Renewable Energy Revolution

[Published in May-June 2013 issue of Face to Face]

Mainstreaming renewable energy is most reasonable way to tackle the growing energy crisis in Nepal.

We have long boasted about Nepal’s high potential for energy resources, which are mostly renewable. Yet only 40% of the population has access to electricity. Those who have access to electricity at times have to endure 16-hours daily power cuts.

The energy crisis is the largest obstacle for country’s economic development. Despite a sluggish improvement in the efforts to alter the state of affairs, there is a long road ahead for energy-secure Nepal. Can anything be done to speed up the transition? Certainly. But a long term vision is required for the sustainable development of renewable energy in Nepal.

The Hydropower Dilemma
We take pride to the fact that Nepal has hydropower generation potential amounting to 83,000 megawatts, with technical and economic potential amounting to 42,000 megawatts. After a century of hydropower development, the hydropower generation is a mere 700 megawatts (data for Fiscal year 2010/11). The plans to generate 10,000 MW hydropower in the next 10 years and 25,000 MW hydropower in the next 20 years are gathering dust in the selves due to bad investment environment. The idea of selling electricity to India is a popular political sloganeering only. We are in fact buying about 17% of total electricity supply from India.

Although, hydropower is a cheap form of energy, this sector faces a number of problems, such as the geo-politics of upstream-downstream water sharing.

It is high time that we revise the 50-year-old 83,000 megawatts hydropower potential because of deforestation, soil erosion, environmental degradation and climate change that have changed both our topography and hydrology. The high dam reservoir based plants are not appropriate because of difficulty in relocating increasing populations and from the environmental perspective. We already know the problem with run-off the river system, i.e. wet season-dry season variation in energy production. As an impact of climate change, there is a change in the river flow, thus making hydropower generation more difficult.

Hydropower is without the principal source of energy in Nepal; however, hydropower centric energy policies alone cannot solve the energy crisis. The present requirement is for the diversification in the energy mix or the other forms of renewable energy.

Burden on Biomass
Fuel wood supplies about 77% of the total energy demand in the country (data for 2008/9). Other sources of biomasses are agricultural residues and animal dung which contribute about 4% and 6% respectively. Of the total residential sector energy consumption, fuel wood comprises about 86.5%. According to the more recent data, 64% of households use fuel wood for cooking.

Deforestation has long remained a major challenge for Nepal. We can predict the dire state of forest sector by looking at the current trend of fuel wood consumption. Considering the problems of indoor air pollution and black carbon, there has to be a rapid shift in this fueltype consumption.

An unfair affair with Fossil fuel
The escalating consumption of diesel and petrol in transport sector coupled with ever rising prices has jeopardized the national economy. The share of petroleum is 8.2% of the total energy consumption. This figure does not include the dangerous trend of installing diesel generators for electricity production by urban residents, industries and businesses in recent years. Despite the high cost to the tune of 35 to 42 rupees per unit, there are estimates of about 500 to 700 megawatts of electricity being produced from privately owned diesel generators (Whilst there has been no official study yet, Clean Energy Nepal, a non government organization with support from Clean Air Asia is taking stock of diesel generators that are in use and electricity production through them in Kathmandu valley).

Kerosene is still used by more than 50% of rural people for lighting their homes.

Nepal cannot afford an affair with fossil fuel both from the economic and environmental considerations, especially considering the fact that Nepal is a leader of LDCs in international climate negotiations where alternative to fossil fuel based economy are being searched.

Renewable in the Sidelines
According to Solar and Wind Energy Resource Assessment (SWERA) project, 3000 MW of electricity can be generated from wind energy if we only consider 10% of area with more than 300 W/m2 wind power density (WPD) in Nepal. Similarly, Nepal receives 3.6 to 6.2 kWh of solar radiation per square meter per day, with roughly 300 days of sun a year, making it ideal for solar energy.  If we use just 0.01% of the total area of Nepal, we can very generate solar electricity at 8GWh/day; that is 2920 GWh/year.

Despite the huge potential, only fraction of energy has been harnessed from renewable energy technologies such as micro-hydro, solar power, wind energy. At present, around 23 MW of electricity is generated from micro hydro schemes, 12 MW from solar PV system and less than 12 KW from wind energy.

The reason for such a slow progress in renewable energy is mainly due to high energy production cost from solar and wind energy technology. Due to the political reasons, the Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA) has not adjusted its electricity tariff for a long time. Nepal is spending billions of rupees every year to import hydro-electricity, invertors and batteries. The good news is that renewable energy generation through solar and wind technologies have become efficient and cheaper globally.

The table below summarizes the dismal picture:

The table summarizes the dismal picture

Time for mainstreaming the alternatives
In Nepal, the micro-hydro, solar, wind and other biomass based technologies are often attributed as alternative energy. These alternative sources can be mainstream sources if only the right policies are made and implemented. There are a couple of policies related to renewable energy, including recently updated subsidy policy, but the main focus to date is only on rural electrification. While it is important to prioritize rural electrification using RE sources, it is equally important to prescribe technology type that is favorable to a particular area through research rather than making flat assumptions.

The tunnel vision of the policy makers is exemplified by not including Solar Photovoltaic technology installed in Urban areas in the subsidy policy endorsed in March this year and the effort of AEPC to revise it to incorporate waste to energy technology within months of endorsement. A policy should be a guiding document that can be used for decades not that it is altered every now and then.

The government is in the process of finalizing 20 years renewable energy perspective plan. The experts following the drafting process criticize it for not focusing on promoting renewable energy mainstreaming in urban area particularly that of Solar through community grids or Feed-in tariff (FIT) system. FIT is a system which enables communities and local private enterprise to participate in renewable energy production and the utility company (NEA in our case) pays to the producer.

Any policy that aims to mainstream renewable energy in Nepal requires a dual approach: independent off-grid system in rural area devoid of grid connection and grid interactive systems or reverse metering system for urban areas. The benefits of such systems are twofold; provide sustainable energy to the communities and bring economic gain due to reduction in transmission loss and distribution costs.

This is the right time for renewable energy revolution. But are we ready?

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Passing the buck

A number of western news wires and climate pundits seem to be euphoric over the ‘declaration’ of some of the poorest countries to cut emissions of Green House Gases to tackle runaway climate change. We will soon know whether the group of least developed countries (LDCs) actually made the commitment, and if it is worth such a wide coverage, but let us first examine whether such a move from the LDCs will have any significance.

