Our environment is a topic of general concern and i have many thoughts coming to mind today on the occasion of world environment day. When i am looking at a great future for all living species, it can’t be without a safe environment.
We celebrate world environment day on 5th June and the day of biodiversity on 22nd May every year. Our environment has a big picture. It’s not limited to our surrounding like our workplace or home. It’s the world as a whole. Why i say the whole world is because one place is not independent of the other when it comes to our environment. When we cause harm to nature at one place, it can affect some other place far away. It’s because of imbalance. Rapid deforestation, industrial pollution and many such factors are all responsible for this imbalance. One major example is earthquake/tsunami that is caused by imbalance in tectonic plates under earths crust. Heavy rainfall causes landslide like that happened at Uttarakhand in recent past. People argue its all natural and we can’t control it. Alright, but who knows. Even if i assume it’s beyond control of human species, then what right do we have to cause harm to something that we can’t create or control?
Nature improves our living standard. It gives us all the basic necessities of life. Mother earth gifted us with all the resources to live a happy life. It constitutes of flora and fauna in many forms. What we give her in return? She doesn’t ask anything in return. We should think about something to present her in return. We always protect when we get something as a gift. Nature is a gift to human beings among all its diversity. Shall we not take care and protect it? This will be the best present to her and this is something not beyond our control.
What i found in dictionary the meaning of biodiversity is “the diversity of plant and animal life in a particular habitat or in the world as a whole”. I consider diversity in the world as a whole. Let’s have a look at the importance of biodiversity in its various forms of life. We have various types of plants and animal species in land. Marine life covers a great number of creatures in the form of fishes, aquatic plants that we don’t come across very often.
All forms of life are important for sustainability and growth. We get oxygen from plants and they play a major role in controlling the temperature in our ecosystem. We get all our basic needs like food, cloth and shelter from plants. We get fuel to cook our food from plants. Animals too serve a great purpose in our development. Animals live in jungles unlike human beings. It’s their habitat. If we destroy their natural habitat by cutting trees, they will be homeless and may come outside to our area in search of food and suitable space to live. Few animals are now categorized in the list of endangered species as they are in the verge of extinction if we don’t take necessary steps. Tigers control deer population. Nature has made them carnivorous to feed on herbivores. There are some species that depend on others for food. It is by nature. If there is a decline in population of single species it will affect the dependent. Nature created all the species for our wellbeing and to maintain balance. We need to take care to protect it.
There is a strong interdependence of biodiversity with our development and poverty alleviation. It is more significant to developing countries where there is poverty in large scale. We must be in a position to fulfill our basic needs before going for industrial growth. All this we get from the diverse forms of life. Let’s think of rural and tribal people. They are most dependent on biodiversity for most of their needs. They get food/fuel/medicine from plants, fish from ponds/rivers. Aquatic plants and animals keep our water bodies clean. Urban people too are dependent on these rural masses for their food. If they don’t get land for cultivation and wetlands for breeding fish they will be poorer as they need to buy that from market. Take a case when you have the money but no resources available to buy. We will be nowhere. So we can secure our future by protecting biodiversity. Marine life too plays a great role in preserving our ecosystem. All are important and we can’t ignore any form of life.
In the name of industrial growth and human development we destroy natural habitats. This act can prove fatal to our own sustenance. If we don’t take care of nature it will not take care of us. We’re all like animals at the beginning. When there is diversity among different forms of life there is some need for it. We need to respect the law of nature. There are many forms of life that we know and there might be many more undiscovered till date. What is the significance of biodiversity to us? We’re all the same at the beginning like any other species. Human race have evolved over a period of time to its present form. They become stronger and smarter.
It’s god’s grace that we are the smartest of all the races known till date. We are gifted with knowledge and power to live a healthy life. We feel we can just gain control over anybody and anything on this earth because of our superpower and scientific growth. Can we really gain control over our fate and future if we abuse our power and knowledge? If there is any superpower what I believe to be present in the form of GOD must be angry with the act of human beings on earth. We have developed our own law which is something like “FOR ME TO FLOURISH YOU NEED TO PERISH”. This may be a thought in my mind but that is very true as we always look out for possibilities of development and growth at the cost of others. It’s against the law of nature.
We can draw examples from animals. Even a tiger don’t hunt unless it feels hungry. If we fail to protect others we might end up losing our own race. I don’t know the real cause of extinction of dinosaurs from earth. Research has many findings. But i think it is because of nature and can be attributable to the changing climatic conditions where they could not adapt well. Is our human civilization in danger and facing extinction? I’m not thinking negative. It can be a possibility. We are least bothered about biodiversity and the prosperity of other creatures. Population of polar bears, tigers and penguins are on the decline. There are many new species discovered in Antarctica. Nature may develop some new species smarter and stronger to us who can adapt with the changing conditions. The worst could be if they don’t like human beings to prosper with them.
