It is evident from available facts that we are lagging behind the given deadlines that had been set for tackling climate change
The one fact that unites us at the international level, a fact that keeps the interests of all countries in mind, is to make our Earth worth living, with all its
natural resources and hospitable environment. Earth Day represents this unity. Earth Day was first celebrated in America in 1970 in response to the rising environmental dangers, and to warn people against them. Along with this, every year in the last week of March, Earth Hour is celebrated throughout the world since 2007. It is backed by World Wide Fund. According to this, the idea is to stop usage of electricity for one hour. It is a move to unite all the countries of the world from social and commercial perspective.
In the context of World Earth Day, we need to examine the list of goals that have been decided upon by the experts. In this list, the seventh aim is dedicated to ‘Ecological Balance’. Between 1880 and 2012, the temperature of earth has risen by 0.85 degrees Celsius. The reason for this increase has been environment-challenging activities in the past fifty years. The world’s resources are limited and the actual yardsticks of development will be decided upon only if environment becomes an issue. But unfortunately, in the race for development, countries have indiscriminately exploited the environment. It is to be noted that the UNO has included the right to live in a pollution free environment as an important postulate of human rights. Developmental ambitions, in this sense, become more pertinent because along with the question of rights, they lead us to the vision of
an equal society for which a time frame has been decided. The subject of environmentation has been conveniently side lined. Environmental degradation is a difficult fix. Therefore, it would be helpful to view environment not only as a problem but also as an aim.
Development Plan 7
The seventh plan in the development aim is about the balance factor in environment. The definition of this is very wide. It speaks about adopting those methods that follow the inscription of sustainable development. It has been categorised as follows –
1. This point discusses those principles and programmes that help in preservation of the environment. It says that the jungle works like a safety net, especially for the poor. The disappearance of forests is a subject of worry. From 1990 to 2012 the carbon emission has risen by fifty percent. Ozone layer depletion is also a matter of concern. After various efforts, we are hopeful of making some recovery by the mid of this century.
2. The second point is about the attempt to prevent the destruction of biodiversity. Bio diversity is a very important aspect of the ecosystem.
3. A large section of the world’s population is deprived of clean drinking water and sanitation facilities. Clean drinking water is the fundamental right of all people. Therefore, it is the subject of priority at the international level to make it available to all. But as it is obvious, on a practical scale, we are very far away from this aim.
4. The aim is to provide a better standard of life to the population living in slums by the year 2020. Since every individual plays an equivalent & important rode in the process of human development, a good standard of life should be available to everyone.
It is evident from facts that we are lagging behind the set deadlines. The concerns regarding global warming remain as they were. The levels of pollutions are not improving at all. Not achieving the aims even after defining them, is a great mis service. Although most of the countries show seriousness about their intentions in this matter, yet on a practical note not much difference is witnessed. It should be remembered that United Nations had given the call in the beginning of the Vienna Treaty that in the Environmental Plan a reduction of fifty percent in the use of Chlorofluorocarbon was a necessity by the year 2000.
Playing around with the ozone layer which protects us from the ultra-violet rays of the Sun is a direct risk. Methyl bromide, which is present in soil, vehicle fuel and other objects of use, plays the main role in destroying the Ozone layer. But the race for development makes us forget that carelessness would cost us even our life- breath. Some decades ago, scientists had noticed a hole in the Ozone layer over the Arctic ocean. The ill effects of this was seen throughout the Arctic region in the past few years. There has been a rise in cancer of the skin in Australia due to ultra-violet rays of the sun. Despite this some improvement has been noted in the Ozone layer. According to a study by the U.N., it is said that this the result of a firm political motivation. This study was conducted by WMO (World Meteorological Organization) and UNEP(United Nations Environment Programme). But in the Montreal Protocol, the same UNEPstated that the use of Methyl bromide was to be ended completely, by the developing countries by 1996, and the developed nation by 2010. But this not happened. Therefore, a slight improvement is one thing, but a check and control is an entirely different matter. Today we are busy defining our development- ambitions, and trying to achieve them. But at the same time, we have failed to protect the Ozone layer.
Leonardo Dicaprio, the main actor from the movie ‘Titanic’, often makes frank comments regarding the environment and the earth. According to him, “As we enter the 21st century and its development frame, we must learn to give a place of priority to environmental issues, that is, if we claim to be realists in matters related to the development process.” He also says “Our Earth has started sounding the danger alarm. This is the time to wake up; otherwise it would be much too late ”.
We have created a happy illusion about the idea of development in human civilization. Many of our films, sci-fi films, action films, and animation films are a proof of this illusion that we have created. In these films and T.V. series, it is projected that whenever there is a threat to the Earth, a superhero with magical powers will arrive and save the Earth from all problems. These films might be very attractive from the entertainment point of view. But we knew that in real life, when the earth is in trouble, then no superhero will come to rescue it. It is important to give attention to realistic films, not entertaining films. In this respect, it
is important that we listen to the ‘hero’ like Leonardo Dicaprio
instead of waiting for superheroes to come. In this way, we will not keep waiting for a superhero who might never come.
Each Day tons of garbage is being collected upon the earth. Most countries of the world including India are using maximum nuclear energy to meet their power/electricity requirement. We agree that electricity is one of our major necessities, but this alone is leading to environmental imbalance and raising the water- level in the oceans. ‘Green Building’ is in this respect very helpful in minimising pollution and saving the earth. The production of Green Building is done in such
a way that it helps to create environmental balance. According
to TERI, that is the Energy
and Resources Institute, if green building is used for the construction of buildings, then India can save more than thirty-four thousand megawatts of power. It is a matter of surprise that there will be enough supply of electricity to a small town or to half the population of a metropolitan city like Delhi. In addition to this, it will lead to the saving of forty to forty-five thousand crore of rupees each year. However, the cost of the green building is five to ten percent more.
Whenever any crisis knocks at the door of the world, we tend to expect help only from the administration, government or policy makers. But in this process, we forget that if we all are affected by this problem, then even our small attempt to help, can be very beneficial. Activities like growing more trees, avoiding wastage of water, switching off the car engine while not driving, minimum use of air conditioner, using alternative sources of energy, saving electricity, protecting natural resources as far as possible – these are the lessons that we were taught in the schools. These steps might not 0seem to be very important in environmental protection but they actually
go a long way in helping to solve the situation.
© 2016 Sulabh Swachh Bharat. All Right Reserved