Launching a book in Dubai that looks at the perils of global warming makes perfect sense, according to one official from a local eco-store.
Loek Malmberg, chairman of the board of The Change Initiative — a Dubai-based eco-store that sells sustainable products — said the UAE has one of the highest ecological footprint per capita in the world. An ecological footprint measures the human demand on the environment.
He added the UAE also has one of the highest use of energy and water consumption per capita, making it an excellent place to spread awareness about living a sustainable life.
The eco-store is spreading that message with the launch of Alive: Being Part of a Living Planet, a coffee table book that looks at the perils faced by the human race if it continues on the unsustainable path it’s paved, said Shilpa Jasani, the book’s editor.
“If you look at the amount of waste created in the last 200 years in the name of development, human beings have changed the structure of the earth and there will be a time where there will be no coming back,” she said.
“A day will come when the earth will be inhospitable.
“It’s high time we reversed this trend and stopped our consumerist lifestyle; we are wasting so much,” Jasani said. Alive is divided into several sections with the first part of the book looking at “how the earth has evolved into the perfect planet, we call it the Goldilocks planet, it’s neither too hot nor too cold, it’s the perfect place for life,” Jasani said.
The second part of the book looks at human-induced changes to the environment and the last part of the books asks readers to question the lifestyle they’re leading. “We’re telling readers to change their lifestyles because we cannot continue this way unchecked since we only have one planet,” Jasani said.
The book took nine months to complete with the help of six writers, including Chetna Pandita, who focused on looking at the acidification of the oceans.
She was surprised to learn how the release of greenhouse gases into the environment could drastically change the life of the clownfish, popularised by the 2003 movie Finding Nemo.
“The coral reefs are losing their colour and turning grey due to acidification. When corals are dull coloured, the brightly coloured clownfish stands out and can be attacked very easily,” she said.
The brainchild of Alive, Gundeep Singh, is also the founder of the The Change Initiative and said the message he wants people to take away from the book is to look at the long term-impact of their short-term activities.
He stressed that corporations need to do the same. “Currently, we’re living in a quarter-based economy — everyone’s looking at what’s going to happen in the first quarter or third quarter this year — but no one looks at what’s going to happen 10 years from now.”
Alive costs Dh180 and is available at The Change Initiative store on Shaikh Zayed Road.
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