Thursday, October 6, 2011

Let us not be selfish

“You are so selfish. Think about me and the future when you talk about environment”, my daughter said implying that I am not environment friendly.

She is right. Probably all of us need to be more conscious and responsible towards protecting environment.

My daughter had a reason to say it.

I had quizzed her on plant cells, “What is chlorophyll?”

Her quick reply, “It is the green pigment in the plant cells.”

I continued, “How does chlorophyll help us?”

Diligently she stated,” Using sunlight, it converts CO2 to O2 and we need O2 to BREATHE and LIVE.”

Right then, my daughter started asking me questions, “Dad, if we keep cutting woods and trees, who will convert CO2?”

My reply, “Oh don’t worry about it. There are still a lot of woods.”

She did not give up, “We are cutting trees very fast and I read cars and power plants emit a lot of CO2.”

My defense, “We need to cut some trees for space to make buildings and for wood to build houses, energy and paper. We need to generate power for living and cars for traveling. If we don’t do it, we will not make enough money. No television or IPAD then.”

“But are not we shifting the balance? What will we do with the money if we don’t exist?”

I did not have an answer.

“Nothing will happen in my life frame.”

“Dad, you are so selfish. How about my life? How about my children?”

My daughter is right. The equation is simple. Cars, coal, industry, planes, fossil fuels, and power plants generate CO2. On one hand CO2 has increased and on the same time reduction in woods has declined the conversion of CO2 to O2. This led to increased levels of CO2 in atmosphere by 35% in last 100 years. Increased CO2 level amplifies the greenhouse effect and heat stays trapped in the environment which causes Global Warming. Some clear effects of Global Warming:

  • In first week of August, local meteorologist Mike Moss announced that new NORMALS are here. New NORMAL HIGH is around 1 degree higher. 1 degree higher in just one decade.
  • Top ten hottest years have been recorded after 1990.
  • Global sea levels have increased by 6.7 inches and rate of increase has doubled in last ten years.
  • Per NASA Greenland lost 150 to 250 cubic kilometers (36 to 60 cubic miles) of ice per year between 2002 and 2006, while Antarctica lost about 152 cubic kilometers (36 cubic miles) of ice between 2002 and 2005.
  • Extreme weather. Shorter springs and shorter autumns.

While at macro level governments are working on clean energy, it is worth reiterating some simple steps that we all know:

  • Car pool. Less we drive better for environment
  • Reduce and recycle: Reduce the use of resources and recycle as much as possible
  • Plant trees
  • Turn off the switch if you are not using electricity
  • Use less hot water
  • Improve insulation
  • Reduce heating and cooling

One may think that a small saving from one individual does not count. It DOES. Every part of chlorophyll counts in a plant cell. Every piece of concrete counts in a building. Every drop in an ocean counts.

IMG_2391M

We build a house and decorate with furniture, wall hangings, paintings, accessories, and paint our house with different colors. Like our house we have a beautiful planet with woods, trees, beaches, oceans, mountains, glaciers, parks, rivers and lakes. As responsible parents, we shall try to preserve this beautiful world for our children and our decedents.

Let us not give a chance to our children to call us selfish.


Author’s Note:- This post (besides the picture) is transcript of my presentation on environment. Please feel free to add if I missed a point.

Related Articles (My own)


References:

36 comments:

NRIGirl said...

Good one @A!

Sounds good to read and write but very hard to live by - as present day convenience blinds us about the future of the earth. Your daughter has aptly said we are selfish! :(

rama said...

Yes every time a tree is cut to widen the road, we protest, but the people who want to broaden the road keep cutting them. My husband is doing quite a lot for Bangalore saving water by treating it and recycling it for further use, but it is not enough, we still need to a lot more. The city of Bangalore which was once famous as a city of Gardens has become a concrete jungle, the climate that was there 20 years back has changed so drastically, in the last few years.
Nothing wrong in development, provided it is done with a balance.
I feel a total awareness has to come, people should not only think about themselves, like your daughter says, they should think beyond self.

Ruprekha said...

Your daughter is right. I can see what cutting trees have done to a beautiful place I've been visiting for over two decades now. A whole jungle is now converted into haphazardly built villages! Although here in Assam we still boast of plenty of trees and afforestation, it has never been enough. We seem to have failed in keeping the balance. But the brighter side is, the awareness of our children. We as young people were not this aware as our children are today. We have endless hope, yes, we must act fast so that our children can no longer call us selfish.

