What would be your take on being a Nature’s friend?
There are so many themes that are talked about today on Nature or the environment, but to me it’s about protecting and nurturing the wonderful planet that we have been given. It’s a privelege to be in this algae-bluish-green rock that’s 2 stones away from the sun, breathing the fresh air, thriving and frolicking in this awesome earth!
But, for our conveniences and comfort, we have almost destroyed this planet in the past 3 decades in so many ways. Especially, the last two decades has seen the individualism rise to its peak – with people looking for individual comfort, diverging from the landscape of the past of few well-to-do and many minions. Well, that’s fine, only if we didn’t have this many heads! Especially, in India, the 1.3 billion!
Once a person is here in this earth as a human being, you cannot ask them to limit their aspirations – be a miser on their wishes, earn less money and live within the means – all these advices are not going to bear fruit – in this age of technology enablement, democracy and freedom. The only other option is not to bring in more and more human beings to this planet. We all have that choice as individuals, and if we really care about the Nature, that’s the best way of being the Nature’s friend!
Let me explain in more detail with some statistics – with data – for the folks who are not convinced of this.
Out of the 7 billion population of the world, 1.3 billion are in India! That’s 17% of world’s population living in 2% of the world’s land! You will very well agree that every human being need the basics of – air, water, food, space to live, education and job. Let me just take these basic 6 parameters without going into other extended parameters like energy, aspirations, travel and entertainment. Now, let’s look at where we stand in each of the 6 basic parameters:
There’s oxygen depletion happening in earth, and they say that by 2025, we will have 40% less oxygen. Can you imagine breathing 7 times a minute instead of the regular 12 times a minute?
Several business stalwarts are beating their chest that they have invested on water resources since the next world war is going to be on water! Fair enough if you want to be an autocrat who want to rule and control large masses of people, but if you want to be a sensible human being, you would rather contribute to creating awareness about containing the no. of people such that we all have water to drink. Water conservationists talk about conserving every drop of water from the tap, saving every water resource, etc. That’s all fine, but if the no. of human beings keep on increasing, how are they going to find land to live and water to use? They will encroach lakes, and thus bring down the amount of water available, in addition to consuming more & more water!
No doubt India has done well on agriculture, but of late, we have lost our traditional grains and millets, and also looking for imports of wheat from foreign countries! This could be because of mismanagement, but the point is if we mismanaging with the existing levels of population itself, how will we able to manage more? We should be ashamed to that the sons and daughters of our agricultural workers do not even eat a single good meal everyday. As it stands, this scenario does not support ‘Nature’.
Space to live
Needless to say – the more no. of more human beings – more demand for living space – lakes, foothills, riversides enroached and houses built – and we cry foul and blame God when earthquakes, floods and natural disasters kill people – as happened in Uttaranchal recently. Well, is it the Nature’s fault ?
70% of India lives in villages, and we all know the story of rural education. No intervention is helping because of the sheer no. of children that need be educated. Quality is already suffering, and in addition, if we have more and more babies, who is going to educate them? Let’s not forget that uneducated, unskilled people are a burden to the nation than being assets. If they are not educated, how will they be sensible enough to take care of ‘Nature’ ?
Our workforce population between the age of 22 and 60 is going to increase from 575 million to 810 million in the span of next 15 years. This is without counting the babies that might come by in the next 2 decades. How are we going to give job opportunities to them, and what will happen to the ‘Nature’ while we build office and factory infrastructure for these people?
As it stands, we are looking at a very gloomy, bleak picture at Nature and its resources. We have leveraged to the maximum extent possible, wherein the demand can never be met with the supplies. It’s time that we need to reduce our demands by containing the no. of people – abstaining from having babies for the next two decades, and every one of us working in whatever ways possible to spread the message and making personal decisions in life – to be single, to marry but not to generate babies, but may be adopt, etc.
Government policies can be enforced to reward familes without children or families that totally adopt children, and not give the financial benefits for the families that generate babies. India, being a democratic country, will take many years for the people to accept any government initiated measures – and economic carrot being the prime motivator that could work in this market driven picture. We cannot enforce things on people, and we have known by experience that it does not work. Only way is to create awareness.
The urban people can adopt. The rural can stop generating babies for labour, while their economic wellbeing can be taken care by social enterpreneurship, NGOs and government measures.
If we all put our heart and soul on this, this can really work, and we will be doing a very big favour to the Nature by being a sensible race that nurture this planet and not destroy it for its selfish needs.
Otherwise, any amount of trees planted is not going to help. Any amount of water conservation is not going to help. And any amount of pollution control is not going to help. Because, we have exceeded the threshold of those measures being helpful and being scalable.
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