Sailesh Rao On Why Ahimsa (Nonviolence) Is An Essential Response to Climate Change

“When I despair, I remember that all through history the way of truth and love has always won. There have been tyrants and murderers and for a time they seem invincible but in the end, they always fall — think of it, ALWAYS.”

Mahatma Ghandi

Today I am pleased to offer a conversation with environmentalist, engineer and technologist Sailesh Rao, the founder and Executive Director of environmental non-profit Climate Healers.

With a focus on ahimsa — the Sanskrit word for non-violence — as an essential and perhaps the most powerful response to climate change, Climate Healers promotes technological and engineering advances aimed at clean air and reforestation. Partnering with NGOs, tribal villages, and school clubs, current projects include efforts to devise an affordable and high-functioning solar powered stove to replace the traditional — and quite environmentally detrimental — wood burning stoves that proliferate across low income areas of India.

An electrical engineer by training with a Ph.D. from Stanford University, Sailesh’s background in technology includes stints at both AT&T Bell Labs and Intel, where he was instrumental in developing early iterations of the internet itself.

Sailesh is also the author of Carbon Dharma: The Occupation of the Butterflies*— a call to undo the planetary damage done by the human species in its present “caterpillar stage” of existence.

As for palmares, Sailesh was selected as a Karmaveer Puraskaar Noble Laureate, an award presented by iCONGO (Indian Confederation of NGOs) whose primary mission is to encourage citizen action for social justice.

This is a conversation about environmental preservation, the inherent and incredible power of ahimsa, the imperative of service and a reminder that each and every one of can make a positive difference in the world.

Sailesh is a highly intelligent, contemplative and compassionate man devoted to making the world a better, cleaner place for us and future generations. I greatly enjoyed this conversation and applaud his advocacy and devotion to service.

I sincerely hope you enjoy the exchange.

Note: Apologies for publishing this episode a day late and for the brevity of this post. I am currently traveling internationally with little free time or internet access. I’m doing my best under the circumstances and appreciate the consideration. When I find the bandwidth, I may supplement this entry with additional thoughts and resources. Thanks for understanding!

Peace + Plants,


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Production, music & sound design by Tyler Piatt. Additional production by Chris Swan. Graphic art by Shawn Patterson.

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