Environmental pollution is a bomb deadlier than nuclear weapons
BY: Mushtaq Hurra
No doubt, the nuclear giants of the world have enough armoury to destroy the whole world multiple times but the silent monster of environmental pollution in general and the atmospheric (air) pollution in particular, is all set to wipe off the life from this planet without any fury or fuss. Atmospheric pollution is indeed emerging as a serious threat to the mankind.
The exceedingly high concentrations of deadly gases and chemicals present in the atmosphere sent shockwaves among the common masses as the pollution levels have touched enormous proportions. Although the union and the state governments are bragging about exemplary steps being taken to minimize the pollution levels, the reality however is that there is no respite t and the scenario is going from bad to worse.
Industrialisation proved to be a boon for the mankind and the invention of machines has made our lives easier and more comfortable. Automobiles have enabled us to travel faster and quicker but the way our roads are abuzz with the floods of vehicles has added to our vulnerable and susceptible environment. High level emission of greenhouse gases has changed our moderate weather system into an extreme one.
Human avarice, insensitivity and, to some extent, the lack of environmental consciousness among our masses is a big challenge for our fragile and delicate environment. After nuclear threat, the environmental degradation is considered to be the most devastating calamity for the mankind.
As responsible and sensitive citizens, we must not leave every issue for administration to resolve and rather play a vital role in making the planet a better place to live. We can reduce the excessive usage of fossil fuels by switching to bicycles and other non-fuel modes of transportation which will not only save us from the pangs of environmental hazards but will help us to cultivate healthy life styles. We can check uncontrollable deforestation and plant new trees to infuse a new lease of life into our deteriorated environment and by stopping the usage of polythene bags, which poses a threat to our existence, can do wonders by being a little proactive.
According to some reports, the average temperature of India might increase by almost two degree centigrade after a decade which can cause climatic catastrophes in the country. Humid and very hot winds might be very dangerous and can pose a big threat to human lives. Indian capital is among most polluted cities of the world and the residents are the worst sufferers of this atmospheric pollution, ailing with different fatal diseases. Besides, the exceedingly high number of automobiles, the industrial expansion has been a big factor for the growing pollution levels in the Indian capital. People living in developed cities are caught in dangerous respiratory and other diseases. Though we can’t afford to remain backward and shun the use of industry but we can minimize the resulting pollution levels by switching to eco-friendly modes of energy like solar, wind etc. We have to make conscious choices right now!
The recent early snowfall that created havoc across Kashmir valley damaging a lot of orchids and disrupting electricity supply to various areas including our main city, is taken as an indication of change in weather patterns here. No doubt that snowfall adds beauty to our valley and ensures adequate water flow in our perennial water bodies which is essential for our agriculture and horticulture but this recent snowfall in the first week of November is not a good omen for us as it indicates certain amount of drift in the weather patterns here.
Drastic climatic phenomena like cloudbursts, heat waves, erratic snowfall, droughts, heavy rainfall etc have already knocked at our doors. Our valley, which used to be famous for its moderate climate, has been facing the tantrums of human indifference and global warming. Our glaciers are receding at an alarming rate and the recession of glaciers is a double edged sword. It can cause floods and can exhaust our future stock of water. Therefore, the matter is extremely serious and needs to be assessed for conservation of life on the planet.
Agricultural and cold-climatic states like Jammu and Kashmir need to take all the necessary measures to evade any climatic drifts in future as we have already been witnessing alarmingly high pollution concentrations for last two decades. The number of private and commercial vehicles plying on our roads is exceedingly high, emitting a lot of carbon dioxide (green house gas) and other toxic substances. Some three or four decades ago, the scenario was altogether different. We were less developed but our environment was safer and cleaner.
The onus is entirely on us. We must try our best to make the world more beautiful and calmer. Islam and prophet Mohammad Salallahu-alaihi-wasalam has stressed upon the value of plants. We must not forget that our famous Sufi saint Sheikh-ul-Alam has said that food is subservient to plants and upheld the environmental ethics in his philosophical poetry. Our ancestors were wise enough who would plant trees by roadsides, without expecting any return or remuneration. The gaint Chinar and mulberry trees are a vivid proof of our ancestor’s sincerity and highly developed civic sense, no doubt they were illiterate.
The writer is a teacher and can be reached at [email protected]