Scientific evidences suggest that the world is on the path to becoming 4 °C warmer within this century. It has already been verified that warming above 1.5 °C will cause serious threats to the development and even survival of communities in the most underprivileged parts of the world. A recent report by World Bank said, “A world in which warming reaches 4°C above preindustrial levels would be one of unprecedented heat waves, severe drought, and major floods in many regions, with serious impacts on human systems, ecosystems, and associated services.” But developed countries, which are primarily responsible for, and have the ability to avert, this catastrophe, remain nonchalant.

Twenty plus years have passed since negotiations started among the countries under United Nations to find ways to keep the temperatures rise under safe limits so as to stabilize the climate. In recent years, with countries like China, Brazil, South Africa and India catching up with the United States and European countries not only in economic development but also in Green House Gas emission, a debate over who should take the lead in reducing emissions has been started. The negotiating parties are at loggerheads, with developed countries unwilling to take actions without emerging economies agreeing to binding emission cuts, while emerging economies cite the historical responsibility of developed countries. Forced to remain in the sidelines, LDCs and small island developing states (SIDS) urged developing nations to take note of the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities (CBDR-RC) acknowledged in the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).

The 49 LDCs representing 12 percent of the world’s population are responsible for only four percent of global emissions, but are the most vulnerable to the impacts of climate change. While it is obvious that the LDCs cannot adopt the same economic model of development followed by the rich countries in their course of development, it is a fundamental right of LDCs to strive for a decent and ecologically sustainable livelihood for their communities. LDCs by default are in a position to demand climate justice from developed countries for their survival and get support to pursue a low carbon development model. It would not make any difference even if the LDCs cut their emissions to zero, unless big emitters curb them to under 45 percent below 1990 levels by 2020 as demanded by LDCs.

The news of LDC group’s commitment to cut emission, which is going viral online with even UNFCCC chief Christina Figueres having joined the bandwagon by tweeting the news article, came a week after the conclusion of LDC strategy meeting held in Kathmandu from 22 to 23 March 2013. In the opening statement, Prakash Mathema, the new chair of the LDC group in UNFCCC and joint secretary of the Ministry of Science, Technology and Environment of Nepal, said, “We are the most vulnerable countries and we are tired of following others, tired of waiting for others to shape the agendas and decisions for us. From now on, our aim is to take the lead and invite others to follow us.” This was said with the aim of making LDCs the dealmakers for a new agreement to be decided at the 21st conference of parties to UNFCCC in 2015 in Paris, France. The ‘follow us’ mantra forwarded by Mathema has been perceived as LDC’s willingness to agree to legally binding emission cut, which is not the agreed position of LDCs. Our conversation with the core members of the LDC group revealed that there is no agreement to commit to emission cut.

Then the question arises, why did such news come out in the international media? To understand the reason, we have to delve into the politics of climate change negotiation. While developed and fast developing countries are at loggerheads with each other as to who should cut the emissions first, LDCs have been pushing for the application of CBDR-RC principle or the principle of equity as the guiding element of emission cuts. As countries like the US are known to be unwilling to cut their emission unless China and other emerging countries come on board, the fast developing countries’ reluctance to agree to make binding emission cut is seen by many observers within the developing world as the stumbling block in the negotiations. In some instances the LDCs have found the European Union to be more concerned about their plights, and it was the understanding between the LDCs, SIDS and EU that helped broker an agreement in Durban, South Africa in 2011 to negotiate for the 2015 deal.

Within UNFCCC, different groups frequently try to align with or use LDCs to amplify their voices. The recent development could be part of one such game plan to makes one’s agenda known from the mouth of others. Nonetheless, this can be a lesson for Nepal, the chair of the LDC group in UNFCCC for the year 2013-2014, which can now become a strategic player in the politics of climate change.

(This article was co-authored with Manjeet Dhakal and  published in Republica daily on 9 April 2013.)

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Bailing out the Planet

Increased frequency and intensity of extreme weather events such as floods and droughts resulting from human induced climate change continue to haunt the planet. More specifically, communities in least privileged part of the world are finding it difficult to earn the livelihoods because of increasing disasters.  Economists have proposed a number of approaches to generate the finance required to mitigate global climate change (curb the emission of green house gases-GHGs that cause the climate change) and help the poor countries adapt to the impacts. Implementation of the proposed approaches hinges in the political commitment of developed and fast developing countries, however the policy makers engaged in finding the solution to combat global climate catastrophe are yet to reach to consensus on mobilizing innovative sources of finance to that effect.

Into the unknown territory

In Copenhagen climate talks 2009, the developed countries assured to provide scaled-up, new and additional, predictable and adequate funding, as well as improved access to developing countries.  They committed themselves to a goal of jointly mobilizing $ 100 billion per year by 2020 to support developing countries for investing in clean energy technologies and for adapting to the adverse impacts of climate change. They also pledge to fast start $30 billion in the period between 2010 and 2012 and increase the amount every year to reach the long term finance (LTF) goal of $100 billion per year after 2020. But the development since Copenhagen is bleak as the climate talks are at stalemate, developing countries are not getting the necessary support and the cost of inaction is escalating. What does it mean to the future of humanity?

The scientists engaged in climate change research, predict that the planet is heading to more than 4 degree Celsius of global temperature rise by the end of the century under the business as usual scenario. This will result in unimaginable consequences to the livelihoods of the communities, displacement and loss of lives because of disasters, deterioration of human health and the collapse of the ecosystem of the planet as a whole.

The climate finance requirement of developing countries

Avoiding dangerous climate change requires monetary investment apart from informed decision making and planning. Developing countries require climate finance to strengthen climate resilience, curb green house gas emission and accomplish sustainable development objectives. A number of studies have been conducted to assess the climate finance needs of developing countries. A report by International Energy Agency estimates that US$750 billion is required until 2030 and twice as much until 2050. Another assessment by an expert group on technology under United Nations Framework Convention on climate change estimated that US$ 300 to 1000 billion per year is needed in total (mitigation and adaptation) of which 182 to 505 billion is required for developing countries. Moreover, the same study estimated adaptation needs of the developing countries amount to US$ 27 to 66 billion a year where as a World Bank study estimates the adaptation requirement of developing countries to be US$75 to 100 billion.

Proposed sources of Climate Finance

A wide variety of sources, public and private, bilateral and multilateral, including alternative sources, the scaling up of existing sources and increased private flows have been identified and proposed for LTF. Financial Transaction Taxes (FTT) also referred as Robin Hood taxes- in which a levy placed on a specific type of monetary transaction for example securities transactions, bank transactions and currency exchange transactions) for a particular purpose- is being considered as a new and additional source. According to a report published by high-level advisory group on climate financing, set up by UN secretary general Ban Ki-moon, tax rate of between 0.001 per cent to 0.01 per cent in such transactions translates into revenues of between US $ 7 billion to US$ 60 billion. The report also estimates that removal of GHG emitting fossil fuel (petroleum products) subsidies and redirection of fossil royalties can generate about US$3-8 billion and US$10 billion by 2020. Furthermore, direct budget contributions between 0.5 per cent and 1 per cent of the gross domestic product (GDP) of the developed countries to long term climate financing could correspond to between US$200 billion and US$400 billion.

