This is a game someone invented while in a state of amnesia.
What about people? There are billions of people more on the surface of our planet than only a lifetime ago and do you know they breathe out billions of cubic feet of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. What about the huge poultry farms and the hog farms and the cattle farms? and what about the methane gas they are adding to the atmosphere? Truly, they are no less guilty than the factories and the trucks and the refrigerators that spew out the gas that is warming our planet.
This is my recommendation; let us examine the factors to explore if we could tax people for breathing. I have worked out a simple equation; each nation is arbitrarily given a base figure and two letter prefix as its identity irrespective of its size or per capita income. It will provide us with a working figure which our scholars will be happy to tie up as a reference point when we have added the volume of offensive gas added into the atmosphere by the nation in question.
How else, are we going to debate this business of warming of the planet?
Several decades ago, I had visited some of the tiny islands in Erythraean Sea, (modern cartographers have changed its name), and believe me the islands were just as perfect as the “Garden of Eden” could be visualised by the believers. The natives had explained to me how the Lord had provided for them everything; food to eat and materials to build their shelters in abundance. The islands were unmistakable dense tropical forests of coconuts, breadfruit trees (remember, the Mutiny in the Bounty) and a little known tree called ‘pandanus’. (It is like a pineapple plant grown up into a tree. Its fruits too look exactly like pineapples, without the crown, but the fruit is so fibrous, it can only be squeezed into a delightful juice). And of course, the sea provided bountiful fish.
The Islanders(except one) are very contended lot, whenever they feel hungry or thirsty, someone would climb up a coconut tree and bring down a bunch of the fruits to drink and to eat. Once a day, they build a small fire to bake the breadfruits and remember these tree bear fruits all round the year. They have a very few domesticated animals; pigs, chicken and goats, and they too all eat coconuts and breadfruits.
The exception, called Sentinel Island, was named so by Commodore Cornwallis (you will find that name Cornwallis familiar, don’t you?) as the seafarer looked at it from distance and likened it with a lone sentinel standing guard. Decades later, the Brits discovered the island was inhabited but the name stuck, the natives were promptly called Sentinelese, of course. The Sentinelese are exception, because they fiercely guard their island with poison arrows and to my mind, no contact has been made with them yet. But, the stranger part of the account is that the Sentinelese, (and the Onges and the Jarawas, pronounced Jaarwas) belong to true Negrito Race and since their forebears never had the tradition of seafaring, you will agree with me that it must be the divine hand of God that put them in the middle of an ocean in so remote an island.
I shall write in my subsequent blogs the accounts of inhabitants of other islands, namely the Onges, the diminishing people; the fierce Jarawas; and the Shompens the shy people of the forest, whom the Gurkhas call Kusundas. The fascinatingly romantic account of the Queen of Nan-Cowry Island must find another mention, later.
What about these island dwellers? Will the United Nations recognise/reward them for their zero-emission life style? Or, let me believe some ‘charitable organisations’ are not already trying to modernise them or include them into some must see tourist brochure?