Planet Earth will survive- Live your life and Die!

Everyone has begun to realize that human life is under threat on Planet Earth. We are beginning to create awareness, take various steps to curb plastic use, contain pollution and do other things to try ensure we can survive on this planet a little longer. But I somehow feel it is a lost battle- there is very little we can do to stop the inevitable- all our efforts can only delay it a bit more and can't stop it altogether. The signs of trouble are already loud and clear- many cities around the world are running out of ground water- rain quantity is dropping each year- ocean level is raising slowly but steadily, pollution in many world cities are at hazardous levels, human population is ever increasing so we need more homes, more jobs, more factories which means more deforestation, less resource per person and an inevitable crisis where supporting human life will be near impossible for planet earth.
This thought is aligned with what a British Environmentalist feels- he has given up on plastic clean up after years of effort- read more here. Lots of reports like this one are now predicting end of world (or the most part of it) as early as 2050.

Why saving earth is a lost battle?
There're many reasons- mostly commercial, which prevent us from enforcing permanent/long term solutions and focus wrongly on superficial remedies.

1. We don't want to ban plastic manufacturing- we only want to ban its usage.
Instead of imposing a ban on manufacturing of thin/single use plastic bags, we only ban their usage. Think of this-Instead of enforcing a ban on tens of thousands of retail outlets that use plastic, is it not easier to identity 100 odd factories that make these plastic and shut them down- or force them to stop making new plastic and only recycle what's already existing?. No- such a move would hurt commercial interest of factories, so our ban efforts are wrongly focused on an uncontrollably large base of end users.

2. We want to curb pollution- but won't stop manufacturing new cars
What is the need to manufacture 1000s of new cars each month? Why not stop production for 6 months or an year? Let all cars currently in dealership yard get sold, let people buy used cars or repair and use their cars longer or shift to public transport.

No. We can't do that. Lakhs of jobs associated with automobile industry will be at risk- economy will tumble, government may collapse. Thus our immediate financial needs are more important than a serious solution to curbing pollution and traffic. So we will only enforce some superficial solution like tighter emission norms or extra environmental tax on car buyers.

Similarly there're so many other products being produced just to keep economy rolling, not really because these goods are essential for life- plastic toys, cloths (whose manufacturing causes lots of pollution) and so on.

3. We know cities are running out of water, pure air- but don't want to stop their expansion
Real estate mafia won't let anyone freeze uncontrollable growth of our cities. We will continue to build new apartment complexes, office blocks and expand cities in all direction, despite knowing that city is running out of water and air.

In essence, we're not able to take any hard decisions or permanent solutions at a government/policy making level.

Let us see at our individual level!
1. Will you be OK if you, or someone in your family or someone you know are to lose their livelihood because whatever job/business they are doing is not good for environment and needs to be shut down? No. We all have our personal finance, well being much above a greater environmental cause.

2. Are you Ok not to have a child or tell your close family member not to have a child- because there's no space for more people on earth and not enough natural resources like drinking water/air etc?
No. We all want one or two child in our home- population control is best left to the neighbor and other people in the apartment complex.

3. Are you Ok to give up some comfort like Air Conditioning in your home and office, manage with say ceiling fan or table fan instead? Mostly No. we need our comfort and convenience as long as we can.

So even at an individual level, no one is interested in long term permanent solution or take some hard decisions that would cause immediate inconvenience. We will only take some superficial measures that helps us feel we are doing our bit to save the planet. We want everyone else to do something to save the earth.

Why current environmental initiatives are futile?
Yes, many of us are taking several initiatives- like avoiding single use plastic as much as possible, using electric vehicles, conserving water and so on. But here is the reality
-Only a small small portion of world's population is currently sensitivised about impeding disaster and is taking some measures to delay it.
-A big portion of the world population is either not yet educated on the enormity of the crisis or probably understands the crisis situation, but have more pressing issues- their immediate worry is how to feed the family today or how to earn some money this month, than worry what will happen to the world 200 years from now. So even if willing, their immediate priorities won't let them care much about environment.
-A small portion is probably indifferent- they either believe they have enough money to tide over any crisis or believe they are not in any immediate danger so there is no need to worry/act, or think it is someone else's responsibility to fix things.

Even if we are to educate most of the world population and make most of them take some corrective measures like conservation, reduce/reuse/recycle etc, that will only delay the disaster a bit and can't prevent it- because we are not taking any permanent measures listed in first part of this post.

Our eco-friendly initiatives are half-hearted or half effective. Consider these
1. Juice vendors in many cities have begun using paper straws instead of plastic ones- but while plastic straw costs 10 Paise, paper straw costs a rupee each. So in order to maximize their profit, many still manage to procure some plastic straws from states where it is not banned and use it a lot along with a few paper straws.
2. Hotels in Chennai refuse to do away with packaged plastic water bottles. Guests just don't trust the water not provided in sealed bottles- so RO treated, purified water won't work and hotels would loose customers. Thus no escape from plastic water bottles as we're unable to give a safe, trust worthy alternative.
3. Most shops have not stopped using plastic bags- they have only started charging for it- most customers just don't care for another 10 rupee.
4. We all know we're just too many- but if someone in family resists marriage or having a child, entire family and relatives will pounce upon them till they relent.
5. We are trying to promote electric vehicles as a solution- but most of our electricity still comes from burning coal and petroleum, we don't have a safe recycling process for used lithium ion batteries-everyone is thinking we'll solve that problem when used battery disposal becomes a menace one day in future like plastic is now.
6. We put up boards "Don't throw garbage here" but we neither catch and punish those who throw garbage, nor reward those who diligently segregate waste and dispose as best as possible.