Well known American economist Jeffrey Sachs has calculated that US$ 4/tonne global carbon tax if applied would raise US$250 billion. His further proposal that tax rate of $4 per ton for high-income countries, $2 per ton of upper-middle income, $1 per ton for lower-middle income, and $0 for low-income would achieve the global objective of US$ 100 billion.

Some other significant sources include taxes on international transport (aviation and maritime), multilateral and bilateral development bank contribution and Assigned Amount Units emission trading schemes (AAU/Ets) introduced under Kyoto Protocol-in which countries whose emissions are above their Kyoto target can purchase AAUs from countries which have a surplus to help them meet their reduction obligations.

So, why is there a stalemate?

Above mentioned figures clearly show that there are enough sources to meet the global financial requirement to support the most vulnerable communities and avoid dangerous climate change. So, a ‘million dollar’ question arises; why are the negotiators unable to strike the deal?

A number of explanations can be presented but all of them lead to a single conclusion; the dominant world economic order which puts profit over planet.  The rich and powerful are so much busy to accumulate the wealth by exploiting the natural resources and the poor people at the same time. The policy makers are fenced in the interest of those forces which comprise oil lobbies and the owners of industries based on fossil fuel. To mask that underlying fact, the developed countries and the fast developing countries are engaged in the blame game and at loggerheads on who to take actions.

There is no option but the developed countries taking the lead with emerging economies following the suit to stop the climate crisis. To sum up in the words of Jeffery Sachs, in the world with GDP of about US$70 trillion per year and the climate finance requirement of just about 1/7 of 1% of that amount, the costs to undertake mitigation and adaptation are far lower than the cost of Business-as-Usual.

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An alternative perspective on climate finance in Nepal

Human induced climate change has threatened the already inadequate livelihoods of millions of poor people in countries like Nepal by intensifying the deterioration of agricultural productivity, human health and displacement from the disasters. With the industrialized countries, primarily responsible for climate change, reluctant to take effective actions to curb the climate crisis and provide sufficient finance to the most vulnerable countries –as evidenced by the stalemate in global climate negotiations- the situation is only going to get worse. But, the affected communities can’t afford the cost of inaction or under action by the concerned authorities in combating the crisis.

Existing programmes and policies
Nepal ranked as one of the most vulnerable countries due to climate change has come up with some policies and programs to tackle climate change impacts. In September, 2010 the Government of Nepal with the initiation of the then Ministry of Environment (currently, Ministry of Environment, Science and Technology- MoEST) formulated National Adaptation Plan of Action (NAPA) to ‘address urgent and immediate needs and concerns related to adaptation to the adverse effects of climate change.’ Similarly, the government approved Climate Change Policy in January, 2011 with a goal to improve the livelihood of people by mitigating and adapting climate change impacts and adopting a low carbon development path (the development model that is climate friendly).

However, the implementation status of NAPA and the Climate Change Policy-2011 till date is very dismal. Of the nine combined profile projects selected by NAPA which require US $350 million, only 3 are in the process of implementation with some funding received from international agencies including Least Developed Countries Fund (LDCF) under United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). Out of five time bound and two open ended targets set by climate change policy-2011, most of them are yet to be started.

Climate Change is not a standalone issue of MoEST
MoEST has to be applauded for the efforts it has undertaken to mainstream climate change as a national priority agenda. The ministry has also taken instrumental efforts to raise the national climate issues in international climate negotiations, such efforts need to be scaled up.

In the national level, the NAPA document and the policy envisage participation of other ministries like Ministry of Forest and Soil conservation, Ministry of Local development, among others in the implementation of climate change programs. There is no clarity on how other ministries will be brought under a single framework and Climate change is most often perceived as a standalone issue of MoEST. Climate change adaptation should be the priority of the government, as a whole. Implementation of NAPA and climate change policy is the responsibility of government. A plan of operation for integrating climate change adaptation in the programs of all the ministries is necessary. Office of the Prime minister as the chair of the Climate change Council has to take a leading role in mainstreaming climate change adaptation in development programming. All the relevant government agencies form central to local level should be mobilized and civil society organizations have to be engaged in formulating and implementing the programs.

Limited resources or inability to access the appropriate funding sources?
Limited resources or lack of funding is cited as the reason behind the obstacle for the implementation of NAPA and the climate change Policy. Some government officials designated to look after climate issues even argue that a gradual progress is being made or the implementation takes time. They even boast that Nepal is getting more finance than any other LDC. But, lack of funding or slow progress or getting a larger chunk than others cannot be an excuse, at a time when urgent and immediate actions are required to address the adaptation needs of the vulnerable communities.

It is a staggering reality that there is not enough financing channeled by the developed countries as per their commitment to support climate change adaptation in developing countries. The climate finance instruments established under the UNFCCC regime are almost empty with only pledges amounting to billions of dollars. The breach of the commitment by the developed countries should be condemned. However, there is one more plot to this story. The government of Nepal has not been able to access even the available resources. The country has been able to receive only about 10 million US dollars, far less amount from LDCF than 15 million US dollars currently rationed to each LDCs. While many countries have been benefited by accessing fund from Adaptation Fund (AF), another funding instrument under UNFCCC, Nepal has not been able to access funding from it. The reason being, delay in accreditation of national implementing entity (NIE). The stance taken by the environment ministry to register itself as the NIE is said to be the cause of delay. While it is not wrong in entirety for MoEST to propose itself as NIE but it would be wise to seek the alternative to bring the money to the country in timely manner. For this, MoEST can propose national agencies like Alternative Energy Promotion Center (AEPC) as the NIE.

Furthermore, the developed countries are more willing to channel money via multilateral agencies like the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank with a hidden motive to make profit out of climate crisis. For this, the developed countries have formed Climate Investment Fund (CIF). According to CIF procedure, receiving countries have to accept loan in addition to grants. This is in contrast to the climate justice principle, the developing countries having to pay for the damages caused by the developed countries. Despite the resistance from civil society organizations, Nepal government was persuaded by the banks to accept US $50 million in grant and US $36 million in loan from this fund under Pilot project on climate resilience (PPCR). The project activities under PPCR are additional not complimentary to the NAPA combined profile projects. The PPCR consultation process is almost closed for civil society participation and is limited to discussion within consultants. Looking at the present progress of the project, it is unlikely that the provision of channeling 80% of the money to local level as envisioned in Climate Change Policy will be met. This case has proved that the government is not serious to implement national agenda and would rather go after the projects that the donor agencies put forward.

