Wednesday, June 24, 2009

THE GREEN LEAP

“Vishnu Dayal Galeria doesn’t know a solar lamp used for an hour means one kilo less carbon dioxide in the air. But a fortnight ago, when his family bought a couple of solar lanterns, they unknowingly contributed to the global green effort, thus suddenly finding a clean, affordable escape from generations of darkness. Thus, more than 15 million (1.5 crore) families are helping India combat climate change.”

Chetan Chauhan, Hindustan Times, June 5th 2009

Frankly, I was pleasantly surprised to learn that alternative sources of energy have already made more inroads into India than I had known. Baby steps have been taken and millions across the country are benefitting from these wise decisions. While authorities who hold the reign of our futures in their clammy hands ruminate & debate over what can be done to combat climate change, people in most rural areas are already showing the way. According to various articles, something like a small environmental revolution seems to be underway. That’s definitely something to crow about! Some of the instances mentioned are truly signs of good things to come. Tamil Nadu will soon have a railway coach factory that will run on wind power. Farmers in Kerala are using manure-based gas for cooking, instead of forest wood. Villagers in Orissa are planting trees on barren land. Himachal Pradesh has provided low energy consuming CFLs for free. As I write this, the monsoons have finally arrived in Mumbai and unimaginable respite has swept across the city. The air-conditioners have been unplugged & the humble fan is back in action. Children & adults alike are literally soaking in the weather with unabashed abandon. Still, the rains have been anticipated with a sliver of fear every year since the deluge of 2005, which was one of many disasters across the globe – a small but significant aftereffect of global warming. And the painful memory of that makes these baby steps to combat climate change all the more significant and meaningful

All said & done, these are still remote instances. Can this become a reality ALL over the country? One of my respected professors had once quoted, “Where there is a will, there is a RUNWAY!” Verily, if we will to soar with purpose & enthusiasm, then the mountain shall definitely come to Mohammed. Renewable energy is the new mantra, the manna to help tackle most ills plaguing our climate. Renewable sources of energy like solar energy, wind, biomass et al need to replace the more polluting & redundant coal generated energy and nuclear energy we are so dependent on. India is among the world’s five biggest storehouses of coal and depends heavily on thermal power — a major source of carbon emissions — to generate 70 per cent of its energy. Imagine the sheer curtailment in the amount of greenhouse gases by using renewable energy! But for it to be a successful investment for the future and become the spine of energy generation, it needs to become the main source of energy rather than languish as an alternative. To an extent, this requires renewable energy to be decentralised and be offered at an affordable price. That is something our sarkaar needs to look at. On a mass scale, awareness about the benefits of renewable energy needs to be all-pervasive, consequently catching eyeballs & imaginations of concerned citizens and the government. On this front, the print media and Greenpeace India is doing it’s bit to garner popular opinion & petitions towards the Prime Minister, Dr. Manmohan Singh to pass a Renewable Energy Law as swiftly as possible to make this fledgling energy revolution an integral part of our future. The Green Idol campaign has already made its’ rounds in Mumbai & Bangalore and is headed countrywide for increased support for the Renewable Energy Law (www.greenidol.in)


Like you, even I am sceptical how gathering petitions alone will solve the crisis that we’re facing today. But if putting in my vote might get our voice & opinion across to those who make the decisions, then I’m all for it. And I’d rather know I’ve tried than sit at home & complain about mundane things. There’s so much YOU can do. Climate change is killing our planet, and consequently killing us. And before you look away, remember that the “US” includes “YOU” as well. Help save the planet for YOURSELF!

Neil Armstrong, the first man on the moon had quoted a historical statement and it rings true today for every step we will take towards actualizing a cleaner, greener India.

“One small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.”

Go on, take that small step, make that giant leap …


11 comments:

  1. Thanks for writing.You are amazingly cleanhearted and transparent.

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  2. They need to give importance in school too. making evs compulsary doesnt work. in our college they gave us the list of questions from which we could expect the the final paper. Too much theory too. They should make documentaries or take field trips to interest the student. Just theoretical bullshit in the text book doesnt work.

