Melting_ice

Esha Chanda,

Columnist (Our World)

 

Now here’s an ironic situation — last year around this time, people across the globe were flipping out because the world was supposedly ending in December 2012. And now that we stand at the brink of the date on which the Mayan calendar predicted the end of Earth, people don’t seem to be bothered about it any more. You may believe it or not but the prediction that humankind would be wiped off the face of this planet did get the ordinary minds thinking. Everyone’s immediate concern was the environment and global warming and its repercussions.

While it was good that we had everyone paying attention to the reasons behind the deteriorating environment rather than having people running around making bucket lists, the sad part is that it didn’t last for long. Time passed and the interest of the people shifted from nurturing Earth back to its health to mundane activities like where would they end up in the next family vacation.

Here’s where the question arises. Are we going to strongly react only when scholars declare that they interpreted some ancient calendar that claims the world is going to end or are we going to stand up and take preventive measures? Time and again science has proclaimed that if things continue at the same pace, the end of our planet would come nearer. But does it affect that middle-aged man who has kept the heater on? Does the housewife make use of less running water? Are companies undertaking any precautions to see that less chemicals and smoke enter our atmosphere? Does the common man in anyway seem to be even remotely affected by the fact that the ozone layer is depleting and will grow as thin as the iPhone 5 he flaunts in his office?

Melting-ice-polar-bearLook around you. Just stop for a moment and open your eyes to see what’s happening to the world you live in. In October 2012, Eastern Australia received a snowfall when Australians were expecting spring. Overnight, the areas surrounding Blue Mountains and Southern Highlands in New South Wales were covered with snow. Thousands who rely on Peru’s Quelccaya ice cap, the largest in the tropics, for water for drinking and electricity will be left without any fresh water if it continues to melt at its current rate. The Greenhouse gases emitted by humans (through combustion of fossil fuels in cars, electricity and factories) are increasing at an alarming rate. Floods and droughts are going to become a common phenomenon. Different species will migrate and move towards the north and some might even be extinct. And if these effects don’t bother you because it might take years, keep in mind the hurricanes and storms that are regularly affecting the United States. These hurricanes are likely to get stronger and cause more havoc and take away more lives.

We know that you cannot do much when a hurricane is approaching you but here are some simple things that could be adopted by the common man to reduce their carbon footprint. Stop wasting gallons of water, turn off the heater when it’s not required, sort out the garbage accumulated at your house, avoid dumping chemicals in the flowing rivers and streams, walk to places and refrain from stepping out your house in fancy cars emitting smoke, take caution while using non-renewable resources. And the simplest of all is to plant and nurture a tree, just one tree in your entire lifetime. That’s not much to ask from anyone. While we have governments and organisational bodies coming up with protocols to reduce the emissions of greenhouse gases, it’s the common man who needs to work towards it. Even the Kyoto Protocol would be a failure if we don’t step up now.

Earth is your home. When you can keep individual homes safe and protect it from harmful forces, every individual in this world can work collectively to save their planet from a dreadful end. Don’t wait for horrifying stories of climate change and ozone depletion to be your motivating factors to get up and work towards the betterment of the planet. Our Earth can still live a long life. If there is an end of this planet, don’t pull the ropes and reach there before time. We are not ignorant fools, yet we behave like we are and turn a blind eye to what’s crystal clear in front of us.

It’s a humble request from the team at The Global Panorama. Take a vow today so that generations to come see a greener and happier Earth. Save the world before it’s too late.

Image Courtesy: © Rosendahl, Released into the public domain; Agrant141, Licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license | Wiki Commons

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