I have been meaning to write this post ever since I participated in the RTR Campaign. I was sure from the very beginning that my first post on April 22 would have the title Happy Earth Day. Now, after writing the title, I'm feeling uncomfortable about the title. I mean, how exactly can I wish you a "Happy" Earth Day when there's no reason we should be happy about. On the contrary, there are things which can actually make us unhappy.
Should I be happy when Kolkata has had the hottest April ever – a clear indication of the ever-increasing grasp of Global Warming – at 42° C (107.6° F)?
Should I be happy because of the fact that we're still wasting energy shamelessly? Or should I be happy to experience frequent power cuts as the power stations are running low of conventional energy resources?
Should I be happy that many species of animals in India are just one step away from extinction? Should I be happy that the number of the Royal Bengal Tigers is decreasing rapidly? Should I be happy that mangroves of the Sundarbans (the Royal Bengal Tigers' dwelling place and the largest mangrove forest in the world) are severely damaged due to sea-level rise?
Or should I be happy because the groundwater of Kolkata is no longer at a safe level? Or because the groundwater in some places of West Bengal (which, needless to say, are far away from the sea) have become a bit saline?
Even if I don't talk about my own state, I find even fewer reasons to be happy about.
Should we be happy because the rainforests are in danger? Should we be happy that the Mono Titi, jaguars, orangutans are endangered? (This 'endangered' is not the IUCN classification.)
Should we be happy that the ice in the polar region is melting? Should we be happy that the amount of GHG emission is still very high? Should we be happy for sea-level rise?
Should we be happy that we have not yet put unconventional energy resources (like solar energy, wind energy, geothermal energy among many others), our possible saviour, to full use? Or should we be happy because of ozone depletion?
On and on I can go. But I need not. We know the answer.
No, if we look at the present scenario, we can't help being unhappy. But we should be happy on Earth Day 2009 as there is hope, however faint it might be. We are thinking and acting. We are trying to replant the rainforests and preserve the balance in our ecosystems. That's only one part of our efforts. We are devising new methods to save our earth everyday.
Please, please, swear on your earth that you'll try to save it with all your might.
Done it? Now tell me if you're unhappy.