Thursday, May 26th, 2022 12:41:31

You can change the climate

By Viral Desai
Updated: January 31, 2022 7:40 pm

As a planet we are now reaching the climax of the Climate Crisis. This is why there are new concerns around the world about the climate crisis and what should the world authorities do? And what can we do? Everyone is focused on deciding the roadmap. However, in the last one decade, it has become very clear that the meetings that are taking place in the international arenas on the issue of climate crisis are becoming more contemplative and less actionable. If this were not the case, than for the last one and a half decades, various meetings have been held on environment and various MoUs and agreements have been reached on environmental protection. But apparently those agreements and MoUs have become a media event and the ground realities are getting worse day by day.

So what to do? And where to go? As an environmentalist, I have been convinced that keeping the problems of climate crisis limited to environmentalists is not the only solution to the problem. Rather, climate problems kept changing their forms and getting severe. I now firmly believe that the climate crisis should not be limited to environmentalists but should be conveyed to nature lovers so that there will be awareness amongst people at the grassroots level and that will lead to action on a massive level.

As an environmentalist, over the years I have come to realize that it is very important to be aware of the issues in order to solve any problem. And the same thing is lacking in our country when it comes to climate crisis or environmental protection, where ordinary citizens have no idea about the real problems of the environment. So the common man who is unaware or the younger class who are suffering from environmental problems are sitting on the assumption that environmental protection is not their subject. This is matter for governments or systems!

This is the reason why many measures are not taken at the ground level or on an individual basis to protect the environment. And what does it mean to take climate action? Bring any major changes? To initate a movement or revolution ? To watch Or spend millions of rupees? No, land level measures mean that when an ordinary citizen makes small changes in his life or his lifestyle or he changes his attitude and centres his thoughts and actions on the environment or brings some environment friendly changes on an individual level in the surrounding environment.

But the problem I have mentioned is that the common man does not have a true awareness of the problem or the solution to the problem. Why did this happen? And we don’t mean to discuss the issue of why masses are not aware about climate change problems. What will we get by discussing?

But one thing is for sure, now is the time to make the problems of climate change a common problem. Otherwise it will be too late and we will probably suffer more than ever and some problems will take root on this planet in a way that we can never solve.

In fact, recurrent thunderstorms, wildfires or unseasonal rains, landslides, avalanches in places where there has never been any snowfall, or a significant rise in sea level or any change in the seasons are not common to anyone but the general public. So this problem is actually a problem of the masses. But somehow a myth has been created in the region that global warming or climate change is the lookout of only governments or international organizations. As a result, the efforts of plastic free life, tree plantation, energy conservation, renewable energy, saving of drinking water or prevention of any pollution at its own level have not been as much as it should have been and the realm of climate change problems has crumbled around us.

It’s not too late though. We can only take the issues related to climate crisis to the common man and still get positive outcomes in that direction. Someone will say what to do for it? Why bring awareness? And how to connect people with these problems?

So the answer is in our very superhit movements like ‘Satyagraha Against Pollution’ in Gujarat, through which we have reached more than ten thousand students in just six months. What did we do in this movement? So we reached out to people through both online and offline media, interacted with them, gave them true statistics, made them aware of the real problems and also encouraged them to join our climate action events.

The benefit of this small step was that in addition to the urban centres, students and people from smaller centers also became aware of climate action and began to discuss or think about the topics. In many cases we could clearly see that the students and the youth started taking concrete steps towards energy conservation or renewable energy and tree plantation. And they also started inspiring others by sharing it on their social media.

The basic aim of the ‘Satyagraha Against Pollution’ movement, which started on a small scale by the inspirational values of Gandhi and Sardar, was to carry out massive awareness programs and bring true awareness about environment protection to the people. Because it is just as important today to take steps in the direction of climate action as it is to have public awareness of climate action. Apart from raising public awareness, another important thing that we were able to do was to create awareness among the people about environment conservation. The benefit of this sentiment was that people began to see environmental protection as their most important service to the Nation.

I think that any revolution or success starts from here. There is no rocket science in this. We just have to make people aware and educate the people. Otherwise the governments will continue to give scheme after scheme, will continue to make plans on schemes and international forums will continue to hold some summits and MoUs every six months-a year, isn’t it? But if the common man will not only get involved in all these matters, if he will not have knowledge about the problems, will all these plans, laws and summits be successful?

If we look at the data from the previous years, then we will get an idea. This is not the time to worry about climate change. This is the time for climate action and climate action will only happen by connecting people, taking them along and inspiring hem.


By Viral Desai

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