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Let it not cost the Earth!

Today was a scorcher. The weather forecaster on last night's news predicted 28°C but I suspect it was more than that. I found out just now that elsewhere in Britan it soared up to 38.1°C(100.6°F), making it the hottest day EVER! To my mates in Chennai, it might seem like I am kicking a fuss over nothing or I am becoming a firengi, if I am moaning about a warm day like today.

The thing is, I am concerned - no, strike that, I am worried! I came to the UK five years back and that year, it hit 23°C one solitary day in July and that was the only day I dared to go outside without the company of my overcoat. But over the years, warm summer days are becoming more and more regular and over the course of the following week, it is supposed to become more and more hot. 38°C in Brentwood on Wednesday - 10°C hotter than today - my mind boggles!

Most of my angrezi friends here can't be happier. They love the sunny weather and most of them were lying about in their lawns today, getting all nice and brown. How come no one is worried that it is becoming hotter and hotter? In Chennai, where it used to hover around 38 during the agni nakshatram (loosely translated, fire star - the hottest part of the year), it regularly tops off at 45°C.

And it isn't looking likely to change for the better anymore. Cos global warming is here to stay. We are changing our planet's geographical makeup slowly but surely, not understanding that we are heading towards the point of no return, beyong which the changes would be irrevocable.

Almost every step we take forward in the form of technology, has a negative impact on our planet. Take something like flying, for example. India is devoloping on all fronts and we now have low-cost, budget airlines much like the rest of the world. Like one of my friends in India put it, it costs less to fly to London that to Delhi. All this equals great news, isn't it? Your mum can fly out to see you in Timbuktu couple of times a year now!

Wrong! Low-cost airlines, while equalling comfort, more starkly mean we are exponentially increasing our carbon footprint. With the world becoming smaller, our carbon footprint becomes bigger and bigger as the day goes by. Pretty soon, a torrid day and the price of mineral water going up yet again would be the least of our worries.

It is time we started making major lifestyle changes to make up for raping our planet of its delicate balance. First on that list would be to switch off the TV, computer and other assorted electical stuff around the home, just before we hit the sack at night. Leaving things on stand by is just as bad as having them on all day long.

Another way of helping things is to reduce the usage of cars and bikes. While it is not feasible to take the train from Washington to Bangalore, you can do something to negate the bad effects of air travel by carbon offsetting. What is that, you ask? According to carbonfootprint.com, carbon offsets enable people and organisations to reduce their carbon footprint. Carbon Offsets allow carbon dioxide, one of the main green house gases, to be either taken out of the atmosphere or reduced in another part of the world.

This can be something simple like planting a tree to changing to a green energy supplier for your electricity. Whatever the method is, we have to start doing something straight away.

Or, we could carry on as before and not do anything. Planting one solitary tree isn't going to help much, is it? What is the worst that could happen, anyway? Well, nobody knows one could predict exactly how bad it could all end up being - but of one thing I am certain - it would be one heck of a show!

Posted by DesiGirl 8:30 pm  

12 Comments:

  1. Orani said...
    Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this. I have written so much about this, global warming issue. Assuming that you could read Tamil, I am placing a link here to take a look at it.

    http://thekkikattan.blogspot.com/2006/04/blog-post_114584455467439948.html
    priya said...
    Neatly written. Most of North America is feeling the same and this winter, we didn't have much to cleanup and summer is extreme here. Too many ppl and pollution brings a lot of changes. One day scientists say, polar bears can become extinct.
    /How come no one is worried that it is becoming hotter and hotter/
    Older men and women are worried when compared to their lifestyle in olden days.
    We all do, but wat have we done??
    /Most of my angrezi friends here can't be happier/
    Since they have short summer, they always travel to tropical weather countires and enjoy the best. We try to keep oursleves cool and comfortable from the scorching sun.

    Atleast we shud think for the next generations coz our ancestors have done a good part for us to enjoy this planet.
    ggop said...
    Desigirl,
    Do watch the movie An Inconvenient Truth. I think you will appreciate it a lot. Its a bit dry, full of data bombarding you. Still I enjoyed it.

    The US is facing a heat wave today.
    -gg
    shark said...
    Have you read the book "State of Fear" bu Micheal Crichton? ...

    Read it if you haven't...

    He goes on to prove with facts and figures that all this global warming is nothing but to create "fear" in our minds... The earth's temperature has been increasing since it's existence! Nothing new in that..:)

    Chill girl..
    DesiGirl said...
    Hmm, thanks for all your comments.

    Orani - I checked out your blog - very well written one.

    Priya, ggop - temperatures the world over are changing. Take namma Chennai for example - though the summers have always been really hot, I cannot recall it being so absolutely unbearable.

    Shark - it isn't just the increase in temperature that is worrying. it is the pollution and all the assorted trappings of a rapidly advancing society that are scary.
    well, if u and crichton are right, then the first drink's on me!
    apu said...
    Infact, one concern I have is, that many of us in India increasingly seem to ape the "Western" lifestyle unthinkingly. I have nothing against the west, but for example, blindly using tissue to wipe everything - use and throw substances that will not degrade for years, these practices are being seen as "modern". When earlier, we would have used cloth towels that could have been hundreds of times post washing. In certain areas such as sanitary towels, yes, the old practices arent hygienic or convenient, but in many areas, I think we dont stop to think anymore whether we really need to ape the western model of consumption
    DesiGirl said...
    Well, apu, I agree with u totally on this one - aping the West blindly gets my goat! At a time when the Western World is waking up to the horrors of the non-biodegradable stuff like plastic carrier bags and moving to eco-friendly stuff, we ditch our old-newspaper-bags and move to plastic ones.
    *sigh*
    Low cost budget flying is my next peeve. Like you said, it costs less to fly to London that to Delhi. Can you imagine what we pay in terms of carbon emissions?
    *double sigh*
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    Rehan Qayoom said...
    Yes it was REALLY hot.

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