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World Environment Day – Only One Earth of a Promising Future!

The Daunting Growth Curve

Since the Industrial Revolution, the earth has gained material wealth but diminished in pristine glory. Agencies of the United Nations (UN) have been striving to protect and preserve natural resources. However, the challenge now, is more daunting than before, as millions of humans are added every year to be fed provided for. The Environment has been deeply harmed in the process, and for our own sake, we must trace steps back. World Environment Day (WED), celebrated annually on June 5, is the UN initiative for encouraging awareness of environmental protection. Over the last few decades, WED has supported the action and drive taken up globally towards this end.

The Juggernaut Environment-thinkers List

Taking stock of the effort to save the environment, it is heartening to note that a turn of events has set in for the pleasanter side. Rachel Carson, Sunderlal Bahuguna, Jane Goodall, Gaylord Nelson, Waangari Mathai, Rajendra Singh, Baba Amte, Sir David Attenborough, Shivram Karanth, Bill and Melinda Gates, the list, of ‘environment thinkers and doers’ gladly, is long. World Environment Day refreshes our commitment towards the good earth and life, assuring us that taking a U-turn and choosing to live synergistically with Nature is possible even today.

The Dash to Restore a Delicate Balance

Douglas Jerrold, the writer, famously quoted ‘Earth is here so kind, that tickle her with a hoe, and she laughs with a harvest’. Sadly, that is not so true now. It is surprising that the early morning sun looks paler and ‘Manhattan henge’ is a little less glorious. We starve for the sweetness in fruit and water tastes of metal, mostly. These observations could be of laymen, from anywhere. The headlines, however, are of a twenty-two-year drought in the USA, or of over 1.25 billion animals having perished in the 2019–2020 Australian bushfire season. The force of nature that Hurricane Katrina or Amphan, Fani, Tauktae et. al. let loose as they came crashing down, snubbing lives and properties, stuns. Scandinavia and northern Europe are hotter, and Siberia’s permafrost is thawing, letting out tons of methane in the atmosphere. One study by NASA warns more is to come.

The Corporate Rise to the Cause

Clearly, there is a problem, and it must be solved. Maxing-out natural resources and replacing them with make-believe concrete jungles billowing acrid smoke and effluents have stranded us. Now that sense has started to prevail, it is good to have this ‘eco anxiety’. Green technology, ESG frameworks, environment stewardship, every plausible aspect has begun to be tapped optimally, and gladly, corporates are leading the trail! To name a few, Coca-Cola, Unilever, Ikea, Walmart, all have committed to 100% renewable energy, and practically hundreds of brands have taken the cue.

The Sustainable Solution

Corporate leadership throughout industries has taken up responsible roles to help mitigate the challenge. The IT industry per se is not a prime pollution-causing entity. However, it too is contributing significantly. Car-pooling and other means of mass-transport help lower carbon emissions, curbing air-pollution and star-rated gadgets lower power-bills, thus saving energy. There are solar panels on most roof-tops and eco-safe chemicals are being used for routine cleaning of spaces and things. Climate change in the past century improved human welfare. The new-gen doesn’t hesitate to shun plastic, wear natural fiber, consume ‘slow food’, or pedal to work. It juts in, whether to clean beaches or perform flash mobs for spreading the word around! The mantra is sustainability!

The Fitting Reply

It is an amazing time to pro-act and prove we are the ‘chosen’ ones. Intellect and sensitivity are our pivots in the journey and there is a chance of a promising future. Having Only One Earth to sustain, celebrate and cheer for, is always a good idea!

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