Many donor agencies are implementing programs in the name of climate change in collaboration with NGOs without the notice of the government. Donors have been providing support to organizations arbitrarily and later claiming it as Fast-start finance, a mechanism setup in Copenhagen climate talks in 2009. This has created confusion and made difficult to track the number of climate related programs and their scale of implementation in Nepal. This malpractice needs to be checked.

Regulate foreign aid and mobilize national resources
As the communities continue to be acutely affected by the climate impacts and are in urgent need for immediate support, the existing practice of implementing climate change adaptation programs only after receiving foreign aid is absurd. While there is no question about enhanced effort to access and lobby for increased international funding without strings attached, the government must give thrust to self financing or the mobilization of national resources. It must also ask the donors to clarify whether current funding is part of the existing official development assistance or additional climate finance.

For effective mobilization of foreign aid and national resources, establishment of climate change fund management institution is essential. Such institution can be Climate Change Trust Fund (CCTF), which was envisioned in climate change policy, 2011. Government’s self contribution to the CCTF in addition to calling for private sector contribution has potential to raise significant amount for the fund. Besides that, there is a necessity to introduce separate heading in the national budget for climate change adaptation. Prioritizing the projects that can be implemented using national revenue and minimizing implementation cost by mobilizing local government agencies can serve to be few good examples. The donor organizations working in Nepal must also be asked to channel all the climate change support through a single window policy in compliance with the ‘donor compact’ they signed with the ministry of environment in 2009.

Efficient fund disbursement mechanism by setting up of grass roots level implementing agencies and institutional arrangement should also be guaranteed. Representation of civil society organizations and members of affected communities in decision making process is crucial. Lastly, but most importantly, making sure that the flow of funds available reach the communities most at need must be the ultimate focus.

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Turning a blind eye to renewables won’t solve energy crisis

Predictions are rife that we are facing up to 20 hours of load-shedding or may be even more a day this winter. There is a solid background to prove them right. In the mean time Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai and officials in the Ministry of Energy have come up with a plan to limit the load-shedding to 12 hours a day (?).

The plan as broadly as follows as reported in some newspapers:
• Operating multi-fuel plants in Duhabi and Heatuda with subsidized fossil fuel. (40 MW)
• Fast-tracking a 15-km transmission line from Kusaha to Kataiya to import electricity from India (35 MW)
• Construction of Khimti-Dhalkebar transmission line to reduce electricity leakage by about 10 MW
• Buying more electricity from India during winter (totaling about 200 MW)
• Controlling leakages

The plan in itself is not workable as it is almost entirely dependent in the kindness of India (not to talk about India having its own problem with the collapse of its northern grid few weeks ago and ever increasing demand). However, more depressing is the fact that there is not even a mention of considering renewable energy as an alternative in the plan. Is it because renewable energy is not the possible substitute in the face of looming crisis or does it have to do with the myopic vision of the top echelon of the government including BRB?

The dream of averting power crisis by importing electricity from India and running multi-fuel plants (again by using diesel imported from India at a time when NOC cannot supply enough fuel for running vehicles) is as absurd as the idea of selling hydro-electricity to India to boost national economy without having to fulfill the national demand.

In this context, practical solution would be to fast-track solar electricity generation in household, community and institutional level with the immediate effect. (And gradually looking at the other renewable energy options including wind, microhydro and picohydro , biomass gasification, etc and, of course, we can never forget large hydro in the long run). However, to materialize the generation of solar electricity in a massive scale within a short period of time requires a paradigm shift in the existent energy policy. A jump start to that direction would be to immediately introduce ‘Feed-in-Tariff’ (FiT) system in which the communities and households or the private producers not only buy electricity from the utility (NEA in our case) but also can sell their excess energy. This will lower the overall cost associated with solar energy production and boost the confidence of communities and the investors. Provision for mandatory solar PV systems in all government buildings can also be another potential initiative.

But, with the current mindset of the decision makers who suggest us to “Close curtains for insulation instead of using heaters and make maximum use of the sun during daytime for light”, days may not be far when they will suggest us to spin the hand-held fans to avoid heat and make maximum use of moon light in the nights.

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Chisapani Hike: a cool escape from the humdrums of Kathmandu

Every time a thought of a hike or a trek comes into my mind, I get excited. Although, such trips end up with the aching body and burning legs, the memories and experiences acquired then after are rewards for life time to cherish. A trek to Everest Base Camp back in December-2009, hikes in different hilltops around Kathmandu valley and some parts of Nepal at different times have only increased my appetite for travelling on foot.

The plan of hiking to Chisapani was long due as I had been considering it since a long time. The plan materialized this time as a part of Nepali New Year celebration along with my colleagues at Clean Energy Nepal. On 2 Baisakh, 2069 (13 April, 2012) the ‘team CEN‘ (Amita, Andrea, Anjila didi, Deependra dai, Dipesh, Manjit, Pabitra, Prashanta, Suman and myself, the ten of us) embarked on a two day expedition(!). The one hour bus drive from Purano Bus Park in Kathmandu to Sundarijal felt like a never ending ride, especially because the bus moved in a snail’s pace and we were mulling over to start the official hike right away Continue reading

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जातीयताले देशलाई कता लांदै छ ?

   विगत केही समय यता देशमा हत्या र आत्महत्याका घटनाहरुमा वृद्धि भएका खवरहरु सञ्चार माध्यमबाट प्रकाशित भइरहेका छन् । हत्या र आत्महत्याका घटनाहरु घट्नुमा आर्थिक कठिनाइ, व्यक्तिगत रीसइवी, प्रेम सम्बन्धको अन्त्य, परिक्षामा असफल हुनु, सानो कुरामा हरेश खाने, छिटो आवेशमा आउने लगाएतका कारणहरु रहेका छन् । हत्या वा आत्महत्याका घटना बढ्नु समाजका लागी निकै दुखद र गम्भिर कुरा हो । यस्ता प्रवृतिहरुलाई रोक्न समाजका सबै तप्काका सरोकारवालाहरु गम्भीर भएर लाग्नु तात्कालिक आवश्यकता हो ।
तर यसै सन्दर्भमा केही समाचार माध्यमहरुबाट Continue reading

