War Against Global Warming: How can we participate?

Perhaps India will be one of the worst affected countries due to global warning. Instead of waiting for other countries to do their bits, we as Indians must start changing our habits that will help the posterity. With G-8 in Hokkaido, Sapporo in Japan discussing the issue as main topic, I got reminded of my own visit to the place in North Japan where Isuzu Motors had an engine manufacturing plant. It was a small place, but I can never forget the huge frozen lake with a small patch of cold water and those birds that we visited.

Today on my morning walk, suddenly my mind started thinking on the subject of global warming. I find every day, many coming to the park in their huge gas guzzling cars for morning walk from the nearby sectors. I don’t know why in that early morning they use the car when their purpose is to take walk. They can certainly come walking, save the fuel and from its emissions and exercise themselves. Many a times, we can always go to the nearby places by walking instead we use car, unless a question of status interfaces. Can we shun this practice, unless it is absolutely essential such as in a case if one is old enough to walk even a short distance? If we dislike walking, in a family with multiple cars, can’t we keep a cycle, an electric scooter or a Reva or one using LPG for short drive where the status is not at stake? As reported, the Chinese practise this. “Despite China’s leap into modernity, the bicycle is far from dead – its numbers are growing. For many Chinese, pedal power remains a mainstay for commuting, making a living and getting around traffic jams. According to the Earth Policy Institute, a Washington-based environmental think tank, of the 130 million bikes manufactured worldwide last year, China made 90 million, and exported two-thirds of them.” Walking and cycling as practice keeps one physically fit too.

Those with Internet facilities available must try to use e-mails for communication avoiding the use of paper. Even the fraternity must switch over to e-newspapers instead of subscribing to traditional multiple pages newspapers. Some writers are even putting their books on Google that can be freely assessed. We may very soon stop buying hard copy of the books at higher prices and storing them for posterity? After all, most of them will be obsolete by then or be available on line. Let us start giving old time slates instead of papers for rough work to our school going children.

We can certainly use some home made clothe bags and avoid plastic bags offered by the shopkeepers and help in minimizing the menace created by these plastic bags, particularly for cattle, appearing in media quite often.

We can also conserve electricity through disciplining ourselves to put off the switches of TV, PC, or other items when not in use, and different means including using of CFL bulbs, using proper glasses on windowpanes or better window and door sealing for better heat retention for using heating and cooling equipment, buying energy efficient home appliances and accessories such as refrigerator, air conditioner, heater, or ovens whenever we replace them and, if necessary, by taking help of expert energy auditor for related saving potentials in our houses. Similarly, we must conserve every drop of water that we can, using sensor controlled taps or vacuum type toilets, optimum use of washing machines or dishwashers, or by asking some expert to incorporate water-harvesting system.

How many of us consider our rivers as holy and go on dumping the waste in it? I know my wife wishes to dispose off all the remnants of flowers and other materials used in her morning worship in river, and so do we try to immerse the statues of the Gods and Goddesses after the big festivals such Ganesh or Durga Puja. Beside, we as Hindus like to immerse all the remnants after cremation of near and dear ones for mukti in Ganga. Why can’t our religious leaders declare burying of the ashes from the eco-friendly furnaces in a hole dug in mother earth as equally good for mukti? How many of us can get some trees planted? Why don’t we do that to make the mother earth a better place to live and green?

Can we look into the eco-friendly aspect or energy-efficient construction of the dwellings we construct, buy, or hire on rent? Can we start wearing Indian dresses or shorts to reduce the need of air conditioning? Let me assert that Japanese have dropped wearing formal suits to save energy?

We all can help in saving mother earth from global warming and its dangerous consequences for the humanity at large. Let us change our mindset to participate for this real big cause. Nuclear plants will bring some relief in global warming on long term. But we as responsible Indians must do our bit to keep the country green and reduce the forthcoming climate disaster for the posterity that the environmentalists are predicting.
PS: Greening India will demand personal virtue and industry accountability.

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