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India and climate change

23 September 2009 One Comment

India stands at an awkward position when it comes to climate change- it doesn’t seem to have one!!! Now, climate change as we all know is the in-thing to talk about but it has been going on for ages—-remember ice age??? well, whats so different about this one??? well, for one we know it is happening and two, there are no prizes for guessing who is going to get extinct this time!!! hence, the urgency and drama about it. So what do we do about it?? we have been talking and talking and yawn…some wake-up calls exist—-(peak oil crisis, gosh, american armed forces might be out of work soon)….and then we have organisations staging demonstrations and bla bla(plane stupid, greenpeace)…and everyone is waiting to sign some kind of agreement before anything can be done about it…and well, some of us just hide our head in the ground…

Now, India seems to be this special case. It is the world’s biggest democracy and has the world’s largest population. Now, the problem with the world’s largest population is that not everyone stands on an equal economic footing, which may be a good thing at this time of ‘climate change’ crisis. Why one may ask? well, they are poor, do not have electricity, do not have a proper roof over their heads, barely eat any food and so it works in the world’s favour and India’s carbon footprint that they don’t consume much. So whatever carbon footprint we do have is thanks to our rich, industrial and developed parts of the country. India’s carbon emissions are about 1.6 billion tons per year (2005 data), but are set to rise to 6.5 billion tons by 2030 (treehugger). Well, why would this happen??? not just because the rich get richer and they get technologically equipped but because the so-called poor with their spirit and entrepreneurship will rise up to glory and attain the desired lifestyle: gaadi, bungla, mobile etc.etc. What happens then??? what??? what, I say??

Well, the whole world seems to be discussing this problem for India but mostly, I think they are discussing it for themselves—what will we do if India becomes as strong/rich/industrial as us??? We won’t have any resources left for ourselves and we can’t go around plundering anymore!!! Well, India is right- how dare anyone tell us what to do??? We are a great nation and will not succumb to any kind of bullying. But the truth is one really doesn’t have to arm-twist India into doing anything, just show them the money!!! India is an economy driven by money- from the politician to the common man, their underlying ambition is to get rich. Having couple of the world’s richest men and companies doesn’t help our cause. So we want to be rich at whatever the costs even if we becomes this big mass of pollution and rubbish. And with this attitude, I don’t think it suprised anyone when India’s waters have been used as dumping grounds for First World waste: we probably got paid for taking in the waste.

From this it is evident that India suffers as a nation as we seem to have no pride in ourselves and in what we do. Yes, we shouldn’t be told what to do but can’t India decide for herself what she should be doing- protecting her people and doing everything in their best interests. We need to relook at our constitution and remember the dreams Nehru, Gandhi and many others had for our nation. We have the intellectual capacity and force to accomplish them but why aren’t we doing anythin about it on a nationwide scale?. It is only too obvious, that climate change is going to hit India very hard- it is predicted it will turn into a desert (New Scientist, 28 February 2009). India needs to act fast and make sure her people will live long enough to tell tales of this nation rather than become victims to famine, droughts and other catastrophes due to negligence and misplaced pride. How can this be done? well, to start with
-India reduces its reliance on traditional fuels reserves as it is definitely running out along with causing pollution.
-We pressure for education-awareness is a huge step. This will also empower individuals.
-No initiative is possible without government backing and involvement. People can only recycle if there is provision for recycling.
– In world politics, India takes the lead, instead of behaving like a spoilt child. We may be a developing nation and much of the problems today may be cause by developed nations, but India as a government and nation has a responsibility to each and every human being, to deliver clean and unpolluted basics such as air,water, electricity..corny but true.

so what are we waiting for???


One Response to "India and climate change"

  1. Alicia says:

    Nice write up Kavi. Now if 0.0001% of Indians thought like you did, the problem wouldn't be so much of a problem.You are right when you say that when majority of the country is impoverished and struggling to survive another day, one cannot expect folks to stand up to issues like pollution and killing of the earth. They have more important things on their agenda – To Survive.Now here is where the government comes in, It has to go beyond pre-election mandates and promises, and do what needs to be done by any sensible government. Not that every politician is stupid, forgive me but I lack a better adjective than stupid. But sooner or later we find our braveheart Shashi Tharoors caving in to day-to-day political pressure, and there you go their souls are darkened.I dont understand what it is going to take for our country to realise that the affected generation is not the next. It is our own. How are we going to save for the coming generation, when we have serious doubts about our own survival. Sometimes tragedy brings out the best in people. Sad reality. We needed 26/11 to "figure out" how ill-equipped our police force was. Such a shame. Now, after a few hundred innocent people have died, we rush to get more guns and train more soldiers. Why were we so lax that we had terrorists easily enter our soil on a freaking rubber boat. That's how safe we are. No passport, no security check, just hop onto a boat buddy, India beckons you. We are too emotional as a nation, Kavi. We ride high on miss world winners, sport medals and the religion of cricket. That's enough for us to fill our chests with pride and call ourselves Indians. Oh yeah, chake de! Some day when there's no air to breathe and no leaves on trees, then maybe, MAYBE, we will change. I hope I am wrong.

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