmental measures have taken shape aiding the global community like never before. Of course, none of the developmental measures can possibly take a definite shape unless the environment gets affected in one or the other way. Development without the environment being affected is impossible. This is a classic conundrum that crops up perpetually in the present-day world. To buttress their environmental degradation claims, activists are known to adopt different methodologies to draw the attention of the authorities. Within those activists, there are radical elements who wish to torment the authorities with some indigenous methods to draw attention. Or is it?
- As reported extensively in the newspapers, the environmental protesters hurled soup at da Vinci’s Mona Lisa of all the places. Here, two facts are indisputable. First, this was not at all an act of originality. Second, the protesters’ connective logic fails even kindergarten standards. Note that radical climate protesters have already directed soup at Vermeer’s Girl with a Pearl Earring and Van Gogh’s Sunflowers and fed mashed potatoes to Monet’s Haystacks. And these were themselves copycat acts. Mona Lisa has a long history of being attacked. An angry Japanese woman once threw red paint at it and an angry Russian woman a teacup. These desecrations draw tons of publicity. Beyond this, their relationship to august activism breaks down.
- Take for instance when Gandhi went on the salt march or Rosa Parks refused to give up her bus seat to a white person or when an indigenous community protested its forest from being cut, the immediate and real target of protest are very clear. But how is a painting to blame for global warming? Make no mistake, authorities cannot ask citizens to choose between the environment and development. Global economic growth has piggybacked on fossil fuels and emissions for two centuries. Today we wish to cut both these without cutting growth. Inarguably, development and climate concerns go hand in hand which should be balanced with a nuanced understanding of the situation. Enjoying developments but raising red flags over environmental degradation is not on.