“No matter how much wealth, education, and money we have, our children cannot live well unless we restore the soil and water.
Conscious Planet, the only way forward.” – SADHGURU
Why Do We Need to Save the Soil?
Sadhguru: Eighty-seven percent of life forms on this planet – microbes, worms, insects, birds, animals, human beings, plants, trees and every other vegetation on the planet is sustained by an average of thirty-nine inches of topsoil. And that is in grave danger right now. In the last forty years, forty percent of the world’s topsoil has been lost. The United Nations says we have soil left only for approximately eighty to hundred harvests, which means another forty-five to sixty years of agriculture. After that, we will not have the soil to produce food. You can imagine the suffering that we will unfold in the world. Thirty percent of India’s land is already degraded, and 90% of India’s states are seeing soil turn to desert. That means nothing can be cultivated there. So, protecting the soil for the future generations of this land is the most important thing.
How Can Soil Revitalization Help the Environment?
I was speaking at one of the UN agencies in Germany, and they asked me, “What are the three things we need to do to prevent an ecological disaster?” I said, “The three things are, ‘Soil, Soil, and Soil.’” This is something that is not being looked at because it is fashionable in the cities to talk about air pollution. I am not saying it is not a concern, but if you take the necessary actions to fix the soil, that action will take care of water also. Air pollution can be fixed in a short time if we are willing to sacrifice our economic exuberance a little. But if you want to fix the soil that you have destroyed, it will take 15-25 years if you go at it aggressively. If you do it without much interest, it will take 40-50 years before you can get the soil to a certain level.
If the soil is in a bad condition for that long, that means two to three generations will go through terrible states of life.
Building a Conscious Planet
If any other species had perpetrated the kind of damage that we have to the planet, we would have found a way to deal with them. If billions of Martian locusts landed here and began to cut through all our trees, turned our soil into deserts, and sucked the water out of our rivers – we would have definitely exterminated them. But the problem is not alien locusts. The problem is us.
Since we are the source of the problem, we can also be the source of the solution. We are a problem only because we are in an unconscious, compulsive mode of action. If we were conscious, we would naturally be a solution. This is why I have been working with United Nations agencies and other forces, and proposing this idea of a “Conscious Planet” movement.
There are 5.2 billion people living in countries with the ability to vote and elect their nation’s leadership. We are looking at how to get at least three billion people on board so that ecological issues become the issues that elect governments. We want to make these three billion people aware of at least five ecological aspects that must happen in their country, and two or three aspects that must not happen. If we do this, then ecology will become if not number one, at least the number two issue in election manifestos.
As a part of the Conscious Planet movement, I am trying to bring focus to the most important aspect of rejuvenating this planet: the soil. Everything you see as life on this planet – including worms, insects, birds, animals, plant life, and ourselves – happens out of just thirty-nine inches of soil profile. The real damage is happening to this topsoil, which sustains every life that we know. If we can ensure the soil is organically rich and healthy, the planet will be capable of regenerating itself, and we will be able to manage the other problems, to a large extent.
Right now, over 95% of the global population have absolutely no awareness of the ecological disaster building up around them. Ecological awareness is confined only to a small segment of people, and even among them, the idea of ecology is largely limited to using less water while showering or turning off the tap when brushing teeth. It is wonderful that people are conscious about what they are using, but this is not a comprehensive ecological solution. Only when ecology becomes an election issue, will it become government policy, and only then will there be large budgets allocated so that solutions manifest.