Saturday, 14 September 2019

Our Choice

We keep hearing about noise pollution and how it adversely affects our mental and physical health. In most cities, the construction sounds and transportation noise are the main culprits for the noise pollution.

In all this noise, we can't hear the nature sounds, a bird singing, falling rain drops, gushing wind and even the flowing water. All the soothing noises we are limiting, we are cutting down trees, building houses so close to each other that there is no place for wind to roar. And we are building dams or sea link roads on the flowing water.

Seriously, is this how we want to lead our life, focusing and contributing to the noise pollution than nourishing the soothing sounds? This is the time to look at each and every one of our choices and make sure we choose nature's soothing sounds every time. Every time we want to honk, we want to cut a tree, vote for a leader, think about the life you want to lead and make a choice.

Friday, 13 September 2019

Rain Crisis

First rain, that smell of the earth, which seems to be smiling from the drops of rain on its scorched body. How I keep telling myself that the summer will pass and there will be rain, that everything will be green again, that everything will grow again. I always welcomed rain with open arms and a playful smile.

Especially this year, I was waiting for rain, with so many places literally running out of water, it was a matter of survival not just beating the heat like every other year. And rain it did, so much that we had flooding in many states. There was so much loss of life and property due to floods that we started praying for the rain to stop.

The moment this thought entered my mind, I stopped in my tracks. What is happening to us, the excessive water shortage and rainfall are these not indicators enough on the kind of future we are looking into? Are we still going to deny the climate change and the emergency that we are facing? How many more need to suffer before we acknowledge climate change as a problem? While finding a solution is still a very long way.

Thursday, 12 September 2019

Monopoly Over Violence

Humans have always had tendency towards violence. In various walks of life we have seen that the most aggressive human gender, race, country tend to exploit the meeker one. We show same kind of approach towards all living beings, cutting down trees, hunting and chaining animals, all showing our tendency to use violence.

In most of the cases where the violence is against other humans, we have seen revolts, the freedom fighters, the Black Lives Matter, MeToo Campaigns. But when the entire human race starts to exploit nature, who will start the revolt? Will there be a revolution against humans by nature or by all other human beings? We think of ourselves as the most intelligent species but what will happen if all the living beings were to march against us? And if such time comes where our atrocities have led to nature turning unforgiving, could we even defend ourselves?

Wednesday, 11 September 2019

Mother Nature

In most of the cases, nature is flawless. Nature creates anomalies, and it designs its own corrective actions as well. Natural systems are designed in such an amazing way that any flaw in one process will automatically be compensated by another outstanding process.

We see many such miracles in our lives, starting from the very first stage of our lives. A mother's breast milk is the elixir of life for most kids, human or animals. It not only provides all rounded nourishment to newborns, it is scientifically proven to boost immunity and stimulate brain development. But the miracle doesn't end there. A premature baby needs more nourishment and care than a full term baby and the mother's milk provides that extra care as well. Scientists have observed that a premature baby's mother's breast milk contains more nutrients than a full term baby's mother's milk. Isn't nature amazing? 

Tuesday, 10 September 2019

Nature Therapy

Few decades back, when medical science wasn't so advanced, for long term or critical illnesses, doctors used to prescribe nature therapy. There are documented cases of healing through such treatment. Even in the recent times, nature therapy is a well accepted mode of treatment. Nature has amazing healing properties not just for physical health but for mental health as well. Countries like Japan actively promote such treatment to its citizens.

But we are losing nature, more rapidly than ever before. Are we just losing trees, nice looking cute animals? We are also losing a way of life, our protective shield, our healing hand, the screws and bolts in a complex machine. We are losing the basic necessities of existence.

Some may argue that human life expectancy has still gone up over the past decades. But for how long I wonder! We made as much medicine as we made poisons. We have endangered much more lives in one Chernobyl than we have saved by eradicating plague or small pox. So far the medicines have outweighed the poisons. But as our poisons grow stronger from hand grenade to nuclear bomb, how long before the poison wins?

Besides, living a longer life doesn't mean fulfillment. In the fast changing world of apparent luxury and convenience, mental illnesses claim more lives than ever imagined. But may be that is a topic of discussion for another day!

Monday, 9 September 2019

Life Worth Living

From the beginning of time humans have been exploiting other animals. For food, transport, agriculture, medicinal values, scientific experiments or even fun. Many times we justify animal cruelty saying they are farm animals. They are specially bred for this purpose. But how is that justifiable?

Let's think about a farm animal's life for a while. They often live and die to serve us. Often artificially or force-bred, they grow up without any parental or familial care. Cramped in unhygenic tiny spaces, they await death from the day they are born.

Is that a life worth living? Perhaps not!! Many of them actually die due to inhuman living conditions, human cruelty, diseases or simply to be served on a plate as food. But not all are so fortunate. Many animals have to serve humans while alive, fulfill their 'destiny' by getting tortured every living moment of their lives.

We cringe in disgust and shiver in horror hearing about slavery or human experiments like the unit 731. Is such cruelty is considered illegal and inhuman on us, how is it acceptable towards animals?

Sunday, 8 September 2019

Precautionary Principle

Environment is incredibly complex. Despite phenomenal progress in science and technology, environmental functions, benefits and interactions with all the biotic and abiotic components and their short run and long run effects are still largely a mistery to scientists. An apparently small interference can have devastating and even irreversible repercussions on the ecosystem. The scope of the damage also varies by spatial and time scale.

Pesticides generously sprayed in the tropical regions decades back can show its presence even in the farthest reaches of the planet, the arctic regions. Toxic waste from a coal mine can chemically react with different components of water, air, soil to form unforeseen chemicals then flow to nearby lakes and rivers and pollute every region downstream and stay there for centuries before finally disintegrating. Due to this uncertainty and lack of knowledge, environmental scientists recommend the Precautionary Principle for any human interference which has the potential to damage the ecosystem.

Precautionary Principle states that when human activities may lead to serious or irreversible harm to human life or health, or the environment (in such a way that can affect the present and the future generations) that is scientifically plausible but uncertain, lack of scientific knowledge cannot be cited as an excuse to delay mitigating actions and immediate actions should be taken to reduce the harm.

There are innumerable examples where due to the short term economic gains, policy makers ignore long term devastating impact on environment or human health. As we are on the brink of causing irreversible damage to the environment, every small step will make a decision on the future. It's now more important than ever to change this attitude towards Precautionary Principle.