Oral: Vandana Shiva

Climate change has been an issue that many have marked as severe and some have decided to disregard it. Many individuals have already found themselves dedicated to making an impact on the current climate state. Out of many, Vandana Shiva is an environmental activist born on the 5th day of November 1952 in India. Despite being born in a developing country, she had access to education and the will to pursue it to the limit. In 1972, Vandana graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree at the Punjab University in Chandigarh. That was not her limit, in 1977, she then travelled to Canada to obtain a Masters in the philosophy of science (University of Guelph) in Ontario and a Ph.D. in philosophy at the University of Western Ontario. Possessing the same nationality as me, she returned to her country of birth, India to continue her studies in interdisciplinary research in the fields of environmental policy, science and technology at both the institutes of Science and Management in Bangalore, Karnataka.

Back in her homeland, Vandana Shiva, influenced by her interest in human rights and environmentally friendly ideology, created the Research Foundation for Science, Technology and Ecology[1] which is focused on protecting people’s rights and the conservation of biodiversity. Soon, Vandana became the author of many books but I have found two particularly interesting: the Alternative Nobel Peace Prize winner: Making Peace with the Earth[2] and Soil Not Oil[3]. Making peace with earth focuses on the impact on the environment by corporate capitalism[4] and the quest for power by large businesses. Soil Not Oil explains the dangers of society focused on industrialized agriculture. In one of her articles summarizing her book[5], she wrote: “A one per cent increase in soil organic matter can increase soil water holding capacity by 100,000 litres per hectare, five per cent can increase it to 800,000 litres. This is our insurance against climate change, both when there is drought and too little rain, and when there are floods and excess rain. On the other hand, cement and concrete increases the runoff of water, aggravating floods and drought”.

The number of books she wrote and her nationality caught my attention. I find it inspirational that despite being born in a developing country, she achieved such an education, travelled to gain even more knowledge, came back to the country she was born in because she felt it was unguided and finally devoted herself to making a change in the world. She made numerous books that reflected her ideology and her knowledge while explaining the real problems that are affecting all of us. I find it inspirational that such a woman decided to write about these problems and giving written, a detailed explanation about the environmental issues the world is facing, not many, especially born in a country where education is limited and most of its population resides in poverty decide to talk about these issues that some consider trivial.

Indian environmentalist Vandana Shiva: The fight for climate justice: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3bcT_b5luL0


  1. https://www.eldis.org/organisation/A6564
  2. https://www.plutobooks.com/9780745333762/making-peace-with-the-earth/
  3. https://www.northatlanticbooks.com/shop/soil-not-oil/
  4. https://www.worldatlas.com/articles/what-is-corporate-capitalism.html
  5. https://www.commondreams.org/views/2015/04/23/living-soil-lies-solution-climate-change