Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Green Earth Day...

Someone calls it the 'Earth Day', someone calls it the 'Green Day'. Do we need to shudder and get scary with tomes of news on global warming? Some basic questions come to our mind, Is the world really heating up? Are all the takes on greenhouse gas emissions just void talk or is something really happening? Or is there concrete statistics to augment the catastrophes and tragedies that may occur because of global warming, the world's greatest environmental threat, ...right now?

One school of researchers and analysts, feel that the greatest global threat is neither environmental nor scientific, but a self-created political fiasco.
The problem here is not that of climate change per se, but rather that of the sophisticated scientific brainwashing that has been inflicted on the public, bureaucrats and politicians alike. Governments generally choose not to receive policy advice on climate from independent scientists. Rather, they seek guidance from their own self-interested science bureaucracies and senior advisers, or from the IPCC itself. No matter how accurate it may be, cautious and politically non-correct science advice is not welcomed in Westminster, and nor is it widely reported.
But the other school the covers the rest majority feels that, 'Yes' there is a change in the world: climatic, environmental, societal, ecological and in other related domains.

Let's not get into the complex web of questions and the mesh of answers that would spring up. Let's tackle or talk about something that is very basic and affects our life in someway or the other.

How does it feel for someone who resides in Bangalore, to drive back home in the late evenings or in the afternoon? Has the summer temperature risen? Do you feel the same as you used to feel in the night, say ten years back in the city of Bangalore, incase of a power failure? Lets not delve into metrological data to find a reply to these questions. We experience this everyday and even one need not be educated in basics of science to understand the underlying causes. Each one of us knows that there are some external factors, few man-made and few natural, that are acting in a devious way to cause this state of suffocation.

Can we avoid this?

Yes, we can avoid this. Avoid not by indulging in big talks and sessions, like take the case of the US President, Bush. This chap goes around the world stating that we need to do this, we need to do that, the fast growing Asian economy is the biggest chimney for the disaster. Contrary to this, the US adds more pollutants and toxins to the atmosphere and environment than any other nation in the world. Let me not digress here and stick to the pivotal point, that is each one of us as a responsible citizen can make a difference.

There is a lady in Bangalore, Janet who has planted more than 650 trees so far in the city which today witnesses ruthless mowing down of trees for broadening of roads and adding new physical infrastructure to meet the needs of a growing economy.

I also know of an interesting initiative, spearheaded by a team of nature lovers, that has gathered momentum in the city of Mysore. The team is known as FORT (Friends Of Roadside Trees) and to know more you can check its site here.

Even the IT and technology firms have taken proactive actions to contribute towards this endeavor in their own smart ways. A couple of days back, I read an article that states how Google partially powers its huge data centers with solar power, using the energy derived from the solar photovoltaic panels.

Recently Yahoo! launched a magnificent information portal that is a one stop center to gather info about climate change and environmental news. The Yahoo! Green website page has a number of tabs, each catering to a specific topic, Global Warming, hints to lead a Green Lifestyle, etc. Two of the biggest internet giants, with their game plans for a greener world and this tickles, Michael Arrington from Techcrunch with a curious question: Google vs. Yahoo, who cares most about the environment?

Last weekend, I was in IIMB for the Barcamp and there was an interactive session on 'innovation'. The intention of introducing the word 'excogitation' or 'innovation' is to highlight the fact that with a little bit of out of the box thinking, we can recycle and reuse for a greener planet.

It's simple, just ride a special type of tricycle to a local water source, fill water to a small tank in the back of the tricycle. Pedal back home and by the time you reach home, you get a tank of 20 gallons of filtered water and also in the process you didn’t add any pollutants or toxins to the atmosphere. Add to this, you even did physical exercise while cycling.

Watch the video to see how it works.

Keep reading and remain connected.

Today one word 'reading' in my usual blog signature 'Keep reading and remain connected.' triggered a debatable question. To me reading (other than news and blogs) is synonymous with having my own hard copy of the books. This corresponds to a simple equation, books need pages, pages need paper, paper need trees to be felled. So am I responsible? or Should I turn fast to be an e-book lover? I am confused now.

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