“Go Green”. “The Earth Hour”. “Global Warming”. We hear these terms at least once in a day. At least once. What exactly do we do about it? What do we know? What can we do? Some scientists have given us a deadline of few years, I think 2012, prior to which if we don’t reduce our carbon emissions, the effects of global warming would be irreversible. There are skeptics who say we are so small and compared to the planet, we are incapable of causing such damage. Probably they are talking about their brains.

Global Warming and its effects are, simply put, an outcome of the excessive carbon, methane (and a few other gases) in the upper atmosphere causing heating and hence a temperature rise. This leads to higher temperatures, ice cap melting, increase in water levels, drastic climate shifts and considering the vicious cycle – to survive – we consume more natural resources, more energy hence aggravating the situation. I knew Agent Smith was right. He (or It) called us a ‘virus’ … a ‘parasite’.

“I’d like to share a revelation I’ve had during my time here. It came to me when I tried to classify your species. I realized that you’re not actually mammals. Every mammal on this planet instinctively develops a natural equilibrium with their surrounding environment, but you humans do not. You move to another area, and you multiply, and you multiply, until every natural resource is consumed. The only way you can survive is to spread to another area. There is another organism on this planet that follows the same pattern. Do you know what it is? A virus. Human beings are a disease, a cancer of this planet. You are a plague, and we are the cure.”

Yes, I guess it would be for the better and the best if the machines ruled us. (Or don’t they already? Mobiles.. computers… internet… iPod…). Most of the human race are suckers for a control mechanism anyways. The rest are called the rationalists.  (I like taking a stab at those believers whenever I can. :D).

So where are we now, we have a decaying planet – at least its environment and atmosphere. I am writing this based on the knowledge of 2 cities I know off. Cochin and B’lore. The former is where I’m from and the latter is where I’m now. Over the last 2 years… yes, just 2 years – the climate has gone from almost always-heard-of cool-all-over-the-year to erratic and dry, almost unbearable. Cochin has become hotter than ever. And more humid. (Oh yeah, by the way, it was the best day [24 Mar’09] of the year, in b’lore, with respect to the weather!)

So are these changes not because of our interference? Consider this – if we were not there, ever. The planet would have gone revolving around the sun like other planets like Venus… Mars… :-??. I guess human beings are evolution/Natural Selection’s 1st mistake :P.

<This post restarts nearly a week after the ‘Earth Hour’..>

So I didn’t participate in the earth hour. I was adamant to be a loud voice against the Earth Hour initiative. Just to get the message across – I asked everyone if they were taking part, and when they, happily expecting the same answer from me, say ‘oh yeah!’… I give them that well-practiced sarcastic smile and say -“no.”. Oh I loved the look on their face. I am be leaving you with a puzzled face. Yes! You are one of those supporters of the ‘Awareness on Global Warming’ lobby, who usually does nothing. Ha!. Sir/Ma’am, earth hour is and was and always will be just one of those over-hyped, useless, waste of energy programs which are forgotten once the moment is past. Do you see people conserving energy? Taking a walk to their office? or Using the bike instead of the car? If you have, good, but chances are – you have not seen a single such case.

Now, again, I may leave some confused that I am skeptic or inconsiderate or even unpatriotic (Political parties have a way of connecting the wrong dots these day… watch TV, don’t you?). To clear the air – I am a skeptic, but not off Global Warming or the need to act NOW. I am skeptic, only, of the mass dementia causing disease- religion. (I am bit inflamed at the world, today. So no apologies.).

So, yes, we need to act. and act now. Our planet is on a perilous path now, accelerated by our actions. I, to be honest, find the idea behind the Earth Hour good. Yes, the WWF people are really concerned people and this is one task (not the earth hour, per se) requires co-operation from the entire populace. But I find their concern directed in a really wrong way and not at all far reaching. What the situation calls for is really long term efforts. We can’t cut out global warming in a day, a month or perhaps even a year. Nor can we, once we control the warming trend, get back to the way things are now. We no longer enjoy such a luxury. We are so many in number that we can make an impact. and it shows.

What can we really do? I hope you have cared to watch ‘An Inconvenient Truth’ – the documentary by Al Gore. If not, please watch it. I insist. Yes, getting back to what we can do – there are so many simple ways. We waste energy like a leaking tap. I shall make note of a few energy saving ideas and post them as a separate page.

I had an interesting conversation with a friend today. It came up as I was telling her about this post and the earth hour and that I do not side with initiative. But her response got me thinking. That it effects at least a few people. And everything starts with simple steps. Can it be really that effective? I hope the earth hour has changed a few. Have you changed? Also, I was watching Bill Maher’s ‘Real Time’ today on YouTube. I heard a few shocking facts – I heard this for the 1st time  – the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. Seriously, 3.5 million tonnes of waste?!?! Also, pollution is space?! Seems like Agent Smith is right.

So, where are we now? I guess we are left with no choice but to act, and act wisely. If we wish to have a continuing human race and other species and the plant kingdom and the technological advancements, we have to act now. We as common citizens of this world, with moral and ethical responsibilities for our actions, should start cleaning up our mess, rather than crying out for government reforms, more technology, better waste disposal techniques… please, act mature, clean up and help clean up our world.

We should start using energy efficient lightings, a habit of switching off unwanted power hogging appliances, keeping our cars/bikes well maintained, use good fuel, start car pooling, dispose off waste in proper, defined ways, turn off computers, or at least on stand-by, while leaving for the day, waste less food… simple things, but oft overlooked. These are very simple things we can do, and we should do!

To quote Al Gore, from his documentary:

“You see that pale, blue dot? That’s us. Everything that has ever happened in all of human history, has happened on that pixel. All the triumphs and all the tragedies, all the wars all the famines, all the major advances… it’s our only home. And that is what is at stake, our ability to live on planet Earth, to have a future as a civilization.”

How better can anyone ever put it?

I end with a line, I heard in the movie ‘V for Vendetta’:

“We are oft to blame in this. ‘Tis too much proved that with devotion’s visage and pious action we do sugar o’er the devil himself.”

That’s from Hamlet 3.1.46-49 (From wiki.)

That summarizes our approach to (not) solving problems at hand and trying to push the blame from us…

Hope I have raised your conscience, hope you change & I hope this world changes.

Inflamed & Sad,

neo.

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