US Columnist Friedman calls for ‘regeneration of sustainable values’ at TERI Summit

New Delhi, Feb 1: Noted U.S. journalist and Pulitzer Prize winning author, Thomas L. Friedman’s views on the delicate balance between environmental concerns and economic planning generated significant buzz at the 13th Delhi Sustainable Development Summit (DSDS) on Friday.

Addressing a special session chaired by Nitin Desai, former UN Under-Secretary General and distinguished fellow at TERI (The Energy and Resources Institute), Friedman offered thoughtful insight into the social, economic and political dimensions of the global environmental discourse.

Commenting on the ongoing change in the international energy scenario and its possible impact on developing nations, Friedman stressed that the world was shaped by two forces, namely ‘markets’ and ‘Mother Nature’.

The ‘The World is Flat’ author went on to say that the key accounting principles being applied in the context of economics and nature were essentially ‘under-pricing the risk, privatizing the gains, and socializing the losses’.

Highlighting the significant transition in modern values, Friedman asserted: “We need our kids to be the ‘Re-Generation.’ They need to bring sustainable values back to the market and Mother Nature. We need sustainable values not the situational values that is the current trend.”

Talking about his latest book on globalization, ‘That used to be us’, Friedman pointed out that the world- in the arena of social connectivity- has transformed from being a connected world to being a hyper-connected world and from being an inter-connected to an inter-dependent world.

Further, he referred to this phase as the one where “friends can kill you much faster than your enemies” and where “rivals fallings are considered much more dangerous than rivals rising.”

He also pointed out that today’s political and diplomatic problems cannot be solved independently, but by aligning with other countries.

In the Indian context, he maintained that a key derivative of the hyper-connectedness is seen from the rising virtual middle class.

The DSDS-2013 was inaugurated on January 31 by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

Pushing for sustainable growth, DSDS-2013 aims to not only build global consensus to protect natural resources, but also to explore innovative solutions to boost efficient practices and minimize energy and resource footprint. (ANI)