Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Earth Day

This is the day when we all should celebrate this wonderful planet which we call home. Traditionally the UN celebrates Earth day on the vernal equinox which is around the 21st of March. It marks the precise moment when spring begins in the Northern Hemisphere and autumn in the Southern Hemisphere. In the South-pole the sun sets, ending the six-month long day and in the North the sun rises, ending a six month long night. In 1970 an Earth Day was declared on the 22nd of April to make people notice the damage done to the environment by man and to do something to protect it. It is now celebrated all over the world.

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The sad but undeniable truth is that our planet is in trouble. Who is to blame for it? No one but us humans. As man evolved into the industrial age he began to disregard the natural world. In the early civilizations, which were based on agriculture, the people respected nature because they worked with it to sustain themselves. They relied on the earth for their daily existence. They understood that without nature they would also perish. As time progressed people discovered technology and brought on the industrial revolution. After that everything became about money and how to make more money. People moved from the farms into factories and their lifestyles changed. They lost the close relationship that their ancestors had with nature.
We all know what problems there are: pollution, global warming, rampant destruction and excessive use of natural resources are some of the major ones and which causes the most damage. These are real threats that can have drastic impact on our world. Still there are some people who insist on denying these truths. These are the people who are in the payrolls of the same organizations that are guilty of environmental damage. These spin doctors are trying to paint a picture that the planet is A-okay and the environmentalists are the one who are wrong. According to them, the so called environmental damage is just a figment of the environmentalist’s imagination. Why this blatant attempt to discredit the people who are trying to protect this planet? GREED pure greed.

I am not suggesting that we stop technological developments. Far from it coz I’m a big fan of technology. But they should be done in a manner which doesn’t harm the environment. Now more than ever technology should help to protect the world and save it from destruction. We could say that during the times of the industrial revolution, the people didn’t know better. They were unaware of what they were doing to the environment. But now we can’t make the same excuses because we know better. We now have the knowledge and the means to do something about it; the only thing necessary is the commitment to it.

Fortunately there are many people around the world committed to making this a better world. A few months back Sir Richard Branson offered a $25 million price money for the first scientists to come up with a way to extract green house gases from the atmosphere. Some pundits are criticizing him saying that his companies contribute to the problem and now he’s trying be the good guy. That is exactly what he is doing. He has realized this and that is why he is trying to come up with a solution. This is what is needed, for companies to realize the damage they are doing and to start to rectify them. In the meantime let us start in our homes.

Earth is a unique planet. It is the only planet that we know of that can sustain life. But if we don’t protect it now, more than likely it will become just another rock floating in space.