Medicine for the Ailing Planet

Winner Of CSC January 2020 13th Essay Competition : Deepakshi Jindal

“The biggest threat to our planet is the belief that someone will save it”

-Robert Swan

Man himself can make or mar his own destiny. He can save human race or can destroy all forms of life. The present indications are not encouraging any hope or improvements. The increasing environmental pollution is creating survival problems. The forests are disappearing, the deserts are expanding, and the earth is becoming inhabitable. Our planet is in trouble chiefly because of a population boom. Rapid industrial growth has polluted the natural environment. Environment pollution causes global warming and it is a threat to the whole civilization. The poisonous chemicals and gases, the carbon dioxide and the industrial waste are the real enemies of our race. Mahatma Gandhi once said that the Earth has enough to complete our needs but not our greed but today due to our misdeeds, earth is facing numerous and big problems. The man has taken all the gifts of Nature for granted. He has been exploiting all the natural resources madly and in excess on the name of development. He thinks he has absolute right over the land, the sea and what lies deep below in the earth. Overuse of limited resources and their side-effects have made the earth inhabitable, not only for the present generation but also for those who will come hereafter; whether we are moving forward in terms of technological advancements but at the cost of our planet ailment. Even Article 48A of the constitution of India calls upon the states to protect and improve the environment, the forests and wildlife of the country. But this provision is rarely acted upon and enforced. In the last 100 years or so, we have done the greatest damage to the earth; we have polluted the air, soil and water. We have created shortages of all things of our basic needs. In 1972, for the first time, the people realized the danger to the very existence of our race, and the urgent need to check it. The Green Movement was started in New Zealand. The panic gripped the imagination of the entire human race. There came a shift in our outlook. We started taking the holistic view of the world, the world as a whole and not in terms of national interests. This change proved revolutionary. For the first time in human history, the people began to see the world as a living organism. As one body, all its needs and parts have to be respected. Preserved and used sensibly. We are, after all, not the absolute masters of this earth. We are only the trustees of this legacy. It is our moral duty not to leave this earth sick and robbed of all natural resources.

A study conducted by the UN warns that the environment is a critical stage in 88 countries investigated. What, after all, are the factors marring the future of human society? On top of all the evils, is population growth? Every four days, the world population increases by ten lakh people.

Omar Bradley once said, “Revolution can’t operate in a vacuum, it requires participation in the real world.”

Now our earth needs medicine for its ailment and the youth can take the responsibility of doing it. We need a shift in awareness of our own unconscious individual choices that result in actions that contribute to these problems to conscious decision making and action. First of all we have to reduce the usage of automobiles and vehicles because they deplete the fossil fuels and also their usage leads to pollution. Instead of it, we should use bicycles or prefer carpooling. Use the 4R’s which are REDUCE, RECYCLE, REUSE and RECOVER.Nowadays, massive corporate-owned mono-agriculture is depleting biodiversity with genetically modified organisms, and poisoning local water sources with contaminated soil erosion and agrochemicals, while local economies falter. This can be reduced by supporting local organic farmers who provide local employment, fresh food, andnourishment to their communities as they support biodiversity of local wildlife and reduce carbon emissions through reduced transport of their goods and services; invest in the “crop insurance” of heirloom varieties that provide viable seeds for the following season; invest in perennial crops that can withstand fluxes in climate; invest in the education of new farmers that focuses on regenerative methods of agricultural production and ecosystem restoration.

In the Asian countries like India stubble burning is the major problem in the Northern states due to which people face breathing problems and the land become unfertile. Farmers should be taught to stop doing this and the government should take the actions. Also the emission of harmful greenhouse gases from aerosols, air conditioners and refrigerators etc. can only be reduced if we increase our toleration power. Before two decades there was no such use of these electronic devices on a large scale; today man is totally dependent on machines. It is wrong.To save our planet, we have to minimize their usage. Deforestation and mining are the major problems due to which mother Earth is ailing. This can be countered by afforestation. By growing more and more trees we can secure the lives of our future generation. It is our only passport for the future. Industry can play a crucial role in keeping our air, water and soil clean. No generation has a freehold on this earth. We have got only life tenancy. These days, heavy industry polluting air and water supplies while producing excessive amounts of unrecycled materials that ends up in vast landfills. Investment is needed in the innovation of scientists and systems designers to design a “soft” industrial model founded on recycling of all materials including cycling “wastes” back into the system, creating a net zero carbon footprint modeled off of the principles of nature itself.Materials must biodegrade. Policies are needed that regulate the production of material items, assessing the true value of an item based upon its total environmental cost and benefit to humanity, resulting in the reduction of needless garbage and ecosystem degradation. Policies are needed that place industries accountable for the garbage found in landfills and on sides of roads; it is this current system of industry whose name is littered across the highway.

We live in an age of incredible technological knowledge and skill and the common person now walks around with powerful gadgets that are connected to satellites in space that enable them to communicate with anyone around the world.We need to harness that innovation towards the development of technological systems that allow humans to enjoy the goods they want without sacrificing the rest of the Earth for them.Innovation is needed in material engineering, to find low-cost options of degradable materials for items that are not intended to last a lifetime. Innovation is needed in mechanical engineering, to design filtration and production facilities that are manmade “green machines” that harness nature’s powerful tendencies to produce materials without emitting toxic wastes and chemicals.We need innovation in architectural design that builds using natural patterns of stability and structural integrity, while installing internal systems that regulate the interior climate much like the body regulates its internal organs.We need investment in education to make these innovations a national priority.

Hence, many government reforms need to be made, to bring the political process back to a state of transparency too seldom seen on The Hill.To finance these critical investments in national innovation, we need to shift political priorities from where they currently stand, and invest in education and innovation to solve these great problems facing humanity.

“The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.”

All over the world there are a lot of environmentalists who are trying their best to provide medicine to the ailing mother earth. Bayarjargal Agvaantseren from Mongolia, Linda Garcia from United States, Ana Colovic Lesoska from North Macedonia who were awarded with Goldman Environmental Prize for their great works to save the Earth. To put in the nutshell, Barack Obama says, “I refuse to condemn your generation and future generations to a planet that’s beyond fixing”

Even the use of CNG vehicles in Delhi and ban on vehicles more than 16 years old are some of the ways adopted by the administration to curb the evil of pollution. So, we must step forward to preserve our ailing planet and should work as a medicine for its ailment because ‘The Earth is what we have in common’.