If I were to tell you, with complete surety based on sound science, that your house is definitely going to be hit by a powerful earthquake in the next 5 hours, would you spend your day preparing for it by studying for your imminent college examinations? Or would you invite friends over for a lavish dinner party? Perhaps you might want to spend those 5 hours cleaning the house or just watching TV.
At least I would not. Instead, I would first go and warn all my neighbours, gather all my valuable belongings and money, make a survival kit consisting of food, water, torches, blankets etc. Basically, my plan of action would be to survive and help those around me to do the same. That is exactly what I would do in any kind of emergency or crisis. And that is what I am going to do about global warming.
I am sure you know what the fuss is about. However, I do not think the gravity of the situation has hit you yet. I am not going to tell you about carbon dioxide emissions and greenhouse gases. I will not give you the science involved. No, I will not even provide recommendations and actions that you can take to curtail global warming, because I expect you to know all that by now, what with all the awareness programs and documentaries and movies. I will just try to awaken you to the fact that now it is DO or DIE.
You know, these environmental NGOs are not off their rockers to be propagating their cause so frantically. They are just trying to open your eyes to the danger that our planet is about to face or probably is already facing. Actually, the planet may still survive, but the living beings on it will not. That includes your friends, relatives, parents too, by the way. And not to forget, you.
Might I reinforce that it is not something which will show its effects only half a century later to “coming generations”. It is not an ‘emerging problem’, its right here, staring you in the face. The effects have already shown themselves in the form of record breaking hurricanes, in the increasing frequency of floods, and closer to home, in Mumbai, in 2005, when it rained shockingly heavily followed by a horrendous flood. Why do you want to sit and wait for far more terrible signs of human devastation? It is already late, take action before it is too late. “Too late” means starting tomorrow, it means procrastination. That is how urgent the situation is. Let us say, we are all currently dying a slow death that will be horrific during its climax.
I hear rumours that we will be a superpower by 2020. Really? Well, that is good news – I sure hope our “superpowerness” will help us battle against Mother Nature on doomsday, 2070. Everyone is working towards a better career, better profits, better industries, proficient institutions. All for a better future, when there really is not one. All newspapers and news channels are talking about politics, and sometimes even holding the weirdest of debates on the most uncalled for topics. Why isn’t anyone screaming out the fact that we are going to become an endangered species very soon?
It might sound like I am growing to be unnecessarily paranoid, but preparing for the 2009 CAT exam is not that important right now. Securing the best job isn’t either. Possessing the ideal house and a beautiful car someday is a dream that seems too far off to achieve. The need of the hour is not women’s’ reservation or a nuclear deal. It is not even increasing the number of IIT’s or trying to secure a position in the Security Council of the UN. It is – to survive.
You do not know how to swim, so I hand you a life jacket before you enter the pool. Arrogant that you are of your capabilities as an intelligent human, you refuse to wear it. Obviously, you start thrashing about wildly because you are not able to swim. So I throw in a tube so you can come out using it. For some unfathomable reason, you don’t take that either. You are going down. I jump in to save you, and you, amidst all the panting and gasping for air, push me away! This is exactly what we are all doing. The solutions are in front of us. All the lifeguards, lifejackets and tubes are there. I don’t understand why we refuse to acknowledge it’s presence.
From today, my number one priority is to save myself from global warming. Everything else seems miniscule compared to it, because I can live without cars, and computers, mobiles, air conditioners and technology. But I cannot live without rivers and trees. Am I suggesting that we should all, in the spur of the moment, put behind us whatever we are doing for a while, and starting working eagerly towards global warming? Yes! I sound ridiculous now, but I will not 50 years later. Don’t say I did not warn you then, that Mother Nature is not so motherly after all. If she wants to survive and feels like doing away with global warming, she is going to finish off the largest source of carbon dioxide emissions- Us!
Sharanya Misra Sharma
[Image Source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/chucksta416/533356964/]