India today is fighting with smog. Do you remember the last time you slept on the roof and saw a sky full of stars? I remember when we were small, we used to sleep on the roof at our grandparents’ home. We used to see a sky full of stars and we’d wonder what was up there. We’d sleep soundly after having counted an endless number of stars.
As a 90s kid, I don’t see that clean sky anymore. Gone are the days when our mind was full of imagination and the sky was full of stars.
I remember seeing falling stars and the sky looking like a giant blanket made of stars. I remember my grandfather teaching me about the star dhruva – the star closest to the Earth’s north celestial pole.
We’d try and trace the shapes of random figures in the sky. We’d look carefully for the slightest movement between the stars. Where is that sky that we used to see?
We have lost that clear sky over the last few years due to heavy industrialization and easy access to capital by banks to purchase a car. Buying a car is very easy with banks willing to give you the loan with minimum paperwork. But should there be a limit on how much carbon footprint a person can have? I think with more and more funds and urbanization, things will become easier for a middle-class person, but this also increases air pollution.
Air travel is really a major cause of this as it results in more pollution than just CO2 emission. For example, water vapor at high levels forms thin clouds that lead to global warming. Compared to other modes of transport, such as driving or taking the train, traveling by air has a greater climate impact per passenger kilometer. As per studies, “Aviation is essentially a fossil fuel industry, one which guzzles an eye-watering 5m barrels of oil every day. Burning that fuel currently contributes around 2.5% to total carbon emissions, a proportion which could rise to 22% by 2050.”
Knowingly or unknowingly, we are all contributing to air pollution. The thick layer of smog in Delhi-NCR is just the beginning. I think each one of us should take this responsibility to cut down on our carbon footprints.
Air travel cannot be stopped, and it will take a while before you start seeing a futuristic solar-powered commercial airplane.
What we can do right now is to make intensive use of solar power, and shift our energy requirements from coal and oil to solar power. This will cut down our carbon footprint by significant amounts.
If all schools and offices in Delhi-NCR used solar energy, we would see a clear sky very soon.
You can also install solar panels in your house. Even if you live in an apartment, you can buy solar power from a nearby provider or ask your facility management to go solar for common area power uses.
My mission is to bring back those clean skies by making India clean and green, using the power of the sun. After working in e-commerce for eight years in India and Dubai-UAE, I am back in India with a vision to make the country free from power cuts and polluted air.
Those of us who grew up in the 90s had clean air and a sky full of stars. Let’s make sure the new generation gets to experience the same. Not on an iPad, Android or Mac, but in reality, on the roof, underneath the stars.
The night sky full of stars is still there. The only thing between us and the stars is smog. Let’s fight smog with the power of the sun.