Every year since 1974, on June 5, the world observes World Environment Day. United Nations sanctioned ‘International Days,’ despite having to do with issues of pertinence, do get tedious in their observations, for the most part.
The same could be the case for the World Environment Day, with mostly rhetoric from state structures and politicians making the news; and state sponsored activities that serve as more PR than any sincere attempt to affect change.
Now and then, there do appear stories of hope and inspiration, but they remain mostly localized unless big media decides to give them a platform to up their social responsibility credence.
Now to the point—of all the ‘international Days,’ June 5 perhaps marks that one day which matters the most—or at least something which requires immediate, strong and decisive action.
We see the evidence everywhere. From hurricanes and snow storms in far away continents to flash flooding, landslides and extreme heat waves in our own Nagaland—the effects are on a global scale. Our isolation does not shield us from the wrath of climate change.
Humanity’s unrelenting efforts to ‘develop’ rapidly over the centuries and particularly the last couple, has put us at a point of no return. Merely switching off our lights as we leave the room is not enough now. This could have worked perhaps a decade or so earlier; not now!
Our species is at the most crucial point of evolution. All the political, social, economic, human institutions and ideas that human civilization has developed over the years now need to unite and do something—anything to address this.
I wrote an editorial a couple of months back on how a society like ours, which is only now on the crux of infrastructure development, can develop a system that serves as an example for environment sensitive progress. And it still could. But things look bleak considering that the majority of power wielders remain blind in their eagerness to please corporation backed development.
This is capped off by the ridiculous plight of the system where even the science on climate change is debated—I mean how far do we need to go back into the primary school curriculum to get our leaders to understand simple science?
There is no place for debate or negotiation here. As much as we value fairness and objectivity, there are no two sides to this story. The environment is dying—in the sense that the environment that sustains our existence is dying. And it’s happening now.
It is terrifying to look at the projections, which have been arrived through scientific consensus. And as much as spreading fear is irresponsible for any state or platform, putting the fear of eminent extinction is perhaps the only way to get things done now.
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