Talk on Sustainable Development

April 9, 2010
School of Engineering, Amritapuri

Once upon a time there was an argument between God and a scientist. The scientist claimed that he could create the things that God had made. God took some sand and clay and made a human being. The scientist picked up the sand and clay to attempt to do the same.

“Drop the sand and clay,” God told him. “This was not made by you.”

Dr. Murali Vallabhan

This thought-provoking story was narrated by Dr. Murali Vallabhan, Reader, Department of Economics, SVRNSS College, Vazhoor, who was invited for a talk on Sustainable Development to engineering students and faculty at the Amritapuri campus.

“There were many things already in this world, but we pretend that everything was made by us,” Dr. Murali underlined. “Modern science and technology has led to many of the problems we face today.”

“We can live without food for at least a month, we can survive without water for nearly five days, but without air, we cannot survive even for five minutes. The quality of air has seriously deteriorated, carbon-dioxide levels have increased by 30% compared to the pre-industrialization period.”

“A forest comes into being perhaps over thousands of years. But destroying a forest takes only a few days. Even if we replant the trees to remake a forest, we cannot immediately and easily replace the several kinds of plants, trees, micro and macro organisms. Our stock of natural resources and minerals is very limited now.”

Dr. Murali Vallabhan with participants

Dr. Murali stressed that one should have the feeling from the bottom of their hearts that they should save the earth. “And we should think from the top of our head about how to save the earth,” he added.

“Convergence of thinking and feeling comes from spirituality,” he stated. “Real spirituality teaches us that the whole world is one. We are one in front of nature.”

This was Dr. Murali’s third time speaking to the students and faculty on campus. “I am very happy that Amrita University is conducting such awareness programs. In the coming days, social sciences, physical sciences and spiritual sciences will converge together for environmental protection.”

Dr. Murali’s seminar on “Convergence of Physical and Social Sciences for Sustainable Development” was conducted by the student forum for sustainable development. The forum aims to create awareness among the students, faculty members, and researchers on the emerging concepts of sustainable development and the new trend of interdisciplinary projects.

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