Let us be clear about what we mean by compromising the environment. Government of India has refused to confront head-on the violation of Article 21 on the Protection of life and personal liberty - which states that No person shall be deprived of his life or liberty except according to procedures established by law - which is currently happening day in day out by the primary extractive industries that are licensed by the state to extract oil and coal and gas and uranium out of the soils of this country. There are hundreds of smaller examples of the daily violation of Article 21 by politician as they give licenses to large corporation to pollute the atmosphere and the soils. But these are all dwarfed, and subsumed within, the violation of Article 21 happening by the on-going violation of our right to Protection of life and personal liberty through the release of greenhouse gases into the environment and the consequent tipping of the earth and the people of India into a condition of runaway climate change. Article 14 requires that the State shall not deny to any person equality before the Law or the equal protection of the Laws within the territory of India. Combined with Article 21 it means that the laws must protect each and every citizen from climate change. Many outside commentators have noted that India was the first country in the world to enshrine environmental protection as a state goal in its Constitution. Our challenge is that the law is not being upheld by the law-makers themselves. Most of the environmental cases have come before the court through public interest litigations either under Article 32 or under 226 of the Constitution of India. The Supreme Court has held that there is a doctrine of public trust based on legal theory form the Roman Empire. Common properties such as rivers, seashores, forests and the air (why not land itself?) are held by the Government in trusteeship for the free and unimpeded use of the general public. This not essentially about privatisation and commercial use. it is about the kind of use to which humans should put their labour and the energy provided by technological means to regulate their metabolism with nature.
In short unless the State adopts Greenhouse Gas Emission reduction targets and makes our energy planning consistent with a reduction to net zero greenhouse gas emissions at the latest by 2020 - showing therefore that they have taken note of the violation of Article 21 going on but claiming some time to sort out the problem - the State is in violation of Article 21 of the constitution which guarantees the Protection of life and personal liberty and states that No person shall be deprived of his life or liberty except according to procedures established by law. We must have procedures of law to regulate the enormous threat to our very survival caused by fossil fuels. We must remember it is for this reason that the Environment Minister must periodically claim that he is a climate change sceptic. If he does not he is acting illegally in not protecting the citizens. But given that the Prime Minster's office has published a Climate Mission statement it can be assumed that the UPA government does accept the scientific and factual evidence of rapid and accelerating climatic changes happening as we speak due to the use of fossil fuels. It is now the people alone who must now make the Constitution work. The causes and conditions of good government depend on the qualities of the human beings composing the society over which the government is exercised. Of what use is the most broadly popular representative system if the electors do not care to choose the best member of Parliament, but choose him who will spend most money to be elected? If individuals truely understood their own self-interest today we will immediately demand that our own and the general interest must be met by requiring the state to exercise the precautionary principle in relation to fossil fuels and nuclear power, by eliminating the use of both these forms of energy.
Reducing fossil fuel use to a level of net zero greenhouse gas emissions and exercising the precautionary principle in relation to nuclear power, and thus switching India immediately to the renewable energy path will release the untold and untapped manual energies of the starving people of India and set us on a path towards equality and justice. Investment in organic agriculture for food security, small size industry for textiles for clothing, construction materials industries using recycled, renewable and recyclable materials, reliable and affordable health and the sector of freedom and knowledge, these five sectors require enormous investment, and human labour can be made less laborious by the judicious application of renewable energy to support it. Fossil fuels and nuclear do not have a part in this plan for protection of life and personal liberty which will otherwise be irretrievably lost as the planet is wiped out and India and we along with it. Everything follows from this overwhelming scientific truth. http://thegreenpartyofindia.org.in/foru ... e-citizens