Earth Day

April 23, 2009

The global community has an opportunity to reflect and redeem the loss of earth’s treasure in rare species, fresh air layered with cool breeze, the scent of sweet smelling flowers and pure drinking water once naturally available on the planet and now a scarcity in the congested urbanized world.

On this important day commemorating the urgency to sustain life on earth collectively, it is obligatory on every nation to utilize the human capital with expertise, technology and other resources to reduce and eventually eliminate environmental pollution. There are debates and discussions held to determine the extent of responsibility nations must accept to benefit mankind.

Although the earth’s space demarcated with territories and boundaries, disaster in one part of the world affects humanity multifold particularly through disease in the form of epidemics. Further, depletion of local natural resources impact global economy contributing to trade disputes aside from escalating regional poverty that ultimately leads to war and destruction.

The concept of green technology and promoting eco-friendly environment deserve A-political focus to maximize humanitarian values shared by all inhabitants on the planet. It is incumbent on the corporations of the industrialized nations evidently profit motivated to limit and possibly terminate environmental contamination caused by hazardous chemicals, poisonous gases and other toxic agents in the impoverished and densely populated regions of the world.

Unfortunately, the increasing co-operation by the political systems both local and foreign governments with the corporations in violation of environmental code, safety regulations and ethics proliferate catastrophes. Recently, it has immunized victims in tolerating mass life extinction practices witnessed in the 1984 Union Carbide human tragedy in Bhopal, India. Again, notwithstanding the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear accident in the former Ukranian Soviet Socialist Republic producing horrendous figures in deaths, terminal illnesses and birth defects up until now. Similarly, the numerous oil spillings along various coastal regions are responsible for enormous damage and loss to aquatic life, local population and their economy.

Meanwhile, the developing and under developed nations receiving international aid must invest in efficient waste management, facilitate clean drinking water and sanitary conditions for decent survival of those at the bottom of the socio economic strata. Their social programs must target the rural and poorest groups in the society to provide basic education, health care and means for improving living standards through agriculture, banking, and small and large-scale industry expansion. It is essential for nations’ with highest population to maintain sustainable growth to achieve economic prosperity and desirable environmental goals.

Despite phenomenal loss of life and precious resources, there is a universal failure to acknowledge the calamities from nuclear reactors/waste, fossil fuel, offshore drilling for oil and natural gas, disproportionate carbon emissions including reckless industrial pollutions in the past and present time. If the trend continues with little or no effort to contain environmental deterioration, the prospects of future life appear diminished.

Earth day is a subtle reminder to cherish the beautiful gift from Mother Nature and the best expression of gratitude would be the preservation and protection of the planet, the habitat for all living species.

Thank you.

Padmini Arhant