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तै पनि

खबर छ,
बाढी, पहिरो, महामारी,
शुख्खा, खडेरी, भू क्षय, डढेलो
सबै बढिरहेछन् ।

दाताहरु आतुर छन्
सहयोग गर्न को भन्दा को कम
ज्ञाताहरु व्यस्त छन्
कार्यपत्र, केस स्टडी र अनुसन्धानमा ।

अनि रफ्तारमा बढिरहेछन्,
सभा, सम्मेलन,
गोष्ठी, छलफल,
कार्ययोजना र विदेश भ्रमण,
परामर्शदाताले सल्लाह दिएकैछ,
नयां नयां परियोजना चलाइरहेछ
तालिम, राहत वितरण, कोष निर्माण
कति गरियो रिर्पोट पेश गरिरहेछ
कार्यक्रम संयोजक ।

तै पनि,
भोकै छ हिरालालको पेट,
उजाड छ धनबहादुरको घरको छानो,
बाँझै छ मंगलमानको बारी,
बालुवाले पुरेकैछ विश्वनाथको खेत
मलेरियाले थला परेकै छे नथुनियाकी छोरी,
अनि हावा फालिरहेछ चमेलीले पानी भर्ने धारो ।।
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वतावरणीय समस्या र सामाजिक व्यवस्था बीचको अन्तरसम्बन्ध

