The World is changing, why can’t we?
I think about these words every now and then ever since I first heard them at a meeting at the Forest Department, A.P. by Mr. Raghuveer, IFS. I had the pleasure of being in the esteemed presence of enthusiastic environmentalists, IFS officers, NGO representatives and decision makers of some of the renowned corporate houses, in discussion about the action plan for celebration of 5th June, the World Environment Day(WED).
Why was I there? Why I am writing about it? Does it concern any of my audience? These questions need to be answered before I go any further.
I am a graduate in Environmental Engineering. I have been studying about Environmental issues- climate change, Ozone depletion and pollution since past many years in detail. The more I read about it, the more I get scared. Not anxious, not worried, but scared. Because the way it is, future seems scary. So, I make it a point to attend relevant meetings, programs, workshops as and when I get the opportunity. This is why, I was there. This answers my first question.
The second one is- why am I talking about it? Here, I want to ask you a question. If you realize that there is a fire in the building you are living in, what do you do? If you sense an earthquake coming, what do you do? If you get to know of a flood warning, what do you do? You run and you shout- so that maximum numbers of people get to know about it and get an opportunity to protect them. This is exactly why I am writing about it. I sense the danger and consider it a moral obligation to let others know about it too. I sense the danger of extinction of various beautiful species from the earth. I sense the danger of glaciers melting and submerging the coastal areas under the vast spread of water. I sense floods at some places and draught at others. I sense long dry heat spells and extreme harsh cold coming in the near future for us and the next generations. This is why, I am talking about it.
Does it concern any of my readers? People differ in their opinions about this question. Some don’t believe it is happening. Some say it is just a natural phenomenon, we have experienced ice ages before. I beg to differ. I say it as many times as I can, to as many people who are willing to listen. Climate change is for real. It is there. At a rate which scares me. And it affects as all, it is affecting us all, it will affect us all. The receding glaciers will cause potable (suitable to drink) water shortage. The coastal lines, when submerged will render millions destitute. The floods and draughts will take lives of fellow humans. Why fellow humans, it could be us; ‘You and Me’! The heat strokes, increase in vector borne diseases, extreme cold will all add up the numbers. The species on the verge of extinction form an irreplaceable part of the ecosystems. If they go, we all suffer. I saw this movie on leopards being killed mercilessly by people in the name of senseless fear that they are man-eaters. Not all of them are! And the very few which have turned man-eaters are only because there are no preys left for them in the jungles! This is but another instance of the impact of the change I am talking about. Why should they suffer for the crime we are committing? Pardon me friends; I got a little deviated from the topic because the movie touched my heart. But I am back on the track now. The change in climate will reduce crop yields, resulting in shortage of food. I have presented all the facts I could think of at the impulse. I leave it up to you to decide whether it concerns you or not.
So, what do we do? And this brings me back to where I started from. Take Action. Now, before it gets too late. “You cannot drink the word ‘water’. The formula H2O cannot float a ship. The word ‘rain’ cannot get you wet. You must experience water or rain to truly know what the words mean.” These words by Dr. Wayne W. Dyer from the book-‘You’ll see it when you believe it’ make me stand up and do something about it. I don’t claim to change the world. But I am proud to do my part.
I avoid wasting natural resources.
I switch off the light and fan, when I move out of the room, even if for a few minutes.
I turn off the tap when not in use.
I don’t waste paper and don’t print unless absolutely necessary.
I don’t charge my phone and laptop unnecessarily.
I optimize the power settings of my laptop.
I unplug my VOIP when I leave for the day.
I try not to waste food.
I have started carrying my own bags to departmental stores and I request them not to give me polythene.
I request you all to suggest me to improve. Add to my list. Take away from it if you feel it is not too much of effort. The planet is yours-save it, before it is too late!!