30 Jun 2009

Debal Deb, Nick Stern, Tahmima Anam and Ramachandra Guha debate ecology this monday

It's time we reconsidered the existing paradigm of development. The world has been talking about sustainable development. But as one of India's leading ecologists, Debal Deb, says: "It is common understanding among natural scientists that if development means unlimited growth in production and consumption of materials, sustainable development is an oxymoron. That's because unending growth of anything in the universe is impossible - except perhaps the universe itself."

British Museum Debate:
Whose landscape is it anyway?

6 July 2009, 6.30pm
British Museum, Great Russell St, London WC1B 3DG

BBC environment correspondent Sarah Mukherjee chairs a debate about the economic, scientific and cultural tensions that arise when humans assert their ability to dominate the landscape, with a particular focus on India. Panel includes Nicholas Stern, author of the Stern Review, Tahmima Anam, writer and journalist, Ramachandra Guha, writer and historian, and Debal Deb, environmental scientist and author.

Supported by the World Collections Programme.

More details here

I am looking forward to meeting Debal on monday for a chat, he is one of the really inspiring ecosocialist activists on the planet, last summer I met Roberto Perez and Hugo Blanco will be in Britain next year.

Viva ecosocialism.

'Debal is confident he has collected every folk variety of rice that still grows anywhere in West Bengal, and several varieties from other locations around India as well. Every year, Debal and his team of farmer/researchers (none of whom have a degree in science or have even been to college) plant out all 542 varieties in 2 meter by 2 meter plots on 1.5 acres of paddy land. As the plants develop, they painstakingly record 35 different phenotypic or morphological characteristics for each variety.'

More on Debal here.

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