“We have not inherited this earth from our forefathers. We have borrowed it from our children“- Lester Brown.
A quote all the 11th std students have come across in the chapter ‘The Ailing Planet’ to create awareness among the young minds is that “no generation has a freehold on this Earth all we have is a life tenancy with full repairing lease.”
How easy it is to leave it on to the youth to protect the Earth from being sucked into a black hole while all that the government does is sign an agreement of void promises with no implementations (The Paris Climate Agreement, an agreement within the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, signed by 195 countries to limit the increase in temperature globally well within 1.5 degree Celsius) or click a selfie with Greta Thunberg to post on twitter to resonate with the youth.
It is crystal clear that climate change is real, and what we see now in the form of a vicious virus is the fate that countries around the globe destined for themselves. This pandemic is just the first of many to come in the forthcoming future if those in power continue sipping their wine while being indifferent and ignorant. Be it bureaucrat or media; no one has ever taken climate crisis gravely.
Is the government of India waiting for Supreme Court to take suo moto cognizance while the vibrant green heritage of our country is auctioned off? At the same time, lives and livelihoods of tribal people, farmers, fishermen are put at stake as always. Do their lives truly matter when someone is so blinded by greed?
“India has 21 of the world’s 30 cities with worst air pollution”, “India 5th most vulnerable to Climate Change Fallout”, “India’s coal consumption to rise by 5.4% to reach 1076 MT by 2022-23”, are just a few of the headlines we see while scrolling our mobiles but dare it to be seen ever in the television news channel.
People are more concerned with banning of apps rather than Antarctica recording an unprecedented heatwave. Because all we can think about is how does it affect us while we are all cooped up and cosy at our homes right now. How does the locust attack, droughts, floods affect us while we order our favourite food and binge on new series?
According to Niti Ayog, a government organization, 21 Indian cities are going to run out of groundwater by 2020, and almost 40% of our population won’t have access to proper drinking water by 2030. India is starving and drowning while the wrong (read economic) curve is being flattened while we reach more than a million cases in India. According to the BBC, at least 330 million people are being affected by drought in India as I pen down my thoughts in this article.
What is more infuriating is that countries across the globe are being run by people who believed in capitalism more than humanity.
While the respectable(not) Environment Minister is on the verge of selling our scanty remaining forests for “development” at the cost of indigenous people, flora and fauna while continuing to shut people’s voices; all that we are expected to do is send an email, to stop the new EIA draft from turning into law, because it matters now more than ever. We are told that social change cannot take place through rhetoric alone, but today IT CAN. People in power might have given up, but we cannot and should not because it is not an option for us to surrender.