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  3. The complaint over, I think greenpeace is doing an amazing job. And finally finally finally rains are here!

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  4. You're absolutely right about the need for practical value based efforts, beginning from our education system itself. It has been discussed before, and the current govt has ,in fact, thought of major educational reforms. So let's hope for the best

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  5. I dont think ki govt. k effort se kuch hoga... Govt. ne evs compulsory toh kar diya h lekin students isme interest nahi lena chahte hai.......... is subject ko students sirf paas hone k liye padh rahe hai..kyunki evs k exams toh hote h lekin iske marks nahi jurte hai......... AGAR HOME EXAMS ME AISA HOTA TOH THIK THA LEKIN BOARD EXAMS ME BHI ISE IMPORTANCE NAHI DI GAYI HAI...... isliye most of us r not taking this subject seriously....... sirf subject compulsory karane se kuch nahi hoga.......... last year iski books market me available hi nahi thi..... aur yeh bhi ek karan hai ki students is topic ko seriously nahi lete hai.......... I hope govt. is subject ko utni hi importance de jitna baki subjects ko milta hai ....

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  6. But caring for the environment, by view of youngsters is just a trend... Celebrity endorsements saying that they use recyclable condoms trying to make two points in one go, teenagers carry eco friendly items from pencils to laptops.... It's not about cutting down anything, not about making donations to charities but about -i accuse of myself of repeating what has been said- using enough but not too much. You don't need to give, but you shouldn't take away. Greenpeace is a marvelous organization which is also practical, and programs are being implemented from elementary stages. Steps are being taken to make young children aware, apart from the compulsory EVS, some schools do take the initiative to bring some good programs to get a child to take interest. There are field trips and clubs relating to this, i know as i belong to some in my institution. But the point is it's as easy as using the other side of that piece of paper you're writing on..

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  7. yeah. they give importance to evs. but ask anyone giving hsc boards about evs. they will probably reply ' oh yeah. we have that headache too. will study a day before' . NOt their fault entirely you know. they are under so much pressure for other subjects. also those who do actually do environtment friendly things, they should be appreciated and rewarded or at least be acknowledged. People like to be told that they are doing a good job. yeah Art Buchwald's words really touched me. :P

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  8. sir,
    thanks for endorsing renewable energy
    i am a student of electrical and electronics engineering and i found it very pleasing to find out that even celebrities are supporting this cause.
    i can assure you that presently a lot of research is put in this field and as I write this comment my friends are discussing about the prospect of wind energy to be utilized in households :)

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  9. @ Munkilyobsessed - I wholeheartedly agree with your POV

    @ Spicymist, Shriti = I agree that many students will find the compulsory EVS an unnecessary headache. But that is predominantly because of the kind of teachers we have and the education pattern we follow where theory is all pervasive. EVS is a subject where active participation in day to day practical activities is required. Its akin to Cricket - you cant learn cricket by reading texts- YOU HAVE TO GO OUT THERE AND PRACTICE
    Also, it remains to be seen how much of it can be applied in our daily lives, which is when REAL interest in this will begin and it will become part of our daily routine. Also, the children need to take active interest and teach their family members about EVS as much they can - its a herculaen task overall but the seeds need to be sown now

    @Corrupt - I'm glad to hear of that. I endorse this cause as a normal person- like you and me, and I hope some good will come out of it. Do keep me updated on the prospect of wind energy that you've mentioned. Cheers and all the best!

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  10. @meiyang the new educational system is trulyy career'crushing weapon!!!!!!no boards!!

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  11. Anonymous3:47 AM

    hmm..... very sensible...recently I met an Gentleman who was in his 50's in an event, had a brief chat about sustainability, he stopped me in the middle of my conversation and said, where is the limit for sustainability and lets not talk about it. Unfortunately this is the state of 99.9% population across the globe about the idea of going green. But good job, you as the citizen of this planet are doing your bit. - apg (my website www.hempforeverything.org)

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