I am at a loss to define time. Isaac Newton said, ‘Time is absolute’ whilst Albert Einstein remarked, ‘Time is relative.’ I like however the version of Karl Marx who quipped, ‘Time was invented by clock companies to sell more clocks.”
The measurement of time is interesting. Starting first with sunrise and sunset the breakdown of time in the day had to occur. Then it was the sun dial with the shadows cast by the sun. After this was the shifting of sands in the hour glass to quantify the hours in the day. The classical Swiss cuckoo which announced hour by hour followed. Last but not the least is our cell phone now which has many of us totally enamoured if not addicted! How times have changed!
‘Time and tide wait for no man’ is a classical proverb which has been in use for a long time. During the course of these years it has generated many albums of songs and encouraged the making of films with this title. Furthermore magazines and even a novel have come into being.
These days one has become accustomed to seeing and hearing of different disasters all over the world. Is this the first warning bells that the countdown towards doomsday has started? Because of climate change the whole world has been feeling the increasing warmth for some years but it is becoming more marked year by year. Before we heard of wildfires in Australia but there is now much change. Disasters are occurring on a much larger scale more frequently with accompanying hurricanes and floods in different parts of the world. In some cases, because of scant warnings, many lives are lost. Recent examples are Hurricane Ian in North America and the severe floods in countries of Europe - UK, Germany, Belgium and France. Hurricane Ian caused 30 deaths and $100 billion in damage. In Pakistan where over 1500 people have died and one third of the country was said to be under water at one time. . Polar ices and glaciers are melting, water levels are rising and many land areas of islands will be decreased and habitations endangered.
The Conference of the Parties No. 27 (COP-27) is being held in Sharm-el-Sheikh in Egypt from 6th to 18th November. The big fear now is that global temperatures are rising very rapidly this year and may reach a point of ‘No Return’. A recent report states that temperatures in Europe have increased at double the global rate, during the last thirty years. As a result many countries of the world could be in dire straits because of global warming and the resulting floods and fire in many parts of the world. Formerly, King Charles III when he was a prince was a champion and avid supporter of the group to save our environment and attended the COP conferences regularly. As the last conference was held in Glasgow and UK is the current chair, it was expected that he would attend. It is unlikely now, but King Charles’s premier is doing so. Greta Thunberg, Nobel Prize winner of Norway is not attending the conference in Egypt and has called it all a ‘sham’!
The countries such as UK, America and China are the major players in this energy game. It is they who should be taking active steps to stop environmental degradation, but will they do so? Will the rich nations pay compensation to the countries being affected by global warning? Kerry has called on wealthy nations to move away from fossil fuels. When he was President, Trump said he did not believe in global warming and even withdrew the US from the organisation concerned with environmental issues. President Biden reversed that decision and had sent John Kerry as US representative to voice America’s support. But for how long?
We have to move along with the trend of things that are going on or happening around us. This is the eternal message to humanity. Environmental changes and much destruction await us useless drastic action is taken by all countries of the world. It is the developed countries such as US, UK, China, Australia and Russia which are the prominent offenders. They need to act smartly first and move towards renewable energy before advocating that developing countries should do so. From our side our response should simply be, “Practice what you preach”.
At this juncture one reads that the Chinese prospecting in the Nepali hills have found oil. What now? Do we prospect further or stress more for clean energy from water, sun and air. Our heritage, the Gyatri Mantra tells us to pin our belief on the sun.
The creation of Nepal by Prithvi Narayan Shah was the starting point but then Nepal was what he envisioned as he looked down from the Chandragiri hills at the valley that lay before him. Ours is a country that does not have seashores or much flat land. Being mainly a hilly, mountainous and land-locked country we do not have much experience of tides. We are however aware that both time and tide are running out now for the human race!
At this point I am inclined to quote Greek philosopher Thales of Miletus who said, ‘Time is the wisest of all things that are; for it brings everything to light.’ At this juncture the human race is not in a position to wait for Doomsday.
Are we now headed towards the end of the world? The Treta Yug was during time of Lord Krishna’s days in the Mahabharat. We are now in the Kaliyug. Is this the approaching Apocalypse or the end of the world? As per the scientific thinking we are said to be in the 3rd Ice Age. Does this mean that with massive weather changes and perhaps with strikes from massive asteroids that the end of our world is coming nearer day by day? May the Lord protect and save us.
The author is a retired medical doctor and writes fiction under the pen name of Mani Dixit also. Website: www.hdixit.org.np. Twitter: @manidixithd
VOL. 16, No. 15, March.24, 2023 (Chaitra 10. 2079) Publisher and Editor: Keshab Prasad Poudel Online Register Number: DOI 584/074-75
VOL. 16, No. 14, March.10, 2023 (Falgun 26. 2079) Publisher and Editor: Keshab Prasad Poudel Online Register Number: DOI 584/074-75
VOL. 16, No. 13, Feb.24, 2023 (Falgun 12. 2079) Publisher and Editor: Keshab Prasad Poudel Online Register Number: DOI 584/074-75