Biodiversity indirectly controls our environment and climatic conditions. For our scientific growth and development we conduct many experiments that do more harm than good to our biodiversity. The largest ozone hole till date was discovered in Antarctica. Ultraviolet rays from sun are harmful for our biodiversity including human beings. I still remember the gory pictures appearing on TV screen after the war in Iraq when oil tankers were spilled into the ocean. The marine life suffered the biggest setback I know till date. I don’t know how many aquatic creatures lost their lives as they could not adapt themselves in a poisonous environment. The oil was floating for months together and in that condition the major problem for marine life was lack of oxygen.
It is the law of nature to maintain a balance among all its life forms. It’s our duty to abide by the law and protect our natural resources. If we break the law, nature will create havoc and show its fury as we observe in the form of natural disasters, non-seasonal changes in our climate, global warming, acid rain etc. These days we observe earthquakes, tsunami and super cyclones frequently unlike that in the past. I remember the time of super cyclone in Orissa in the year 1999. I was an eye witness and observed the plight of people both in rural and urban areas. Electricity supply disrupted for about fifteen days at our home which is located in the capital. Most of the trees uprooted and few stood still without any branches and leaves. The following summer season was too hot and day time temperature was about 48 degree Celsius. It’s all because of nature as we fail to protect our biodiversity. What best can we do? When nature needs to maintain a balance we can restrict our growth in population to our present habitat and land available to us for construction. Let’s don’t invade the land of other creatures. We van protect jungles and water bodies. It’ll never restrict our growth and development. In fact it’ll accelerate the process and help in alleviation of poverty when we are less in number. Less number of people can enjoy more resources.
Changing climatic conditions has repercussions. Its impact can be very harsh for human beings. When there will be no/few jungles, animals and plants the day time temperature may increase drastically over a period of years. There was an advertisement in some Indian English daily news paper few years back. It was all in pictorial view about the changing climacteric conditions and its possible impact on us. Let me translate few of the pictures I remember to words as I understand. It had a prediction about our living conditions in the year 2050. The average day time temperature could rise to 50 degree Celsius and it will be at subzero level during the night time. Trees were shown standing still without green leaves. People use oxygen masks and wear specially built suits like that in spacecrafts to protect them from the scorching sun rays. Few spend time in oxygen chambers in need of fresh oxygen. There was apparently no water to take bath and very less to drink. A person has lost all his hair and children don’t grow hair on their head. A large portion of the present human habitation will be covered by ocean. People don’t take bath but apply some kind of lotion all over the body as an alternative to keep them cool and protect them from radiation. Would we like to see this kind of environment not conducive for human development in future?
You may argue these to be all negative thoughts. They arise because of the changing global climatic conditions as we fail to protect our biodiversity. Actually our surrounding, the environment we live in impacts out thought process. I don’t know what guides me and my thought process but I believe there is some controlling force above all of us. I am not superstitious but it happens. The worst could be when we think and act negative and the best could be when we think negative but act positive. I was thinking about flight safety and the very next day morning I got the news of an air crash while landing. I started blaming my thoughts for some time as if there is some connection and later gained control over my emotions. I was so upset that I could not move for a while. If a negative thought can give rise to some positive action I’ll not blame myself. But it’s hardly realized. Now I don’t categorize any thought to be positive or negative. They give rise to new ideas and can be useful by some means. As long as our action is positive I don’t mind a negative thought. I am not out of context of the topic. The more we think about all possibilities the more no of ideas we can generate for positive and timely action. There is no option but to protect our biodiversity and nature to protect our own for sustainable development and growth.
Who is accountable to our growth and prosperity? It’s we, the human beings. Who doesn’t want growth & prosperity? I don’t think we can find anybody in this category. Can we realize growth in long term at the cost of others and our nature? It doesn’t sound good to me. Now we should keep a strict vigil with a bird’s eye view on all our action. We must regulate it and step back if it’s not in the betterment of all living creatures. It’s is in our hands to protect the human race from a possible extinction. All the natural forms of life play some role in regulating our environmental conditions. They are all important and if we protect them by protecting their natural habitat, nature will give us protection and that is the rule. No scientific development can protect us if we don’t give protection to our nature.
I’ve shared mine and now it’s your turn to help me learn better with your valuable thoughts and comments. Let’s protect ourselves by protecting our environment to develop a better world! A safe environment can lead us to a great future!!