The marigolds often encircle the image of a many-armed or elephant-headed god. Mystified by their nature, I asked a friend what they might be. “Those are shrines,” she explained. “Shrines to Hindu gods, and shrines to the spirits of the trees. India worships nature.”
I was enchanted. Here in India, I told myself, I had found a place in which the people pay homage to what I, too, revere: nature. In the coming years, if there is one matter upon which we must find common ground, it is nature – Earth’s most unique and irreplaceable treasure. Our fate depends on it.
BEYOND SHINY THINGS
If you could travel from Mumbai to Mars, and land on every moon and rocky asteroid in between, I guarantee that you would find your fill of shiny metals. Not once, however, would you encounter a single rhinoceros or monkey. You certainly would not discover a web of life, however tiny, that makes your own life possible and grants the daily opportunity to marvel at the dynamic splendour of a planetary life sphere.
OUR LIFE SPHERE
For that’s what Earth is: a life sphere. The only one of its kind for trillions of miles of space. In the last few decades, people have taken too much from the life sphere. We have harmed it badly. That is why we have a climate crisis and that is why species are dying out at a rate faster than any observed for the last 65 millio