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
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.
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