Thursday, June 5, 2008

World Environment Day : WED, for short

When I got up this morning I didn’t exactly remember it was World Environment Day. I simply walked up to my mom and wished her happy bday (her big 40th). Only after I finished my morning ablutions and set down for my diurnal task of squeezing every bit out of the newspaper, I realized it was WED (except it was THURsday- sorry for the pj). Well, it wasn’t a big realization and I couldn’t have missed it for too long. Every single page was covered in some sort of ‘green’ drawing or stats (vital?). Every page was trying to teach me ‘ways towards low carbon lifestyle’. For the uninitiated the slogan for WED 2008 is “KICK THE HABIT! TOWARDS A LOW CARBON ECONOMY”. It’s a different thing altogether that I am aware of all these ‘ways’. All of us know energy saving lamps are better than the typical bulbs. We have all been taught (made to cram- I remember my tenth standard science!) the advantages of renewable sources of energy over the conventional ones. How many times are we told (too many in my case) to switch off unnecessary lights and fans?

I didn’t think I needed to be reminded all this. I was pretty sure that I don’t live a wasteful lifestyle. And as it always happens, just then my mom told me to switch off the TV as I was reading the paper, I was pulled back down to the ground. Man I hate it when this happens! To avoid more such realizations I went straight to the sports section. Ah! Peace. Safina won. Delhi daredevils’ Asif caught with drugs. EURO 2008. Nadal for the semis, on bday. Paes- Bhupati to play together in Beijing. By this time I had forgotten all about the WED. Slowly I progress to the editorial, both convoluted and simple ‘messages’ catch my eye. I overlook it and turn the page. I am already bored of all this. On the corner of the next page (or the previous one, as I am reading it back to front), an article with a web- page background interests me. I read, and I read on. Believe it or not (I blame my stars!!) this one too was about WED. The opinionated writer was after orkutters and bloggers in that there are very few communities existing on orkut, facebook (etc.) voicing ‘the young generation’s concern’ for nature. Further on, the ‘few’ communities were listed with a description of the mottos, and in a single piece the youth was (once again) maligned. I could have entered into a fight with the writer had he been there. But, good for him, I had to be content with spilling my fuming thoughts here. I wanted to know how joining an online community helps in improving the environment. If Mr.Writer was so concerned about nature, he could have done better by appealing to the government. Instead of wanting the ‘young and vibrant’ to stage protest against the government for not making efficient plans for cleaning Ganga, why doesn’t he go and sit outside the Chief Minister’s office? Better still he could have told the newspaper guys to reduce the amount of utter nonsense published every day in the papers, to decrease the number of colors used, to cut a couple of supplements, to reduce in size or remove altogether pictures of ‘celebrities’. I thank you for reminding me of what I have not done for my environment, but I think it will be good if you took heed of your own advice. We are not irresponsible as is often thought; we are, as much concerned as you. And to prove this, I emulate your act of penning down thoughts. Guess, I have done my part.

Ah yes, the paper was- Hindustan Times. It wasn’t that bad after all. I did get reminded of the benefits of public transport (new low floor ac buses run by DTC are awesome!!-no kidding), car-pooling (with oil price hike this seems to be the key) and switching off the computer (I DO have this ONE bad habit (yes, stop smiling) of leaving my comp on or putting it on stand-by). As a small beginning, from my side I have decided to switch off my laptop when not in use and also to take a bus when possible. See what you can do for the environment.


When did it all begin?

World Environment Day was established by the United Nations General Assembly in 1972 to mark the opening of the Stockholm Conference on the Human Environment. Another resolution, adopted by the General Assembly the same day, led to the creation of UNEP.


Face d Truth !! said...

hey..hi..gud 1..thnx for enlighting..btw u r very true..that we are not that irresponsible after all but i used to curse our EPAC Hub(dc++) for sending mass message multiple times bt dey r nt wrong in one sense..and as yesterday only wen whole nation was addressed by our own PM Mr. Manmohan Singh..v need to save energy n simultaneously search for alternative it all starts from our home..self-commitment and den preach rest all for d same..
lets step forward for this cause.
Signing off.

vidya said...

hey nice post, but ya, the constant cribbing abt how v shud save energy instead of doin somethin abt it is what irritates me.. and one person doesnt need the car to himself, esp in cities like bombay, blore where the traffic moves at a speed of few inches/hour! avoiding plastics, not litterin etc etc are all the small things we could do but hey we shud realise it on our own or the govt shud enforce a law, theres no way else we could see a clean place :|

rip van winkle said...

Hiya! Good to bump into you on the blogosphere :D
Nice post :) I do think you're being a wee bit harsh on the author of that article though, especially since we don't know that he hasn't done anything about it himself. The main paper wouldn't really carry articles of any random person with no background on the subject, would it?

rip van winkle said...

Anyway, about the rest of the post, yes I agree we should all do our bit for the environment. It's maddening, the apathy so many people show in this issue, and even more so when they are the youth. How many of us in college are guilty of never switching off our fans and lights? And littering! (deep breath) It's bad enough that we are, in the absence of stringent laws, helpless about the deplorable civic sense(or lack thereof) of the random person on the road. But when you see that same kind of flippant attitude in people in college, jeez, it can so drive you up the wall. One look at the lib lawns, and you'll know exactly what I mean. It's things like this that nearly force you to concede that article guy had a point. For every step forward, the black sheep pull us two steps back.

Vidya said...

lol ms, the lib lawns :-\

NAL'I'n'I' said...

i agree i was being a bit harsh but in my defense, the reaction was a result of a whole lot of nonsense published. Also, just as u said ms i dont really know how much the person has done, neither does he know how much we care. You cant really show the latter (without putting in a lot of efforts and doing something about it).
anyways chillz, i have not driven in the past week, so have stuck to my resolve (though mom is largely responsible for it by not allowing me)
and your refrence to lib lawns reminded me of our 'cleanliness drive' during zephyr.ramya made us give our names even though most of us were busy with something else!

Varun said...

maybe the oil price hike isnt too bad after all :)