इतिहासको अध्ययन गर्दा हामीले सभ्यताको शुरुवात बाट नै मानव सृजित वातावरणीय समस्या भएका अनेकौं उदाहरण थाहा पाउन सक्दछौं । मानिसले आदिमकाल देखि प्रकृतिलाई आफु अनुकूल बनाउन निकै प्रयत्न गर्दै आइरहेको छ । यति हुंदाहुदै पनि हजारौं वर्षसम्म प्रकृतिको आत्म सन्तुलन क्षमतामा परिवर्तन भएको थिएन तर वर्तमानमा आएर समाज र प्रकृति बीचको अन्तरक्रिया यति घनिभुत भएको छ , जसको कारण सम्पुर्ण मानवतालाई नै असर गर्ने वातावरणीय समस्याको उदय भएको छ । वातावरणीय समस्या औद्यगिकरण र शहरीकरण, उर्जाका परम्परागत स्रोतको ह्रास, प्राकृतिक पारिस्थितिक प्रणालीमा असन्तुलन, आर्थिक उद्देश्यले गरिने विभिन्न जीव र प्रजातिको ध्वँस र औद्योगिक र अन्य प्रदुषणले गर्ने आनुवंशिक क्षयीकरण लगाएतका कारणले गर्दा भइरहेको छ । वैज्ञानिक र प्राविधिक उन्नतीले गर्दा मानिसलाई प्रकृतिमाथि अभूतपूर्व शक्ति प्राप्त भएको छ । हामीसंग शब्दत पहाड सार्न सक्ने, नदीको बहाव परिवर्तन गर्न सक्ने, मरुभूमिलाई हरित फाँट बनाउने या प्राकृतिक विश्वलाई समुल परिवर्तन गर्न सक्ने क्षमता उपलब्ध छ । तर व्यवहारबाट यो प्रष्ट भएको छ कि हामीले यो शक्तिलाई आसन्न सम्भावित असरहरुबारे विचार नगरी दुरुपयोग गर्न सक्दैनौं । साथै यो पनि प्रष्ट भएको छ कि मानिसले गर्नेे योजनाकृत भौतिक वस्तुको उत्पादनले, जीवमण्डललाई असर पुग्ने अनपेक्षित परिघटना पनि निम्त्याइरहेको छ ।
वैज्ञानिक अध्ययनहरुका अनुसार विगत दुई हजार वर्षमा लोप भएका प्रजातिमध्ये आधा प्रजाति सन् १९०० पछि लोप भएका छन् । औद्यागिक युगको शुरुवात पश्चात विश्व ०.८० डीग्री सल्सियस तातो भएको छ । सन् १९६१ देखि २००३ सम्ममा समुद« सतह १.८ मिलिमिटर प्रति वर्ष बढिरहेको छ । माल्दिभस र टुभालु जस्ता टापु देशहरु समुद«मा डुब्ने खतरा बढेको छ । भूक्षेय र बाढी पहिरोका घटना, असामान्य खडेरी जस्ता प्रकोपहरु दिन प्रतिदिन बढ्दै छन् । जलवायु परिवर्तनको कारण वातावरणमा आएको परिवर्तन अनुसार आफूलाई ढाल्न नसक्दा सम्पुर्ण पारिस्थिकि प्रणाली मै खलबल भएको छ र मानवीय अस्तित्व नै शंकाको घेरामा पुगेको छ ।
यी सबै समस्याको कारण विगत ३०० वर्ष यता विश्वले अंगालेको खनिज ईन्धनमा आधारित औद्योगिक विकासको तरिका हो जुन असिमित उपभोक्तावाद मार्फत पनि अभिव्यक्त भएको छ । अझ सरल शब्दमा भन्दा पुंजिवादी सामाजिक आर्थिक व्यवस्था नै वातावरणीय विनासको मुख्य कारक हो । हामीलाई थाहा नै छ, पुंजिवादी उत्पादन प्रणाली नाफामुखी हुन्छ । प्रकृतिको असिमित दोहन नगरी यो टिक्न सक्दैन र यसले मानिसका वास्तविक आवश्यकतालाई र प्रकृतिको सिमिततालाई ख्यालै नगरी मुनाफा बढाउन मात्र ध्यान दिन्छ । मुनाफाको ध्याउन्नमा वातावरणमा पर्ने असर सामान्य मानिन्छ र जल, हावा र भूमिको प्रदुषण स्वाभाविक ठानिन्छ । वातावरणीय समस्याले यस्तो विधि असर हुंदा पनि पुजिवादी नाफाखोरहरु समस्याको कारकतत्वलाई ढाकछेप गर्न खोज्दछन् र आफ्ना वातावरण प्रतिकुल गतिविधिलाई अविच्छन्न कायम राख्न कोशिस गर्दछन् । विश्व परिदृश्यमा जलवायु परिवर्तनको मुद्दालाई कसरी समाधान गर्ने भन्ने सवालमा धनि राष्ट्रहरुले देखाइरहेको अटेरीपना आफ्नो नाफा घट्ला कि भन्ने चिन्ता सिवाय केहि होइन । जलवायु सम्मेलनहरुमा धनि राष्ट्रलाई जलवायुमैत्री योजना ल्याउन दबाव दिन ठुलो संख्यामा उपस्थित हुने सचेत नागरिकहरुले त्यसै भनेका होइनन्, बैंकले जस्तै फाइदा दिने भएमात्र यिनीहरु (धनी राष्ट्र) ले पृथ्वीको जलवायु समस्यालाई समाधान गर्ने थिए ।
बुर्जुवा वुद्धिजिवीहरु वातावरणीय विनासलाई प्राविधिक उन्नतीको प्रतिफल ठान्दछन् र वातावरणीय समस्यालाई स्वाभाविक मान्दछन् । यस्तो सोचाइ वातावरणीय निराशावाद हो । वातावरणीय समस्या प्रविधि या मेशिनरीको उपयोगको परिणाम नभई पुंजिवादी सामाजिक आर्थिक जग र वैचारिक आधारमा उद्योगको विकास भएको हुनाले उत्पन्न भएको हो । समस्या प्रविधि भन्दा पनि प्रविधिलाई कसले र कसरी उपयोग गर्दछ भन्ने हो । वातावरणीय समस्याको समाधान र प्राकृतिक संसाधनको उपयोगको सवाल सामाजिक आर्थिक धरातलमा निहित हुन्छ । पुंजिवादी समाजमा स्रोतसाधनको चरम उपयोग गरिन्छ भलै सरकारले वातावरण संरक्षण ऐनहरु बनाएर उद्योगहरुलाई नियमन गर्ने प्रयास गर्दछ तर एकाधिकारको माध्यमबाट यसको मुल्य समेत कामदार र उपभोक्ता माथि लादिन्छ । पुंजिवादी समाजमा एकाध परियोजना मार्फत वातावरण संरक्षणको प्रयास गरेको पनि देखिन्छ तर उत्पादनको असिमित विकासले वातावरणीय समस्याको समाधानलाई बाधा पार्दछ । पुजिवादी वातावरण पण्डितहरु समस्याको ठोस समाधान भन्दा पनि व्यक्तिगत तहमा गर्न सकिने वातावरणीय सुधारको वकालत गर्दछन् जुन प्रयासहरु आवश्यकता भन्दा निकै न्यून र उपलब्धीहीन हुन्छन् । अहिले आएर बल्ल पुंजिवादीहरुले जलवायु परिवर्तनले निम्त्याउने भयावह परिदृष्यलाई स्वीकार्न बाध्य भएका छन् तर उनीहरुले अघि सारेको उपायले समस्यालाई एक रुपबाट अर्को रुपमा सार्ने बाहेक केहि गर्न सक्दैनन् । जस्तो कि धनी देशहरुले हरितगृह ग्यास उत्सर्जन गर्ने खनिज ईन्धनको सट्टा जैविक ईन्धनको वकालत गरिरहेका छन् तर यसले कृषि योग्य जमिनलाई जैविक ईन्धन उत्पादन गर्ने जग्गामा परिणत गरेर खाद्य संकट निम्त्याउने छ । अनि सवै भन्दा स्वच्छ र प्रभावकारी भनि प्रचार गरिने आणबिक उर्जाको प्रयोगबाट हुनसक्ने हानीको सानो चित्र त भर्खरै जापानको आणविक भट्टीबाट भएको बिकिरण चुहावटको घटनाले नै देखाइसकेको छ ।
माथिको विश्लेषणबाट प्रष्ट हुन्छ, वातावरणीय प्रश्नको समाधानको उपाय निरपेक्ष हुन सक्दैन बरु यो अन्य सामाजिक, आर्थिक, अन्तराष्ट्रिय कानुनी, राजनीतिक र सांस्कृतिक पक्षहरुसंग अन्तरसम्बन्धित हुन्छ । वातावरयीय समस्याको समाधानको प्रयासले स्वाभाविक रुपमा विभिन्न सामाजिक समुह, उत्पादन क्षेत्र र सामाजिक आर्थिक प्रणालीका चासोलाई दखल गर्दछ । यी पक्षहरुलाई ख्याल नगरी वातावरण संरक्षणको प्रयत्न गर्नु वास्तविकताबाट अलग काल्पनिक दृष्टिकोण अपनाउनु हो । यसबाट बुझ्नु पर्दछकि वातावरणीय समस्याको समाधान वर्तमान विश्वको सामाजिक व्यवस्थामा आमुल परिवर्तन नगरी हुन सक्दैन । पुंजिवादी आर्थिक सामाजिक व्यवस्थाबाट संक्रमण गर्दा खनिज ईन्धनमा आधारित अर्थतन्त्र बाट स्वच्छ उर्जामा आधारित अर्थतन्त्रमा संक्रमण मात्र नभएर संगसंगै अति उपभोगवादी अर्थतन्त्रको पनि अन्त्य गर्नु पर्दछ । यसको अन्तिम लक्ष्य न्यून उपभोग, न्यून वृद्धि र उच्च न्यायको सिद्धान्तमा आधारित अर्थतन्त्र हुनुपर्दछ, जसले मानिसको समृद्धिमा वृद्धि र सबैका लागि गुणस्तरीय जीवनशैली सुनिश्चित गर्न सकोस् ।
वातावरणीय समस्याले सम्पुर्ण मानव सभ्यता नै संकटासन्न अवस्थामा पुगेको अवस्थामा पुंजिवाद कहिले आफ्नै अन्तरबिरोधले समाप्त होला र मानवजातिको साथसाथै प्रकृतिको पनि कल्याण होला भनेर सोचेर बस्नु मुर्खता हुन्छ । पुंजिवादलाई समतामुलक र वातावरणीय रुपमा सबल व्यवस्थाले प्रतिस्थापन गर्न ठुलो पैमानामा संगठित र सचेत जनतान्त्रिक आन्दोलन आवश्यक पर्दछ । समाजवाद नै यस्तो व्यवस्था हो, जसले वर्तमान वातावरणीय समस्याको साँच्चै हल गर्न सक्नेछ । समाजवादले सम्पुर्ण रुपमा मानवको असिमित आर्थिक र सामाजिक वृद्धिको आवश्यकतालाई रोक्न सक्दछ र समाज र प्रकृति बीच सकरात्मक अन्तरसम्बन्ध कायम गर्न सक्दछ । उत्पादनका साधनमा सामुहिक हकको स्थापना पछि मात्र प्राकृतिक स्रोत र प्राकृतिक प्रणालीमा खलल नपु¥याइकन उत्पादनको विकास गर्न सकिनेछ । यसै कारण समाजवाद आर्थिक मात्र नभएर वातावरणीय आवश्यकता समेत बन्न पुगेको छ ।

