Gandhi, Globalisation and Climate Change

17 02 2008

Rishab: 

Increase  in profits, increase in consumption,  higher salary, growth, growth and more growth. River,air, forest, animals, humans everything is a commodity and even at this time of a global crisis we are trying to negotiate and buy our planet back. Unfortunately we can not buy our eco system again, but we can certainly save it.

Gandhi, like many other accomplished beings, recognised source of all human misery as ‘greed’. This greed which colonisation of the world, this greed has made the world suffer many wars including the two world wars, the same greed is now allowing corporations in the form of neo-colonist to exploit the worlds natural resources,  this very greed has led to the sub – prime mortgage crisis ( this crisis will be having global affects, with trillions of dollars worth debt being wiped out ), and this devilish greed will lead to a permanent ecological imbalance not a mere change in climate.

Globalisation as a phenomena has had various impacts on us, yes it has brought us closer, we have had technological breakthroughs  which were inconceivable. At the same time corporations have an portunity to exploit resources in the third world and elsewhere at a much greater rate. Economies of scale led industrialisation  has left power with the very few as the ricest 20% own 80% of the global wealth, they also pollute than an average third world citizen. Orgnaisations like Coke which is 10 times the annual GDP of India is bent upon mining India’s ground water, for producing a product for the elite and at the same time drying the life source of the farmers.

What has been responsible for such a rapid industrialisation………….blood of Iraq, Sudan,Kuwait, Afganistan, yes the three letter world which drives the world, Oil.

Since the 1850’s this magic portion has revoultinesd the way we live!and allowed us to be more greedy. Where does this magic portion come from, well it is decay of millions of years, whe the atmosphere of the earth was very different, and what have we done within a period 150 years allowed most of this magic portion into our atmosphere.

The result will not be a mere change in climate, but a complete imbalance in  nature’s cycle maintaining living conditions. All is not lost, and there is a solution, but it will not be prescriptive. This solution lies in our experiment with the truth, this is our inner journey  for finding peace. This peace will be the inner joy and feeling of bliss by understanding our relationship with mother nature.

    





St Petersburg: a Beginning

8 02 2008

Tea: 

Was great to read Jose’s post – simply beause it’s the first proper comprehensive post in the blog, though of course the content of it is quite unnerving. Still, I could really feel Jose’s concern (to use the usual English understatement and avoid the word ‘passion’) for his country and what is going on there. Such feelings are always the necessary prerequisite for things to change for the better, which is in itself encouraging, so thank you Jose…

My news: I am working in St Petersburg for Nuclear Energy Project Research and Design Institute . The institute has been there in this or that form since 1923; at first they designed other sorts of power stations, of course, nuclear type came in relatively recently, but now it has become their main area of activity. They do absolutely everything, starting from design of stations to solving the technological problems of nuclear waste disposal, working both in Russia and abroad and being one of the three companies in Russia monopolising this industry. The institute is in the very centre of St Petersburg, just a couple of minutes off the famous Nevsky Prospect.

I work as an economist, reporting to the planning and economic service manager. The work is extremely interesting in the following sense. The trick is that the institute belongs to Russian Federation and, as a state institution, has always been directed from above: what to do, how much to spend and what to spend on etc. For example, budgeting has been done as follows: take the amount of money spent last year and multiply with an inflation coefficient. That’s it. Very recently the management has changed. The general director is appointed by the government (the so-called Federal Nuclear Energy Agency, which is something almost like a ministry), and this time a man from Tomsk (a beautiful old Siberian city) was appointed, and he brought his team with him: executive manager, vice-principal in economics and finance, planning and economic service manager, a few economists, specialists in competitive bidding and project management. The Tomsk team is great, and they seem to integrate very well into the whole system, even though there is a lot of professional misunderstanding: people simply are not used to do things the way the new team wants them to be done, which is understandable and is perhaps the matter of time.

I have not been allocated any particular role yet, because the whole thing is still quite turbulent; new people are still arriving, and job specifications have not been clearly developed yet. I hope to learn about the economy of an organisation: accounting, budgeting, controlling financial flows, economic analysis and planning.

At fist, it feels quite shocking, because it’s a very routine and monotonous process, only sometimes enlightening and promising. I’m simply not used to this kind of work, and analysing accounting information is daunting; I sometimes spend hours blinking at the monitor and trying to make head or tails what I see there. I know I have to go through this and learn, and then I can probably shift to some other department: project management for example or something like that, more technical and strategic; but for that I need the knowledge of how the institution works, where the money comes from and where it goes.

 The institute is going to change its form to a joint-stock company, which is a tremendous change for a state-owned institution with almost a century-long history, and it will set a huge amount of very challenging tasks. I hope to see this happen, and take part in it… would be really exciting.

This in my news in brief; I’m planning to write more soon in my personal blog, and will place a link here.

Hope to see your news/thoughts/ideas.