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US columnist highlights environmental concerns

Posted on Feb 02, 10:41AM | IBNS

New Delhi, Feb 1 (IBNS): United States journalist and author Thomas L Friedman's views on the delicate balance between environmental concerns and economic planning Friday generated significant buzz at the 13th Delhi Sustainable Development Summit (DSDS).

Addressing a special session chaired by former UN Under-Secretary General and Distinguished Fellow at The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI) Nitin Desai, Friedman offered thoughtful insight into the social, economic and political dimensions of the global environmental discourse.

Commenting on the ongoing change in the international energy scenario and its possible impact on developing nations, Friedman stressed that the world was shaped by two forces, namely "markets" and "Mother Nature."

The "The World is Flat" the author went on to say that the key accounting principles being applied in the context of economics and nature were essentially "under pricing the risk, privatising the gains, and socialising the losses".

Highlighting the significant transition in modern values, Friedman asserted, "We need our kids to be the 'Re-Generation.' They need to bring sustainability values back to the market and mother-nature."

"We need sustainable values not the situational values that are the current trend," he added.

Talking about his latest book on globalization, 'That used to be us', he pointed out that the world--in the arena of social connectivity-- has transformed from being a connected world to being a hyper-connected world and from being an interconnected to an interdependent world.

Further, he referred to this phase as the one where "friends can kill you much faster than your enemies" and where "rivals fallings are considered much more dangerous than rivals rising."

He also pointed out that today's political and diplomatic problems cannot be solved independently, but by aligning with other countries.

In the Indian context, Friedman maintained that a key derivative of the hyper-connectedness is seen from the rising virtual middle class.

The Delhi Sustainable Development Summit 2013 was inaugurated on Jan 31 by Indian Prime Minister, Dr. Manmohan Singh.

Pushing for sustainable growth, DSDS 2013 aims to not only build a global consensus to protect natural resources, but also to explore innovative solutions to boost efficient practices and minimise energy and resource footprint.