हाँक साप्ताहिक, २८ औं वर्ष प्रवेश  बिसेष अङ्क, बैसाख २०६८ मा प्रकाशित

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पर्यावरणवादी कार्लमार्क्स

सन् १९३० को दशकको बृहद मन्दी (ग्रेट डिप्रेसन) यताको गहिरो संकटमा विश्व अर्थतन्त्र झर्दै गर्दा, पुस्तक पसलहरूमा कार्लमाक्सका कृतिहरूले बिक्री सुचीमा उच्च स्थान दर्ज गरेका छन्। उहाँको मातृभुमि जर्मनीमा मार्क्सका कृतिहरूको बिक्री तीन गुणा भएको छ। रूढीवादी अर्थशास्त्री र इतिहासकारहरूले उहाँका सिद्धान्तहरूलाई अपहेलना गर्ने गरेका छन्। तै पनि पछिल्लो आर्थिक मन्दीको प्रकरणमा मुख्यधारका केही अर्थशास्त्रीहरू कतै मार्क्स सही त हुनु हुन्थेन भनेर सोच्न बाध्य भएका छन्।

मार्क्सको तर्कमा, पूँजीवाद स्वाभावत अस्थिर हुन्छ, विरोधाभासले भरिपूर्ण हुन्छ र गहिरो संकट उन्मुख हुन्छ। शोषण, युद्ध, भोकमरी र गरीवी यस्ता समस्याहरू हुन् जसलाई बजारतन्त्रले हल गर्न सक्दैन। उहाँ भन्नुहुन्थ्यो, बरू तीनीहरू यो व्यवस्थाका छुट्नै नसक्ने परिणामहरू हुन्। यसो किन हुन्छ भने, पूँजीवाद  सबैभन्दा धनाढ्य निगमहरूबाट नियन्त्रित हुन्छ र सबै कुरा छोडी मुनाफा आर्जन गर्न पछि लाग्दछ। लोकतान्त्रिक समाजवादी समाजमा संक्रमणले नै, जहाँ सामान्य मानिसहरू अर्थतन्त्र र समाज आफैका बारेमा मुख्य निर्णय लिन सक्षम हुन्छन्, सच्चा स्वतन्त्रता र मुक्तिको बाटो खोल्न सक्दछ।
पूँजीवादको आलोचना र समाजिक क्रान्तिको वकालत गर्नका लागि प्रसिद्ध, मार्क्स र उहाँका सह―चिन्तक फ्रेडिक एंगेल्स, वातावरण विनास प्रतिको चिन्ता र दीगोपनाको आवश्यकताको मतका लागि एकदमै कम चिनिनुहुन्छ। सँगै लिदा, मानव समाज र वातावरणका बारेमा उहाँहरूले प्रकट गरेको विचारले, उहाँहरूलाई त्यो समयका प्रखर वातावरणवादीहरू बीच सबैभन्दा माथि उभ्याउँदछ। मार्क्सका अनुसार पूँजीवादी यस्तो अर्थव्यवस्था हो, जससँग दिगो पृथ्वीको ठाडो अन्तरविरोध रहेको हुन्छ, जस्तो कि, श्रमजीवी जनताको शोषण।
ब्यापारिक लालचका वातावरणीय समस्याहरूबाट प्राकृतिक विश्वलाई मुक्त गर्नु, समाजवादको एउटा मुख्य उद्देश्य हो। उच्च अर्थ निमार्णको दृष्टिकोणबाट, पृथ्वीमा अमुक व्यक्तिहरूको निजी सम्पत्ति त्यतिनै अर्थहीन देखिन्थ्यो जति यउटा मान्छेको निजि सम्पत्ती अर्काका लागी, मार्क्सले लेख्नु भएको छ। हावा, नदी, समृद्ध र भुमिलाई ब्यापारका लागि “प्रकृतिको सित्तैको उपहार” ठान्ने पूँजीवादी आर्थिक विचारको उहाँ तिव्र आलोचक हुनुहुन्थ्यो। “एउटा सम्पूर्ण समाजहरू सँगै लिदा पनि पृथ्वीका मालिक होइनन्, तिनीहरू केवल यसका धारणकर्ता हुन् र सुधारिएको अवस्थामा भावी पुस्तालाई हस्तान्तरण गर्नु यिनीहरूको दायित्व हो।” बजारतन्त्रले भावी पुस्ताका निम्ति वातावरण जोगाउन सक्दैन किनभने जनता र पृथ्वीका दीर्घकालिन आवश्यकतालाई यसले ख्याल गर्न सक्दैन। ब्यक्तिगत उद्यम र उद्योगहरूका बीच लगानीको मुनाफा आर्जन गर्न हुने प्रतिस्पर्धाले सही र दिगो योजनालाई नकार्न खोज्दछ।
एंगेल्सले यो ध्यंसात्मक गतिशिलतालाई यसरी प्रष्ट पार्नु भएको छ, “जब ब्यक्तिगत पूँजीवादीहरू तुरून्त नाफा हासिल गर्ने उद्देश्यले उत्पादन र सट्टामा लागि पर्दछन्, सबैभन्दा सजिलो र तुरून्त प्रतिफल प्राप्त गर्नु पट्टि नै उनीहरूको पुरा ध्यान हुन्छ।” “जबसम्म एउटा कारखाना मालिक वा व्यापारीले निर्माण वा खरिद गरेको वस्तुलाई चलिआएको र चाहेको मुनाफा सहित बेच्न पाउँदछ, ऊ त्यसैमा सन्तुष्ट हुन्छ र त्यसपछि वस्तु र खरिदकर्तालाई के हुन्छ भन्नेमा मतलब राख्दैन, त्यही कुरा सो कार्यको प्राकृतिक प्रभावमा पनि लागु हुन्छ।”
मार्क्स र एंगेल्सको समयमा पूँजीवादको यो गुण, विशेषतः कृषि र वस्तुपालनमा झल्किन्थ्यो। मार्क्स लेख्नुहुन्छ, “जुन तरिकाले कुनै एउटा बालीको खेती गरिन्छ, त्यो बजारभाऊको उतारचढावमा भरपर्दछ र बजारभाउले खेतीको स्वरूपमा निरन्तर परिवर्तन ल्याउँदछ। पूँजीवादी उत्पादनको सम्पुर्ण आत्मा तुरून्त प्राप्त हुने नाफा तिर झुकेको हुन्छ, र यो कृषिसँग अन्तर विरोधमा उभिएको हुन्छ, जसले मानव पुस्ताका चक्रले आवश्यक पारेका जीवनका सबै स्थाई आवश्यकतासँग सरोकार राख्नु पर्दछ।” पूँजीवादी कृषि दिगो हुदैन  किनभने यसले स्वभाव अनुसार नै भुमिलाई मलबाट वञ्चित गर्दछ। “यो एउटा कला हो जसले मजदुरलाई मात्र होइन भुमिलाई पनि लुट्दछ।” यसभन्दा अगाडि मार्क्स भन्नुहुन्छ, “कुनै एक समयमा जमिनको उर्वराशक्ति बढाउन गरिएको प्रगति त्यो उर्वराशक्तिको दिर्घकालिन स्रोतलाई नष्ट गर्ने प्रगतिमात्र हो।” एउटा देशले, आधुनिक उद्योगको जगमा जति बढी विकासको शुरूवात गर्दछ, उदाहरणका लागि अमेरिका, त्यसको ध्वस्त हुने प्रक्रिया अझ तीव्र हुन्छ।” पूँजीवादी उत्पादनले धनको वास्तविक साधन भुमि र मजदुरलाई चुसेर मात्र प्रविधि विकास गर्दछ।”
