Events are held worldwide to celebrate Earth Day on Tuesday and demonstrate support for environmental conservation, we earthlings are not really concerned about the ecological imbalances we are creating.
The sudden downpour in the city on Sunday, that was totally unseasonal and unpredicted, stands testimony to the abrupt climate change and the havoc it can cause to our lives.
Climate change poses a greater threat to the poor than to the rich. The irony is that the rich contribute to global warming in the form of fuel combustion, cement production and deforestation and not the poor.
According to Arun Pandey, general manager with a leading car showroom in the city, there has been an increase of 2.5% in the number of cars in the city in the past one year alone.
According to International Energy Agency, 3% of the global energy-related carbon dioxide emissions between 1890 and 2007 have been contributed by India. A report released by the Central Pollution Control Board in November 2005 states that India generates 29,000 million litres of sewage every day.
“In the changing scenario, the concept of ‘survival of the fittest’ holds true. We will adapt to the changes around us but the question of the poor remains. If the temperature rises the privileged can switch on their air conditioners and when there is a heavy downpour they can stay in their homes. But an underprivileged person does not have access to either air conditioners or pucca houses. Those who have money and access to amenities will survive while the poor suffer,” Ahmedabad-based environmental activist Mahesh Pandya said.
Despite awareness regarding the issue people do not bother to take steps to conserve the environment. People do not try to limit their consumption of fuel and electricity or attempt to curb pollution.
A 1995 report by the National Geographic Society claimed that 114 Indian cities were dumping untreated sewage and the partially cremated bodies directly into the Ganges.