Can you deny .. ?

తెలుగులో తప్పటడుగులని మొదలు బెట్టి, వీర తాండవం చేస్తున్న గిరిధర్ గారు గ్లోబలు వార్మింగనేది సమస్య గ్లోబలు కావచ్చు గానీ సొల్యూషను మాత్రం లోకలే అంటున్నారు.
*** *** ***
Can you deny that our cities are getting hotter every summer?
I do not know if it is the luxury of staying in air-conditioned environs daily or if it is the age (it better not be!), but I lost that ability to be at home under hot sun in mid-summer. I still remember those days, the summer holidays years ago, the days when my face resembled a baked cookie every evening, the days when hot sun and cricket matches were inseparable, the days when sweltering heat never mattered (and cricket matches did a whole lot!). What changed? I don’t exactly know, but I dread stepping out of my Hyderabad home in mid-summer now.
One thing is sure, the beautiful trees we had in-and-around our home and at the playground are gone now. Gone and replaced by architecturally challenged buildings. Gone and replaced by hotter places to live in. Gone are the green jewels, replaced by shapeless, lifeless rocks. May be that’s what is making the heat unbearable.
I think we had this coming for a long time – ever since industrialization started. Let me step back a little bit. Before we were industrialized, our relationship with earth and environment was give-and-take. It was more ‘take’ than ‘give’ even back then, but we didn’t take so much that it brought thousands of other life forms to brink of extinction. Industrialization empowered us, it gave us means to replace ‘take’ with ‘plunder’, and it propelled us further on our parasitical proclivity.
Mother earth has been bearing the burden of industrialized man for over 200 years now. And I think the results of our plunder are showing now.
Hot summers, untimely rains, floods, damaged crops, tsunamis, earthquakes – are these Mother earth’s way of warning us of path of peril we are on? May be.
“What can I do?” you might ask, “I am not the one chopping down trees, I am not the one releasing industrial waste into water bodies, I am not the one increasing mercury levels in sea fish, I am not the one punching holes in ozone layer, I am not the one….”.
Yes, you alone are not the one. We all are collectively responsible, each of us contributing ever so infinitesimally to the eventual doom. It is the way we live, the only way we know to live, the fast paced, why-walk-when-I-can-drive in my always-twenty-percent-occupied-sedan, why-stairs-when-I-have-elevators life style we got accustomed to.
Mother Earth is changing, and showing us signs of her weariness at our collective stupidity. May be as a start we should start with making small changes in our life style.
‘Walking more’, ‘Using bicycles more often’, ‘Taking stairs instead of elevators whenever possible’, ‘Using public transport instead of driving a car’, ‘Using a fan instead of a/c’, ‘Using water, electricity economically’ and so on.
There are many small things we can do to do our part. It is a start. Reducing carbon footprint, is that what it is called?
If we all act responsibly, may be our cities will see bearable summers again. Let’s do our part and let’s hope.

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