Rachna said...

It is something that all of us know but very few actually do anything about it. Just a few examples, since the government implemented the ban of sales of plastic bags, the supermarkets have started following it. Now, we are charged for the bags, and I do see a decline in their usage. But, the roadside vendor still gives them out generously. It is not his fault, we just "forget" to carry our own bags! We use solar heating in our house in Bangalore. It is sufficient for all our heating needs. We have started taking buses sometimes, and at least we don't drive diesel vehicles. I can already feel the climate change and water scarcity in Bangalore along with unpredictable weather. It is really very sad what we all are doing to the environment. Have you seen the video "The Story of Stuff?" That is quite informative and gives a different perspective on global consumption as a massive contributor to pollution. I was telling my husband that it is humanity that will steadily push the earth to its end. There is no doubt that it will happen sooner than later :(.

Renu said...

we have to conserve everything.use less..dont buy more than one house, if one can live in " BHK, then no point in living in 3BHK, use less water, no point in washing house or car everyday, shop only as much as you need etc etc..these are things I try to follow.

BK Chowla, said...

It is not difficult to save environment.All it needs a few determined people to bring in awarness

Smita said...

I loved the maturity with which ur daughter had this discussion. And she is so right, aren't we being slefish? And though we all acknowledge that things need to improve but we hardly do anything to improve things....Environment can be saved only if each of us put in a little effort.

Insignia said...

We are selfish indeed. When people talk about saving earth - it shows their ego. The earth can save and sustain itself. We lowly creatures need the earth in the present state so that WE CAN survive.

I appreciate your daughter for being aware.

Destination Infinity said...

Excellent post. We can also get more greener by being less greedy. Every member of a family need not have a car, for example. And we need to use the public transport as far as possible.

We need to push the solar / wind and other clean energy to the forefront instead of being dependent on conventional sources of energy.

Destination Infinity

Alka Gurha said...

Your daughter is so right. Only if we all were so environmentally aware!

....Petty Witter said...

Sounds like you have that pretty much cover - I could of course add the 'food' debate into the equation. I know the amount of food we waste and therefore need to produce is a huge concern here in England as is the amount of packaging (bananas packaged in plastic bags etc)we use.

Suruchi said...

sensible daughter of a sensible father-i guess it is in your genes;-)

Sandhya said...

Your daughter has put the question to all of us!

One thing is, we don't bother about anybody. We just want to live comfortably, I am talking about me too! Our children and our grand children are going to suffer...sometimes I feel we are worse than animals!

☆ Rià ღ said...

You have a very intelligent daughter there...wish ppl wud also understand this simple thing. And yes she's right in saying that we are selfish...as far as nothing happens to us we just don't care.

Suruchi said...

sensible daughter of a sensible father-i guess it is in your genes:-)

Surja said...

Good speech, a simple conversation between father and daughter. But what a great message it delivers. Makes the reader think "How will I look into the eyes of my child with all the selfish deeds that I do?"
Reminds me of this famous saying "We have not inherited this world from our ancestors; rather we have borrowed it from our children."

Kiran Bajaj Sawhney said...

Yes being environmentalist is the order of the day.
I am in my own small ways little more conscious and aware.
Your daughter made some very valid points.
You have elaborated them well.

Harman said...

Sounds good..
I hope everyone helps in that.. and we have more contribution to this...Less of plastic and waste of resources ..better climatic conditions and healthy environment..
Kids here is US ..are very intelligent Reason being Awareness and School curriculum where each and every topic is discussed it not only helps them but us too as you see the discussion you had wid your daughter.

Kalpana Misra said...

Glad you wrote this post. Children do make people think, in case they haven't already done so. My kids are as environment friendly as I am - "say no to plastic"- carry a cloth bag when you go shopping, take the metro instead of a car, use an RO filter instead of bottled water.
I feel its very important for us in India to educate each other, because those who can't read or write are quite unaware of the hazards of carelessness.

Juxta said...

Your list is not that hard to do. Yes, its selfish of us to treat the planet the way we do. Hopefully we can change that by changing ourselves bit by bit. :)

Anonymous said...

An eye opener indeed!!-Swetha Amit (Whirlwindthoughts)

A S said...

hii A

this is a very relevant post rather...our envr. is degrading faster than we can control.
the lush green forests near my place are paving way for apartments and malls..sad reality

R. Ramesh said...

inspiring post yar...only wish people r ready to listen...

