June 7, 2011

Living in a body of disappearing lungs...

How would you and I live if we knew that our bodies were slowly losing their lungs? Pretty gruesome, bizzare. If it were the naked truth, will it change us forever?

World Environment Day. WED. One more has come and gone. This time, India played host. And our 'Confidence in a Kurta', the most popular Environment Minister ever, Mr. Jairam Ramesh stole much of the limelight. Tell me something new!

I don't mind if he steals much of the attention. That's well-deserved. With him at the helm of Environmental affairs, Mr Ramesh has put the spotlight back on the Subcontinent by standing up and against the who's who of violation. 

Aptly called the Lungs of the Earth, forests play a vital role in keeping us hale and hearty. They help maintain a state of equilibrium. Well, we cannot put a halt to the much-needed development. But, then, how do we take care of all the Greenhouse gas emissions in a natural way? Forests do. They mitigate the risk caused by unmindful, unplanned development, to put it in simple terms.

What happened to all our Forests? To the Lungs of the Earth? They are fast disappearing. I cried when I came to know that Haiti has lost 94% of its forest cover. A country torn apart by disasters and rife with internal tension! What can make their woes worst? Ignorance is bliss, at its best playing in Haiti. The only source that they have tapped for creating fire for cooking is logs from the forests. May be they were just ignorant of the reality. Getting a meal in time itself is like a luxury for many people there. Then, even if they were an aware lot, how could they bother about the future ramifications so much? The third most hungry nation in the world with all the nation's wealth controlled by the 1% rich, would you blame Haitians? I would rather look into my own lavish, pampered lifestyle to make changes. My life throws many possibilities that perhaps is non-existent for a Haitian.

To even touch upon the depleting forest cover in India, the Amazon rainforests, or any other part of the world is a daunting task. But, what hurts the most is how the well-heeled and well-informed contribute to de-forestation. The most abused resource today is Tissue paper. Step into a restaurant and observe the uncleared tables. More than cutlery, more than the tables or chairs around, there are used or half used or un-used tissue paper thrown carelessly. When some of the educated elite clean the work areas in their kitchen with rolls and rolls of kitchen tissue, no logic can work.

More than half of the world's timber and 72% of paper is consumed by 22% of the world's population. Can we intentionally opt out of this 22%? Just a few simple things and we can at least start to feel good about the amazing possibilities that are right in here.

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