India should check consumption to save ecology: US expert


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Kolkata : The rapid pace of industrialisation in India could subsequently create ecological imbalances unless use of green energy and a check in consumption are emphasised upon, a US-based environmental historian said here.

"To maintain industrial sustainability in a developing state like West Bengal, the only way is to switch over to alternative energy resources. We can only maintain this factor by consuming less volume of resources available around us," environmental historian Daniel Klingensmith told IANS after a lecture at the American Center here late Friday.

The session was arranged by the United States Educational Foundation in India (USEFI), Kolkata.

Explaining how natural resources were used disproportionately during the early 1900s, the professor said many natural reserves were destroyed in the US due to industries and urban set-ups developed that time.

"Though I don't know much about a state like West Bengal but it is clear that we cannot turn our back to industries. We can always prevent the ecological menace by less consumption and collaborative efforts involving local people and outside agencies into the developmental process," Klingensmith said.

Talking on "Global Environmental Crisis, Now and Then: Lessons from the 1930s for the 21st century", he said the quest for prosperity and national security caused major environmental damages like global warming, rapid deforestation and the loss of many rare species in the contemporary world.

Klingensmith is an associate professor of history at Maryville College, US, and a recipient of the prestigious Fulbright Scholar award.

He is here as the Fulbright visiting scholar at the University of Calcutta for his independent research on 'Nature, Empire and Nation: Environmentalist Discourse in India, 1900-1947'.

The Fulbright Fellowship is the United States' flagship international educational programme, which has been designed to increase mutual understanding between the people of the US and other countries.