Environment. The conditions & circumstances that surround a

human being. Natural or artificial. The single most important

factor influencing our lives. It defines what we feel, how we

live, our success, failure and everything else. It can be

considered to be the thread that runs through our lives knitting

together the fabric of our very existence. And now it’s dying.

Rather, it is being murdered. A little each day, everyday. In the

most heinous and barbaric manner. Murdered, by the species

that it provided for the most. The species with the intellectual

prowess to not only preserve it, but improve and help it grow.

A species so lost in fulfilling its own whims and fantasies that

it forgot and abused its own provider. A species which goes by

the name Homo Sapiens.

The environment is a chest of most valuable treasures.

Treasures which sustain the existence of each every being that

calls the Earth its home. Irreplaceable treasures which no

known technology or magic can recreate. And yet, it is being

so carelessly abused and destroyed – faster than it can

recuperate naturally. But, this was not always the case.

Not a very long time ago, man lived in harmony with Mother

Nature. The seasons came on time, there was

adequate rainfall, clean water, clean land. Sufficient for

everyone’s need. Grossly inadequate for man’s greed. And then,

we all got greedy.

What for? For luxury, comfort and an easy life. And this unholy

feeling grew exponentially. Each of us wanted a “better” life.

This was not helped by the fact that the population wanting a

“better” life also grew exponentially. This brings us to the

Population Explosion.

A population explosion is the sudden and

sharp increase in the number of people living per square foot

of a region. And this explosion happened all round the globe.

From the Americas to the Japanese islands, the population

increased exponentially. The world leaders, governments,

medical institutions – everyone had predicted this, but did not

prepare for it. And as the saying goes “Failing to plan is

planning to fail”, we failed big time.

The demands and needs grew inline with the population as is

expected in any habitat. However, the natural production of

resources was not so rapid. And as we were neither

willing to break our backs to speed up production nor tone

down on our needs & demands, we mechanised the production

process. Thus, cometh the Industrial revolution.

The Industrial Revolution was a huge turning point in our

history as a species. It brought with its onset, unprecedented

prosperity, luxury and comfort. All those who could had their

needs and demands provided for whereas the less fortunate

ones were neglected to rot and continue with their sorry

existence. Our relation with Mother Nature also soured. We

used, rather abused her gifts and treasures without any second

thoughts. However, both our greed and population grew.

So, to meet all demands and provide for the ever increasing

population, we speed up production. Establish more

industries. Abuse more resources. Create more waste.

We even slowed down the natural production of resources.

Simply by destroying the natural factories. Trees were cut

down to make more room for population and other products,

lands were laid waste by agricultural or industrial overuse, air

was contaminated by gaseous industrial waste & by-products,

water was adulterated by industrial effluents. The list is very

long and never ending.

We humans are a progressive species. Never content with

what is and always exploring the unknown. We looked to

evolve further. Connect more places across globe. Improve

communication. Facilitate exchange of workforce and ideas

on a global level. So now, we invented faster transportation.

Mechanised Vehicles.

This new technology allowed for faster transport of goods and

people. Making the world a more connected & accessible

place. A more polluted place as well. These faster means of

transport created waste on much smaller scale but were more

widespread. As they provided easier transportation, this

technology become an indispensable part of our lives.

True to our progressive nature we were not content. As there

was still a lot to be explored and conquered. Thus, began our

conquests of improvement & development. Faster cars.

Bigger industries. Taller skyscrapers. We sped towards the

pinnacle of innovation and development.

Today we stand atop the biological hierarchy as the most

influential species on the planet. We have better means of

communication & transportation, industries churning products

of highest quality and what not. It is presumed to be the

paradise that our ancestors dreamed of. But this is a dream that

will soon turn into our worst nightmare.

In our conquests, we forgot the nature that bore us and

provided for us when we were a young species. We abused

and violated Mother Nature. And now we stand on the cusp of

complete annihilation for one day we will find none of our

technological advances can help recreate the environment

essential to our survival.

Why? What has happened?

We have disrupted the balance of life. The biological diversity

essential to the survival of each and every species on the

planet is being destroyed. Natural habitats are being run over

to create more room for people and industries. Natural

resources are being abused to satisfy our wants and demands.

All species except for ours is being starved of the gifts of

nature. Their existence has gone from bad to worse. We are

driving our coinhabitants of this planet to extinction. We do

not realise that this will surely lead us to being extinct in the

not so distant future!

No matter what discoveries and inventions we shall make in

the future, we cannot undo the damage we have done. We can

only hope to reign in the after effects.

The consequences of our actions are such that it predicted by

reliable sources that if we do not counter and reverse the

damages done, we will be helpless against environmental

pollution and degradation in a span of just 12 years. 12 YEARS!!!!

Just 12 years to counter the actions and damages

of over 200 years. It surely is the “endgame” right now.

However, it is no point to fret over what has been done. We

have to put our house in order and fast. For that we need a

movement on the global scale. Something that the world has

never seen. Something that would be the greatest chapter in

the history of our planet. A movement to save ourselves.

This movement would encompass each every aspect of our

lives. We could tweak our lives in both radical and subtle ways,

for both would lead to progress.

The first tweak would be to discontinue the use of plastics and

other non biodegradable materials. These materials cannot be

easily disposed and led to generation of excessive waste. This

in turn leads to dumping of hazardous material in landfills and

oceans which causes environmental degradation in the

corresponding area. Consequently ecology of that area is

adversely affected and the result is ecological unbalance. This

has far reaching effects which continue effect generations of

different species down the line.

The second small tweak would be to understand & implement

the 3 R’s- Reduce, Recycle and Reuse. Reduce our wants and

demands. Recycle material which cannot be easily degraded

to simpler compounds for producing newer products. And

reuse a given product for as long as possible.The 3 R’s is a

simple yet radical idea. Implementation of the same on

various levels can seriously turn the tables in our favour in this

battle against environmental pollution. It lowers our

dependency on natural resources thereby lowering the strain

on Mother Nature to provide for us.

The third tweak would be to implement actions which

improve environmental health. Planting trees, using carpools,

implementation of stringent environmental laws so on and so

forth. We need to identify the major sources of environmental

pollution- industries and motorised vehicles. The usage of

such environmentally hazardous entities should be curbed.

Industry generated sewage and effluents should be treated

before being released into the environment, industrial

emission standards should be strictly implemented, excess

industrialisation should be curbed and taxes should be levied

depending on waste generated and pollution caused. This

would help curb industrial pollution of the environment.

Restriction of use of motorised vehicles is a little tricky as it

effects a very diverse population and can be neither too

abstract nor too specific. The simplest methods to curb

vehicular pollution would to be implement strict vehicular

emission standards, heavily tax high pollutant generating

vehicles like supercars, make use of compressed natural gas,

implement concept of carpool so on and so forth.

However, at the same time we have to realise for any tweak to

be fully accepted by the society we need to ensure that the

tweak does not cause unnecessary hindrance to for then that

idea would go straight out the window and all our efforts

would be in vain. It is in human to resist any significant

change in its surroundings. Thus, we need to take small but quick

steps towards our goal of curbing environmental

pollution and at each step we have to integrate the better

practices in our lives to ensure continued contribution to our

cause.