So what is the way out?
Don't worry- Earth will survive.
We are all worried not really about Planet Earth as such but the fact that it may not be fit enough for humans to survive. Understand the difference. Nature has its ways to balance things, so earth as a planet will survive any challenge we throw at them- may be all the ice will melt, cities will submerge- may be new landmass will come up where there's ocean today- may be there will be a large quake or something else- but earth as a whole will survive our misdeeds- Only problem is, will humans remain after such a massive correction?

Live your life and Die
One of our major concern is will this earth be able to support human life say after 100-200 years from now. I would say why should we care? What is wrong if humans are completely eliminated?

Evolution and extinction are part of a cycle. Humans have been around since about 2 million years- last few hundred years we have single-handedly endangered several species and have extincted many. We are the primary reason for all of earth's trouble. While all other animals are just focused on their daily food, we got greedy with money, power, territory and so many other unnecessary things. So if mother earth decides that it is time for humans to payback and get wiped off planet earth, why try resist it? May be a new, more responsible species will replace us and take good care of the modified planet.

If you are an adult reading this, you will almost certainly survive comfortably with some minor difficulties for next few decades. Even if you have a child, he/she will most likely survive for a good part of their adulthood probably with some difficulties. But our greed is unlimited- we want to secure future of our grand children, their children and so on- in this greed we try to make more money, build more houses and do things that are unnecessary and harmful to the environment. There's enough to meet everyone's need- but not enough to meet everyone's greed.

Why not just live our life and die? Don't produce more kids. If you stop worrying about future of your great grand children 200 years from now, you'll naturally cause less harm to the environment- as you will focus only on immediate need and not future greed. Remember this? "We are not gifting this earth to our children- we have borrowed it from them"-Once you stop having children borrowing stops. Let mother earth restore the balance when she feels necessary. If it means end of human race, why do you care because that will anyway be happening long after you are gone.

Of course we can do all the small small things we are doing now and hope for the best- but for sure that will only delay the inevitable and just not enough to cancel it. Share your thoughts- my approach may sound pessimistic or negativity but I am trying to be rationale and realistic. 

14 comments:

  1. Wow. You nailed it. I have been meaning to write something like this but am unable to due to lack of time.

    I am one of the few travel bloggers who openly say that I have stopped caring about environment. I see many senior and contemporary travel bloggers who are plastic warriors on Facebook but request sealed plastic bottle on fam trips. And don't hesitate in Over ordering and mass wasting non vegetarian food on fam trips. Speaking of which, I loved your article. But you forgot one important point. Meat. Meat is the single biggest pollutant on Earth. And very few talk about it. Because its so delicious 🙄. The day I realised that the world is not turning vegan soon, I stopped caring about environment. It's just waste of time. As you said, very few people care about environment. The one who do take the headache of saving the world while most just chill and enjoy while creating huge waste.

    Even today if we stop all factories and turn vegan (which will never happen) the Earth will heal itself.

    But then most of environment efforts are about saving humans not earth. So I pray humans really get wiped out from Earth. We think we are invincible. We are not.

    Quoting you

    "We are all worried not really about Planet Earth as such but the fact that it may not be fit enough for humans to survive."

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  2. Human is a part of nature. Evolution is just a nature's law. The human's capacity to think,be more greedy and save for future,protect themselves from predators etc are given by nature itself. What if it was nature's rule that humans should be born to ultimately destroy their surroundings and thus destroy themselves?

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  3. Well written .. n totally agree with your perspective of Plastic ban .. Ban the factories..it's stupid to make end user pay the fine for using it.. all the worlds politics is looking only for today's things n not future.. atleast in India it should be a ban for more than 1 kid now.. we still saying proudly about him do humare do... Why ... Kudos to your courage to bring some sensitive problem in light 🙏💪

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  4. Well said.totally agree with your thoughts and perspectives here.Govt should bann factories and not the plastic ban.population is also biggest issue in india..People are not mindful OR they dont want to see the future of their next generation.love this article,you nailed it.

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  5. We'll written.I can not but simply agree with your thoughts entirely.I feel sad when I think of our next generation as to what hardships they have to face due to all misdeeds our generation is committing.

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  6. U have your point, solid indeed. But some day, some collective initiatives will have to take place.
    And yes u are right earth will survive, may be without humans! 😌😌

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    Replies
    1. collective initiative hopefully soon- but for that everyone need to emerge from their immediate financial and political gains/priorities.

      Thanks

      Delete
  7. very very thought provoking and true.. highly practical. but I still wish people can take measures to delay the dooms day as much as possible.

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