मार्क्स र एंगेल्सले पृथ्वीको परिस्थितिकीय प्रणाली (इकोसिस्टम)लाई एक गतिशील र जटिल प्रक्रिय हो भन्ने बुझ्नुहुन्थ्यो। एउटा अन्तरसम्बन्धित अंगहरूको सुक्ष्म र कमजोर रूपले सन्तुलित प्रक्रिया, जहाँ कुनै परिवर्तनले नयाँ र प्राय अनुमान गर्न नसकिने असरहरू ल्याएर प्रतिकृया दिन्छ। हामीले प्राकृतिक परिस्थितिकिय प्रणालीलाई आफैलाई जोखिममा पारेर नाश गर्दैछौं। एंगेल्स हामीलाई सचेत पार्नु हुन्छ, “प्रकृतिमाथि मानव विजयको उमङ्गमा हामीले आफुलाई महान नठानौ किनभने हरेक विजयका निम्ती प्रकृतिले हामीसँग आफ्नो बदला लिन्छ। ” उहाँ थप्नु हुन्छ, “यो साँचो हो कि हरेक विजयले शुरूमा हामीले आशा गरेको प्रतिफल दिन्छ तर दास्रो र तस्रोमा केही फरक, नदेखिने असर हुन्छ जसले पहिलो फाइदालाई काट्दछ।
मार्क्सले कयौं पटक मानव समाज र प्राकृतिक संसार बीचको अन्तरसम्बन्धलाई “मेटावोलिज्म”(उपापचय) भनेर ब्याख्या गर्नुभएको छ। पूँजीवादी उत्पादनले “मेटावोलिक दरार”उत्पन्न गर्दछ ― मानवता र पृथ्वीका बीचमा नमिठो विछोड। यो गहिरिदो दरारको वातावरणीय प्रतिफल चरम नकरात्मक सावित भएकोछ। “सामान्यतया सभ्यता र उद्योगको विकासले यो देखाएको छ, वन जंगलको विनाशमा यो यति सक्रिय छ कि संरक्षण र उत्पादनमा गरिएका प्रयास तुलनात्मक रूपले नगन्य छन्। ”यसै गरी एंगेल्स थप्नु हुन्छ, “प्रत्येक पाइलामा हामी सम्झाइएका छौं कि कुनै पनि तरिकाले हामीले प्रकृतिलाई एउटा विजयीले विदेशी जनतालाई शासन गरे जस्तो गर्न सक्दैनौ।” अर्कातिर, “हामीसँग सबै प्राणीहरू भन्दा अलग, प्रकृतिका नियमहरूलाई बुझ्ने र युक्तिसंगत ढंगले प्रयोग गर्न सक्ने क्षमता छ।” त्यो के भने हामीले समाजलाई प्रकृतिको सिमीततासँग पाइला मिलाएर व्यवस्थित गर्न सक्दछौं।
मार्क्स र एंगेल्सको मान्यता यो थियो कि, समाजवादको उद्देश्य भनेको वर्ग शोषणको अन्त्य र मानव र पृथ्वी बीच “मेटावोलिज्म” पुनस्थापना गर्नु हो। माव समाजमा उत्पादन निर्धाण गर्दा नाफामुखी ध्येयलाई नहराउँदा सम्म र सहभागितामुलक लोकतन्त्र र तर्क संगत योजना निर्माण नहुँदासम्म यो संभव छैन। एंगेल्सको तर्क अनुसार, “सहकारी उत्पादकको रूपमा संगठित मजदुर वर्गले मात्र सही किसिमले प्रकृतिसँग मानव मेटावोलिज्म नियन्त्रण गर्न सक्दछ। यसका लागि अहिले सम्म अस्तित्वमा रहेका उत्पादनका तौरतरिका बारेमा ज्ञानमात्र भन्दा पनि समूल क्रान्ति हुनुपर्दछ र सँगसँगै हाम्रो विद्यमान सामाजिक तहमा पनि क्रान्ति आवश्यक पर्दछ। ”
आज, जलवायु परिवर्तनले जीवनको अस्तित्व नै संकटमा पारेको बेलामा, पूँजीवादका पर्यावरणीय विरोधाभासहरू चरम सिमामा पुगेका छन्। वातावरणीय समस्याले पक्कै पनि यो ब्यवस्थाको अन्त्यका लागि मार्क्स र एंगेल्सले १५० वर्ष पहिले महशुस गर्नु भएको भन्दा बढी महत्वपूर्ण भूमिका खेल्ने छ।
वातावण विज्ञानमा मार्क्स र एंगेल्सको योगदान सँगसँगै अर्को सत्य के हो भने उहाँहरू केवल राजनीतिक सिद्धान्तकार र दार्शनिक हुनुहन्थेन
― उहाँहरू लगनशील अभियान कर्ता हुनुहुन्थ्यो जसले आफ्ना दिनका क्रान्तिकारी आन्दोलनमा भाग लिनुभएको थियो। उहाँहरू जोड दिनुहुन्थ्यो, सिद्धान्तलाई ब्यवहारको कसीमा उतारेर र क्रान्तिकारी व्यवहारले समृद्ध र विकसित बनाएर मात्र सही महत्व प्राप्त गर्न सकिन्छ।
“दार्शनिकहरूले संसारलाई धेरै तरिकाले ब्याख्या गरेका छन्, मुख्य कुरा यसलाई बदल्नु हो।” मार्क्स यो निर्क्यौलमा सन् १८४५ मै पुग्नु भएको थियो जतिबेला उहाँ अझै युवा हुनुहुन्थ्यो।

This article was translated from ‘Karl Marx the ecologist’ written by Simon Butler. The original article was published in Green Left Weekly, Australia on February 21, 2009. The above translation (I translated this on a whim…..) was published in Hank Weekly on March 24, 2010.

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