Global Mayhem

February 8, 2008

Call me a cynic if you want, but I believe that the disastrous snowstorms which have plagued China for the past three weeks or so is a sign of worst things to come (of course, in addition to the floods in Indonesia, the droughts and famines and unusually dry weather in countries around the world as well). Such incidents, while setting records of the worst “snowstorm in history” should act as a grave reminder to people how much, and how quickly, they have been tapping the resources from the Earth without making much of an effort to contribute back.

The ‘Live! Earth’ concert last year, as well as Anya Hindmarch‘s “I Am Not A Plastic Bag” bag becoming a fashion statement of some sorts, do little to remind people of the potential trouble the environment is in. Not when political leaders are jetting off to environmental conferences through environmentally-unfriendly functions such as private jets. Not when the impact of the message will never really sink in on many myopic people around the world until the effects are really felt. Though at the end of the day, there will be sceptics around proclaiming that all those environmentalists are trying to brew up a storm of their own by creating a lot of hoohaa out of nothing in particular.

The concert and the bag remains nothing more than entertainment. Have they really changed the world?

In the midst of all the trouble the Chinese are going through, and amidst all my sympathy I have for the Chinese workers stranded in the city, unable to rush back to their rural homes to rejoin their families for the Chinese tradition of reunion dinner as well as Chinese New Year, I urge everyone to take a step back to rethink how every minute action everyone has taken may have led to the above crises.

It may not be major things like air pollution, or The Three Gorges Dam Project (which incidentally is an environmental disaster and is a project the Chinese government has championed for so strongly). Every little thing counts – every piece of paper unrecycled, every bit of electricity wastefully depleted.

The globe does not protest out of nothing. If we don’t watch our backs, “The Day After Tomorrow” will creep up on us unknowingly.

*Written by aR