Climate Change and Action
My grandparents tell me of the changes in the climate they have seen over the last 60 years. The summers are hotter; the rains more unpredictable. Two years ago, Kerala experienced a once-in-a-100-years flood.
This year we saw millions of animals in Australia perish due to forest fires. The Great Barrier Reef has lost its brilliant colours because of global warming.
The earth is crying out that it cannot take any more of humans exploiting it. I am inspired by Greta Thunberg who at the age of 15 created a movement that has united schoolchildren around the world. People of my generation want sustainable progress rather than reduce the earth to a dust bowl as we saw in the movie Interstellar.
We have only one planet and we must take better care of it. Already in the last two months due to forced industrial shutdown, we have seen the reduction of pollution around the world.
The Himalayas were visible from hundreds of kilometres away. The earth is resilient but we must give it a chance. Sometimes I wonder if we are the virus and corona is earth’s way of cleansing itself. We can make several personal decisions that can reduce our environmental footprint.
1. Eliminate the use of single-use plastic like cups, plates, spoons, straws.
2. Use cloth shopping bags and avoid plastic carry-bags.
3. Buy good-quality clothes and use them for a long time.
4. Resist the urge to upgrade mobile phones regularly since these use a lot of rare metals which have to be mined.
5. Electronic waste (like old computers) should be discarded responsibly. The government should make facilities to recycle such waste.
6. We should try to minimise unnecessary use of personal vehicles. Use public transport where possible. If not, try to car-pool to reduce the number of vehicles used. Try to use electric vehicles. Use bicycles where possible.
7. In our house, we can use more LED lighting. We can also install solar panels to meet some of the energy needs. We can also do rainwater harvesting. 8. We can buy local food items instead of exotic items from far away which may have more transport impact on the environment.
9. Plant more trees. Create compost from household waste.
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