“The greatest danger to our future is apathy,” said Jane Goodall.
At the risk of sounding cliché, by and large, human disposition to combat existential threats will be to feel that individually we are insignificant, and it is the duty of people of the highest intelligence, wealth, and who are in positions of power to make policies and solve problems of such magnitude. However, every great endeavour begins from a small step. We all need to step up and come together to address the most defining issue of our time: ‘climate change’.
Though we are not finding meteoric changes yet, in our everyday routine, most certainly, we are experiencing death by a thousand cuts, with incremental effects. Ignorance is indeed not bliss in this scenario. As per the United Nations, we only have until 2030 to act, failing which, if the emissions continue to be produced at the same rate, the effects of climate change would presumably be irreversible.
In the immortal words of Frank Sonnenberg, “Even though the world is large, one person can still make a world of difference.“
Nearly everything that we do or use on an everyday basis, from our household consumption of water, electricity, plastic, dietary habits to wardrobe choices, electronic usage, commute, though seemingly innocuous, are harming the planet to a great extent. It is easy to overlook these effects when we are already so preoccupied with our daily grind. Nonetheless, it is nothing less than our moral imperative, as the more evolved species and the harbingers of the current destruction on the planet, to take collective action to preserve the planet, in the interest of current and future generations of all humankind and all the other living organisms who have made this planet their home.
Do you think we can be considerate to the environment and rise above our personal convenience for the greater good?
The overabundance of the unnerving information concerning melting of glaciers across the world (Antarctica, Arctic, Himalayas, the Alps), sweltering heat waves, rising sea levels, depleting groundwater levels, and extinction of rare species at an unprecedented rate, points us to a harsh truth—that this is a human induced catastrophe without an iota of doubt. Unlike an asteroid, which most probably caused the fifth mass extinction, we can be reasoned with, we can anticipate the consequences, and we need to get our act together with haste to stop the so called sixth mass extinction which is currently underway.
“No amount of money ever bought a second of time.“ The wealth that we hand over to our future generations, whether material or immaterial, will amount to nothing if the only life-holding planet in our solar system becomes uninhabitable, as is being foreseen. Everyday should be Earth Day, and our generation’s legacy could be as the ones who stood brave and took bold decisions, or as the ones who has the means and knowledge to save the Earth but simply lacked the will to do so. Which one would you want to contribute to?
All of us may not be able to give up our routine to fight climate change as an activist or adopt a minimalist living, though the current circumstances indisputably calls for such an extremity. However, along with our friends and families, by making simple lifestyle shifts, we can bring down our own personal carbon footprint significantly to the lowest possible extent.
I have taken the pledge to live a more conscious and sustainable life, because it is not just the best of intentions or thoughts that matter, but as J. K. Rowling fittingly put it “It is our choices that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities.”
I rest my case.
The author is a student at ISDM.