Tanishka said...

Yes we are selfish and we need to think before cutting a tree, wasting papers, or any irresponsible act...

Usha said...

A, your daughter is very thoughtful. Each human being need to take personal responsibility to stay sensitive towards earth and environment. Thanks for this post to encourage all of us to save natural resources for future generations. This calls for serious lifestyle changes.

Rahul said...

A lovely post! Shows how mature your daughter is and has sensitivity to nature around her!

Nancy said...

The bullet points were shocking...thanks for sharing!!!!

Emily, Ruby Slipper Journeys said...

yayyy, loved this post! Both you and your daughter are spot on... I would just add that while we all need to do our part, the governments also need to do their part by making regulations against companies and industries that are mega-polluting!

Geeta said...

Kids do say the darndest things. we certainly should lower our consumption on non-renewable energy and plant more trees. Also wondering where you are doing these presentations?

Please note, I have a new blog, had a few issues with the old one, so had to take it down.

Anjuli said...

Excellent presentation- and the picture- oh my, amazing!!!!! That is a view well worth preserving for our children and their children.

Kirti said...

Most Indian cities are polluted to the core. Roads are jammed with automobiles. Carbon-dioxide is too much. And the air is filled with dust.
The muncipalities in cities should be given responsibilities of pollution control. This step will give dignity to muncipalities. UN and foreign countries' pressure will be needed to pass a bill in Indian parliament and pollution should be made a muncipality subject and not a Central subject.

ಅಶ್ವಿನಿ/ Ashwini said...

Such simple aspect that we learnt as a child has gone into the shelves with the textbooks. Things look very scary with the pace we are heading at. Its indeed a very serious matter. Lets do as much possible from our side. Amrit, your daughter is very intelligent I'd say.

Bikramjit said...

THe little one is Intelligent and knows the truth for sure .. We all of us are selfish for sure .. No denying that ..

we all say this and that .. yeh karna hai woh karna hai .. aisa hoga waisa hoga but no one does it .. its all TALK and no walk ..

The USA talks so much about all this yet itself its the worst country to have so much emmission but wants the rest of the world to do it ..

Its like evertything in personal life too we want our Car drive to be clean and when there is a little we tend to push it over the neaighbours drive... rather then pick it up and bin it ..

People coming late nights from a bar with food in hands eatiing on way and throwing the rubbish in front of someone's house and walk away , If i do the same thing next morning they are ready to argue and fight .. :) It happend a couple of days ago, thats why the RANT :)

The only way to save the mother earth is get rid of the species called HUMAN's .. all will be beautiful once again ..

Sorry took a lot of space

sm said...

excellent educating conversation

kavita said...

She is absolutely right ."We do not inherit the earth from our ancestors, we borrow it from our children"- Native American Proverb.
Your presentation looks complete to me .Very nice .I do wonder if the movie/entertainment people really waste-burn all that fuel for their action scenes or they take help of animation techniques.
Hope you are doing good Amrit :)

punamjr said...

@all, @Amritji,

Here is to educate all of you.. The governments are doing their bit on trying to control the emissions. As we all know.. what we can do at our personal level, is what Amrit ji has very nicely listed out. And perfectly correct that is. But how much can we achieve as we put in our efforts at a personal level? I had written the following posts on climate change:

http://punamjr.wordpress.com/2009/06/05/world-environment-day-2009/

http://punamjr.wordpress.com/2008/06/05/june-5th-world-environment-day/

Now, coming to industries, the airline industry and the coal and mining industries are the ones that have the larger chunk of carbon emissions.

To control this.. by control, I mean:
1. Adopt renewable energy as source
2. Invest in research & development of green technologies
3. Use green technology

To control emissions and encourage green economy, countries have come up with something called the Carbon Emission Trading Scheme.. (Refer EU ETS on Google) under which, countries will be given allowances (carbon credits) and once they expire, the surplus emissions will be levied with a tax called carbon tax.

Now, say the airlines industry has exhausted the credits allotted to it by the government, it can then purchase credits from another sector that has a surplus of them. This will result in carbon trading.

Governments are also offering subsidies and incentives to companies that invest in green technologies. So in the long run, to save expenses, carbon emissions will hopefully come down with more and more green technologies being researched and invented...

So, the future is not really dark.. :)

(All part of my work)