An overview of the book
Winsome environment and public speaking, a delightful book, is authored by prof N.K. Negi .it is a digital publication of Amazon.com, and has been widely acclaimed worldwide since its appearance in March 2016. We will do well to have an overview of the book, to be inspired by it to take right steps for the continuance of our life in the biosphere. It is a useful book for students, environment lovers and leaders in all countries and climes.
This book has three chapters:
- Ecology and environment
- The art of public speaking
- Quiz and paper clippings
It contains four hundred pages. It enumerates a host of topics viz ecology, ecosystem, biodiversity, global warming, methods for gaining voice and self-confidence, mnemonics, presentation skills, ways of getting action and tackling skew and nonchalant audiences. The relationship between environment and public speaking is symbiotic- like the unity of the lame and a blind person- wherein the former shows the way and the latter endows movement. In our dynamic, vibrant, inclusive study of environment and speaking, we not only acquire a good deal of knowledge to face exams and interviews, but also we gain a stronger impulse to protect the environment. This is how our study area synchronises with practical actions concerning our survival and wellbeing.
Man is arrogant and he thinks that he is free to do whatever he likes. But in fact, in almost all his actions, he is directly or indirectly controlled by the strands of the environment, just like the marionettes which are controlled by the strings of the puppeteer. We feel that we can open our shirts by ourselves, but broadly speaking we are forced to take out our shirts when the temperature rises in the environment. A bit of insight will show that our livelihood, our actions, our dress and our culture are like this because the environment has asked us to be of that sort, and without this understanding we cannot achieve our true development goals and we cannot achieve our wellbeing. According to Life Nature library, environment is the natural home of plants and animals in which they have become adapted to live through ages. The author updates this definition from conservational point of view and describes that ecology is the study of nature and human nature with a view to reversing the process of extinction of the biota and man, caused solely by humans. The author says that ecology has changed our worldview. If two things are different, he argues that they are not supposed to oppose each other tooth and nail, but it actually implies that they can support each other despite their apparent opposition and can exist as a system, like the ecosystem. In society we often discuss which comes first and which is less important- whether forest comes first or soil comes first. Actually both are important, if there won’t be forest the soil won’t be rich, and vice versa. Similarly we must not waste our time in society debating who is better and who is not better, and we should not ask whether a teacher is more important or a policeman is. The right answer is both are equally important and they form a single system, like the eco system, together making the smooth running of the society possible. And this approach should be borne in mind by us in our community work . Public speaking has improved environment. John Muir in America was the cause of many vast national parks and this was accomplished by his speech and writings.
In our community work, we should organise eco camps participated by people of all strata. During the world famous Chipko movement in Himalayas in 1970s, people embraced the trees and protected them from the axe men of contractors and the govt forest departments and saved the Himalaya environment. The organizers of the movement went from village to village on foot and had delightful and educative eco camps through message giving, folk songs and cultural activities. The following is an example of an evocative song sung by the village women in these eco camps.
S o n g
Sister, it is a fight to protect
Our mountains and forests.
They give us life
Embrace the life of the living trees
Clasp them to your hearts
Resist the digging of mountains
That brings death to forest and
A fight for life has begun
At Sinsyaru Khala.
What do the forests bear?
Soil, water and pure air
Soil, water and pure air
Sustain the earth and all she bears.`
Our facilitators and young students should go to villages and tribal areas and impart the messages of environment in an appealing and pellucid way, not in a boring manner. The imparting of environmental education is half- public speaking and half- teaching. Our volunteers should be able to speak in three ways
- To a gathering of fifty or hundred people
- Talking to a group of friendly people in a natural way eloquently as part of happy conversation but never missing the environmental points.
- Talking to very uneducated persons in villages so that they like you and understand you.
They should present nice quotes and astounding facts to impress and attract the audience. For example, we have some excellent quotations here.
17th century British philosopher and essayist, Francis Bacon, said, “ We can’t command nature except by obeying her”. Baba Dioum, the Senegalese conservationist, says, “In the end we all conserve only what we love, we will love only what we understand and we will understand only what we are taught”. Let us try to understand with ease the environment scenario by the aid of some astounding fats. These should be our talking points or punches in meetings or in our interactions. To illustrate, some of the punches can be like these:
- If we denude jungle, there will be more of Co2 in the air, global warming, and our monsoon in India and some other countries will vanish. There will be irregular climate and scanty agricultural productivity. Half of the monsoon has already vanished in India as the average global temperature rose from 15 degree C to 16 degree C.
- Petroleum, coal and soil fertility and our fire wood will not last another 40 years.
- If we fix solar panels in four percent of our deserts, all the electricity needs of the world will be met and we need not have to burn coal or split atoms to get energy supply.
Environmental public speaking, as we have already mentioned, is half teaching and half public speaking, it is implosive speaking. It is not the truth shirking, explosive oratory of most leaders. It follows doubt clearing sessions. Environmental speaking has always a regard for ambiguity and instinctive knowledge. If I ask you whether you are ancient or modern, you will say I am modern, but you will be wrong for your nose, mouth, eyes, blood circulations and impulses are all primitive. If you say I am primitive, you are also wrong for you are enjoying the fruits of the modern science. So the right answer will be, I am modern and ancient at the same time, this is ambiguity and this is truth. A particular insect lays eggs on a particular plant guided by its instinctive knowledge. If we don’t have instinctive knowledge, we will lose our natural flow in speaking, doing, and our community work. In environmental speaking, your memory space is not so important as your dream space- the dream which gives rise to your imagination and communication skills. It is largely seminal and generative, not a crammed or hackneyed thing.
Some Eminent Remarks:
“The book of Prof. N. Negi is original, compelling and impassioned, grounded in the knowledge of the tradition and the field. It is informal and critical in raising the issues. What I like most in the book is the fusion of two diversified topics like environment and public speaking.”
— Dr. D.N. Nayak, Botany Professor, Ph.d Utkal, Post Docs. in Philippines and Germany.
“I understand that you have written this book as an academic book for non-academics. I remembered reading some highly readable and enjoyable academic books written by distinguished scholars in my university years, so I don’t see anything wrong with an academic book being readable and enjoyable.”
— Madam Ruko Dango (Japanese), UN Environment and Humanitarian Officer.
“I think it is a fascinating and inspiring book that presents in an accessible way a huge amount of information on the changes happening to the earth’s environment and the causes of these changes. It also provides the reader with the skills to present and talk about this information publicly. Professor Negi’s work should be read by everyone with an interest in and a passion for environmental issues.”
- Kevin E.G. Perry, eminent British journalist
“I was intrigued by your book, and learned a lot as I read on. No, this book is not about public speaking per se. It is, perhaps, about the more esoteric aspects of the environment. This is a very nice little book and well worth the read.”
— Madam Angela J Elliott, British Author, and Hollywood scriptwriter.