Lest We Forget
- 1 Post
- Age 24
“Nature Protects if She is Protected” was the motto of the biggest ever environmental conference held in India, the United Nations Conference of Parties 11 (COP11) in 2012. Seemingly, the Government of India has forgotten to practice before it preaches.
It is now undeniable that the disaster in Uttarakhand, India which occurred exactly a year ago was waiting to happen, thanks to the utter callousness of authorities and an untimely monsoon spell which took the nation by surprise. A lot has been said about the short-sightedness of the government in sanctioning numerous projects along the river’s course but the mainstream media has, for the most part, ignored the larger picture of the torrential rain. The Indian monsoon has the propensity to behave in quite the strange way every year but the unpredictability has of late taken a turn for the worse. According to 350.org (International Environmental Organisation) Uttarakhand saw a record increase of 847% in rainfall received in the month of June 2013 and the official death toll was estimated at 6000. These numbers are not merely statistics but a clarion call to stand up and ACT.
Every year farmers across the country prepare themselves for the arrival of the monsoon and hope for the best, knowing fully well that they are at the mercy of the rain gods. They have little or no means to safe-guard themselves against the losses incurred in the event of excess or scanty rains. So for a country whose GDP depends mostly on the monsoon, this problem needs to be addressed more closely.
Climate change activists have, for long, been saying that the biggest problem today is our reluctance to even accept the reality of climate change. On one hand, the scientific community is striving to strengthen the alternative methods of mitigating climate change and advocating it with more substantial and comprehensive evidence while on the other hand, the corporate-politician nexus is going about quashing it with ridiculous statements refusing to acknowledge the phenomenon.
We don’t need to dig very deep in the past to conclude that India is battling an environmental crisis of mammoth proportions. Less than two thousand kilometres away from the rain ravaged Uttarakhand, the state of Maharashtra was in the grip of a terrible drought for two years, making even drinking water scarce and forcing farmers to sell their livestock and migrate to urban areas in a bid to survive. Such increasingly disastrous chain of events can no longer be overlooked as random changes in weather.
Meteorological departments have now suggested that the Indian southwest monsoon could become more unpredictable in the years to come as a result of rising CO2 emissions. However, a solution seems to be nowhere in sight as India still is the third largest consumer of coal and a very inefficient one at that too. So are we digging our own grave? The answer, evidently, is a YES.
So what can you and I do about it? We’re just average citizens who don’t make the laws right? We don’t need to be! From switching off bulbs to educating people, you and I can lead the fight against climate change.
As consumers, there’s no one else who can control our habits more than ourselves. It might sound like a crazy idea that your efforts alone could mitigate this global crisis but hold on! Haven’t you heard? It’s the small drops that make an ocean.