Save the Earth, spread the word!

Karanvir Gupta
Mr. X: Hey bro, wassup? Do you know I am constructing my new house.
Mr. Y: Awesome man. So it must be designed with all green technologies?
Mr. X: Sorry?? What is that Green technology? I have imported chandeliers, Teak furniture, Italian bath tubs and world class amenities.
Mr. Y: Oh so you want to say you have all what it takes to destroy this earth! Hmmm!!
Mr. X: O.o [frowns] and leaves.
Mr. Y on the other hand enters into deep thoughts wondering where the world is headed to. People are busy accumulating wealth, contain riches and assume power. There is a rat race of taking the lead and leaving the rest behind. Everyone is busy in this digital world connecting to people all over the globe. Industrialists are lobbying to get hold of land areas to pursue their golden dreams and foray the path of so called success and development. The rich are changing their swanky cars every now and then. And phones seem like tissue paper. You plan to throw them before you actually use them. And we use water as if it will outlive our needs. Yes right, it might outlive our needs but not our kids and theirs’.
Well Dear Readers, let me tell you that today is Earth Hour. For those of you who are not aware what Earth Hour is, let me brief you. Earth Hour is a worldwide movement started by World Wildlife Fund (WWF) in the year 2007 to encourage residents and businesses to turn-off non essential lights for one hour (8:30 pm to 9:30 pm). It is generally observed towards the end of month of March. Conceived by WWF and Leo Burnett, it was first observed in Sydney with 2.2million residents participating in the event. The ‘motto’ behind this movement was to act against the ‘Climate Change’ that has got the scientists, researchers and governments on the toes. Since then it has spread all over the globe reaching out to 7000cities in 152 countries. But we can’t get enough of it! The fact is a mere observance on a day for one hour might reflect our consolidarity to come together for the cause but also our inability to sustain the effort.
Though the panic button is pressed yet ‘you’ and ‘me’ seem unbothered and undeterred by the threat. We continue living our lives taking earth for guaranteed. From using water carelessly (be it washing utensils or cars, gardening or bathing) to using plastic in rampant way, we are dooming ourselves to vicious trap. You might be irritated by government’s decision to ban plastic but the fact remains it is one such hazardous material that never gets decomposed and release harmful gases into the atmosphere. Using vehicles for even small distances seem like a comfort without realising that how much pollution it is actually causing. Increased use of technology is a wonderful experience and it is said that we are lucky to born in this age. The bitter truth is being ‘lucky for just us’ and leaving the coming generations vulnerable to the dangers of climate change. The exhaust from air conditioners, emissions from vehicular traffic, industries and factories, use of natural resources like water for generating electricity is causing an imbalance due to our excessive needs. Coal, petrol, diesel and other crude products on which we are so much dependent are limited on our earth and as per research analysis we would have acute shortage by 2050. The heat is on, after all the complete war existing today is on oil rich areas! The point to take home is ‘it is never too late’. An individual’s effort if collaborated with the society’s attempt can actually revolutionise and reverse the change.
You might not believe me and feel that I am exaggerating the matter. Let us have a look at some patterns. Have you noticed the shifting of the seasons by a month or so over the period of last ten years? Have you realised the irregularities in the rainfall pattern all over the country? Have you taken note of imbalance between extreme rainfall and drought conditions? Do you know that 97% of water available on this earth is salty and unfit for any use and the remaining 3% is locked primarily in icecaps and glaciers in polar regions thus leaving only 1% of the net water for 7 billion population on the earth!
Do you know that ice sheets on the Antarctica and Greenland are retreating and melting faster than ever before and it will result in the rise of sea levels which would cause the coastal areas and cities like Mumbai to be submerged under water forever? I remember when Dr. Farooq Abdullah came to my college some three years ago to inaugurate CO2 Research and Green Technologies Center, he said that there is a definitely change in pattern of weathers across which he could be sure because of the changing pattern and intensity of cold in the north. So if a person who has seen this over the span of years is saying this, it means there is definitely something happening in the nature.
Do you know that increased use of air conditioners, ac cars and automobiles releases enough of CO2 (Carbon Dioxide) in the atmosphere to increase the temp and it is estimated that earth’s temperature will be increased by 2 degrees celsius by the end of this century which will result in considerable increase of average sea levels. This will increase salinity of groundwater further causing the ground water problem. The rate at which we are doing deforestation will cause the soil to erode at a faster place and loose its fertility thereby leaving the land barren not suitable for cultivation. Due to cumulative effect of all such changes the sea currents will be disturbed and prevent the atmospheres from keeping warm. This would eventually result into ice age!
Let us assume that all this is false but do you really want us to wait for all this to happen to bring a change in our life styles? Environment and its demographics is not an overnight journey. It is a slow changing process that takes million of years to bring into effect of what is sown into it. Coal and Petroleum what we use today are actually fossils that are deep inside for millions of years. But sadly enough we have overused them. If today also we start living a sustainable-green life we can assure ourselves that our future generations will be safe. And trust me friends it is not tough. Just that we need to make that life-style our habit rather than an adaption. You need not be a scientist to do all this. And you need not even bang your head for scientific jargons like Carbon footprint, Sustainable development, Green Technology, etc. There is already lot of talk happening at “bigger tables”. Let us take some action at micro levels that can actually contribute in substantial way.