Dr. John P. Abraham
Professor, Thermal and Fluid Sciences
St. Thomas School of Engineering, MN
So what now? That is the question scientists like myself ask each other. What do we do now that evidence conclusively shows humans are causing significant ecological harm on this one planet we have as home. What now? What can we do to make this world a better place? For ourselves, our children, and their children. Part of the answer is provided by Rajan Jaisinghani in Homo sapiens -An Appraisal of Modern Humans. Part science book, part philosophic treatise, this text explores the grey world where knowledge is met by action. The book is destined to fill a gulf between the hard depressing science of climate change and ecology and an idyllic world where consequences are for tomorrow, not today.
First, Rajan explores the interconnection between humans and the natural world. The umbilical binds us economically, emotionally, and spiritually. Why is it critical we care for our environment? That question will be answered here. The discussion is candid and frank – refreshingly frank. Rajan explores the harsh realities of our choices and the consequences of those choices. In this text, you will learn that one of our weaknesses is a fascination with short-term gain at the expense of long-term benefit. This weakness pervades politics, economics, and society.
Through the lens of India, Rajan artfully describes a world in which balance between consumption and production is overturned. A world where fascination with today destroys our tomorrow. A world that is colored with such clarity that it could only stem from personal experience. In fact, it is four decades of personal experience, a journey, that has led Rajan to this book. The result is not a specific recipe for success, rather it is a philosophy – a set of guideposts. Tools we can utilize as we search collectively for a way forward.
Furthermore, Rajan provides a lens to show us a world where we fail to take action. A world where we fail to learn the lessons of our past (and our present). In the end, this is not what I expected; it is not a helpless hopeless situation. Rather it is a new dawn, a chance to preserve this bit of heaven for our future generations. A chance to right wrongs and to live lightly on this Earth. It is a chance to be who we were meant to be.