Dr. Banarsi Lal,
Every year 22nd of April is celebrated as the Earth Day to create awareness on environmental problems and protection of the planet Earth. This day is observed worldwide with the conferences, rallies, outdoor activities etc. The theme of this year World Erath Day is “Protect our Species”. It will mainly focus on saving species which are on the verge of extinction due to climate change, pollution, deforestation and illegal poaching. Of all the planets the Earth is considered as the luckiest planet in the universe because it is the only planet where life became possible. Beautiful life developed on this planet whether that is in the form of humans, animals, plants or marine life. But the human race lost its humanity and used the Earth’s resources ruthlessly. The world marks this day to make the human race to realize the importance of the Mother Earth. The Earth is the most unique planet because it developed the most intelligent life called as the human race. Environmental and climate literacy is the engine not only for creating the environmental and climate laws and policies but also to promote green technologies. It is worthwhile to mention here that our Earth planet is losing the 15 billion trees every year i.e. around 56 acres of forest in every minute. Many species are going extinct rapidly. With our efforts we can protect hundreds of species. Lack of environment education has led man to be harsh to nature. There is dire need to empower everybody with the knowledge to inspire action in defense of environmental protection. The Earth Day gives every inhabitant across the globe the opportunity to express gratitude to the planet Earth.
The idea of celebration of this day firstly came to a senator from Wisconsin, USA; Gaylord Nelson in 1970.He was worried about the rapid increase in industrialization and the careless attitude of human beings towards the environment and the Mother Earth. It was envisaged to encourage respect for life on Earth, promote the idea of ecology and highlight the control of different kinds of pollution. The first Earth Day was celebrated by more than 20 million Americans and now this important day is celebrated by millions of people across the globe. It seems that we have forgotten the most beautiful gift that we have got in the form of planet Earth. We also seem to have forgotten that this is our home and we need to take care of it in order to stay healthy and fit. We are mercilessly utilizing and depleting the Earth’s limited resources. Our ignorance is causing severe problems like depletion of the Ozone layer, polluted rivers due to dumping of industrial waste, loss of soil health due to excessive use of agrochemicals, global warming etc. Deforestation is rapidly increasing due to increase in the industrialization. This has disturbed the Earth’s environment. The increase in the Earth’s temperature is melting the ice at the Poles. We already have dug quite a huge well for ourselves but still we can come out from it. This particular day reminds us for the care and love to the Mother Earth. We should protect the earth by planting trees; reduce pollution by limiting the use of vehicles, switching off lights when unnecessary, conserving petrol and diesel etc. These are small steps but when a billion people will do so together, there can be definitely the positive results to protect the Earth. The step of CNG vehicles in New Delhi is really highly appreciable that have considerably reduced the amount of pollution in Delhi. The mighty river Yamuna has also been polluted by the industrial waste.
The size of earth is fixed while its resources are being depleted abruptly. It has been observed that some countries are causing more pollution affecting the other countries also. Many species of flora and fauna are extinct. We should protect our environment for our development. Without adequate environmental protection, development is useless. By 2030, food production will need to double and industrial output and energy use will increase by three times in all over the world and five times in the developing nations. This growth will bring the risk of appalling environmental degradation. Environmental degradation affects the present and future generations. It will harm the human health, reduces the crop productivity and leads to the loss of amenities. Many other problems such as economic development, inadequate sanitation, clean water, air pollution are associated with the environment degradation. Environment and development explores two-way relationship. Firstly, safe, plentiful and healthy water and air are itself a part of development. If the benefits from rising incomes will be consumed in our ill health, it cannot be said as the development. Secondly, environment degradation can reduce the crop productivity. Soils are degraded, aquifers are depleted and ecosystems are destroyed to raise the income can jeopardize the prospects for earning the income in future. There should be positive link between development and environment. The fragile environment is undergoing unsustainable levels of stress from increasing populations, increasing pollution, increasing demand of resources, agricultural and industrial sectors put additional pressure on land and water and increasing solid waste.
People have started to protect the environment in small steps but there is dire need to take giant leaps to save the mankind on the Earth. Stringent laws and rules need to be made, to make people realize the importance of protecting the mother Earth. Every nation needs to cut down on Carbon emissions to reduce the effects of global warming otherwise the global warming will make the ice-caps at the Poles to melt and raise sea levels. It can be so devastating that it will wipe out many countries on the Earth. There is need of collective efforts to protect the Earth from pollution. If we do nothing for the protection of environment and let things be as they are, then there can be the worst results. Earth may take revenge and the wrath of the planet may be even more furious. Many times we have seen it happen right in front of our eyes and observe cyclones, flash floods, sudden fires in forests, tsunamis, earthquakes etc. The havoc flash floods and land sliding in J&K on 5th & 6th September, 2014 is the biggest example. Such types of natural calamities are revenge of the Earth and a small revenge by Earth takes a huge toll on mankind. A major natural calamity happens only when we play with our environment.
Humankind is rapidly depleting the natural resources on the Earth. It is acceptable that we need petrol and diesel to run our vehicles and the Earth is not refusing us. It only wants us to use it judiciously. Similarly the other natural resources should be used judiciously by the mankind. In the fast changing life we are so busy in day-to-day life that we don’t have time to stand and contemplate about the planet we live on. The Earth will find some ways to survive with us if we love and respect it, or without us. So, it’s ultimately we who stand to lose.
On this particular day, let us pledge to do whatever little we can to do to protect this beautiful planet. We can avoid using our car on this day and save petrol and free the atmosphere from some pollution. We can recycle the papers and stop using plastic bags. We should make collective efforts to reduce Carbon emission in the atmosphere to protect the mankind. On this day each of us should take initiatives to plant more and more plants and return the balance to the beautiful planet Earth so that everybody on this planet can live in peace. There is need of innovative ideas and plans to protect our environment.
Dr. Banarsi Lal,