The Bold Voice of J&K

Planet earth in peril


G L Khajuria

The planet earth has so far been known as the only bio-sustaining space-ship in the entire cosmos which subsists and sustains every bioform ranging from micro-organism to giant elephant and the like. But ironically, it is sad to say that this planet is subject to denudation and decimation at the merciless hands of the most modern man.
We have very badly bulldozed her fragile soil, dwindled and decimated the lush green vibrant forest cover (the green gold) in more than many ways. All this is in pursuit of the headlong development of all hues, disregards of replishents.
The result being conversion of lush green forest cover into concrete jungle. Rightfully has our former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi said in world conference on environment at Stockholm, “we do definitely want developments but not at the cost of destruction.” What progress and prosperity can we proudly reckon, when in hand to hand with all these progressing developments, we are heading towards the verge of extinction or so to say death knell? All this we are doing is doubtlessly down with nature which in no sense of term should be obviated or relegated.
So, at this juncture, it is most warranting to halt, pause and ponder upon the irretrievable losses we have unceasingly done to nature.
The Evening Standard, Dated 27th December, 1989 reflects the appeal of His Holiness Pope John Paul II who said, we are all aware that the peace in the world is threatened by the arms , race, conflicts and by inequalities between the people and between the nations. But it is also true that the world is still staggeringly threatened by disrespecting nature, the disordered abuse of natural resources and the progressive deterioration of quality of life.
This generates a sense of insecurity which in turn encourages egotism. In face of widespread environmental damage, humanity is beginning to realize that we cannot continue to use the riches of planet earth as we have used in the past.
In such a situation, the responsible politicians and leading leaders are awfully worried about the environmental degradation and the plight of planet earth. A variety of scientists, environmentalists from multihued disciplines are indepthly examining the causes and the consequences and the ecological conscience is being formed to reverse the holocaustic storyline.
If the man is not at peace with nature, the planet earth itself is not at peace. For this reason, the nature is in morning – those who inhabit it will languish along with animals of the earth and the birds of sky.
Even the fish in the seas are going to die.Our anxious question is what remedy can we find to restore the damage that has been done to planet earth. The planet earth is an inheritance whose fruits must benefit all the nations.
It is unjust that few privileged people continue to accumulate superfluous wealth, exploitiong its resources , whereas multihued people live in a condition of misery, just barely above the minimum level of survival .
The ecological crisis is the proof of urgent moral need for a new solidarity, especially between the developing and highly developed countries.
As a consequence, therefore, the most profound factor respossible for the environmental crisis which is man -made thereby obliterating the natural equilibrium of the planet earth. In pursuit of developments, we have holed in the inner core and the ruthless blasting of rocks has broken the very fabric upon which rests the entire eco-system.
The underground tunneling for roads, railways, tramways is another face of distortion of the core portion of the planet earth.
We blame the nature for floods, fires, windstorms, cloudbursts, lightening and thunders, unprecedented rains, landslides and devastating floods taking lunge toll of humankind and their belongings.
All these disasters are of our own making whose consequences are well before us to face. One of the most glaring example before us is that of daunting droughts and unprecedented floods which is disheartening and devouring . Over the years , we have been witnessing in India poor farmers alone that are on suicidal spree accruing from both droughts and unforecedented floods. And then there are unending examples of multied factures tan amounting to such catastrophic scenario world over. Admittedly, it is no denying the fact that the plant earth is in peril more so because of the most heavily populated and far exceeding developed countries of the world viz. U.S, china, Japan so on and so forth. Till not too distant past, China’s capital city Beijing is the fifth most water stressed city in the world is reported to have been sinking. Since 1936, 14 inches ( 14cms ) in the last decade alone.
This has been reported as per detailed study and documentation published in a journal, ‘Remote sensing’ where seven Beijing -based researchers analyzed topographical data of the city ranging the period 2003-2010 and attributed that Chinese capital city Beijing is sinking by 4 inches (11 cms) per annum.
It has further been documented that Beijing needs 3.5 billion litres of water per annum whereas the ground water is the sole source for two – third of city’s 21 million population. The researchers have established that it is this stress on sub-Terrance acquifers which is causing land subsidence. Rapid urbanization is the second most challenging factor in such sinking which has, of course, added to the city’s woes.
The sky-rocketing buildings, business malls and other skyscrapers in unison have a worst effect on the city and its outskirts in land subsidence.
The pumping out of water recklessly is another contributory factor for such subsistence on such a larger scale.
And so is the cube with Jakarta and most of the other advanced cities with exploding population.
In view of such conditions where on this planet earth are we heading? This is the most challenging and cocooned question mark of the day echoing attention of the most prominent leaders, environments, policy planner across the globe to chalk out actionable strategies to safeguard the planet earth from holocaustic consequences.
The problem of environmental crisis is colossal one which has assumed multitudinous dimensions warranting universal response at this decisive dilemma.
(The author is former
Deputy Conservator of Forests, J&K).

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