Instances where governments moved ahead to blow out life of environment.
We all have been fortunate enough to feel how a school is and carry unlimited sacks of knowledge. We, as evolving humans, have been taught that knowledge enlightens our minds to make a better world to live in. Think about the times where you could imagine the moors dwelling in Bronte’s Wuthering Heights or the daffodils sprinting gayly in front of Wordsworth’s sleep. The rainbow wings of nature surrounded us for a long time that they enchanted our ancestors, writers, and common lives. But today, they stay where they have been captured, in books and writings. Look around for a while; you might see gigantic skyscrapers and roads connecting cities to cities, with dusty and brand new cars racing against each other. Look again, can you trace the smell of Wordsworth’s daffodils? Can you sight Bronte’s moors, shifting from agony to joy? You will not. And for this, you do not need to find a culprit. Walk to where the mirror stands in your room and look into it; it’s “you,” who is responsible for the tattered wings of nature.
When we had a family of trees, shrubs, fauna, and birds, we hankered after every way to change the family. And now, when we have busy lanes, city lights, pompous cars, and racing footsteps, we want to go back. But, which page has returned to its originality after being crumbled into pieces? In his quest for modernity, Man continues to use nature as his giving source without realizing it has turned to exploitation. The technology and the developments which accompanied have indeed eased up our lives. If you want to feel the wind on a scorching Sunday, turn on the air conditioner and live up to your desire. But, in satisfying our ceaseless wants, we have forgotten that we are not the sole dweller on this earth. Every year, hundreds of forests die to give life to human desires. Every year, we are taught to be rational, orphan the animals and birds by destroying their homes. Every year, we are becoming less responsible, dumping harmful wastes in oceans and on lands, unbothered to what the consequences will be. And, we still have the guts to say,” All men are rational.” This inference would have better thrived to its meaning before our dreams of being revolutionized and modern beings. For presently, we are just dummies, blindly following the path of progress without being concerned about our future, our homes.
We all are a part of this world, divided into countries. Some of us call ourselves Indians, some Americans, some Koreans, some Chinese, and some Africans. Regardless of who we are and where we come from, no one is less responsible for the weary nature swirling around us. If one is responsible for establishing malls by washing away an entire forest, then another is responsible for dumping tons of plastics and waste materials in water bodies. We have certainly forgotten that destroying our soils, is in turn, destroying our nation. To observe a smiling economic growth, we have increased the consumption of non-renewable resources and deforestation. This has led to higher levels of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, global warming, uncertain rains, changes in weather patterns, increase in pollution, and loss of environmental habitat. All these can be classified under a single roof,” Environmental Degradation.” It refers to the continuous exploitation of the environment through resources such as air, water, and soil, which refers to the deterioration of ecosystems. The High-Level Panels on Threats, Challenges, and Changes of the United Nations has ranked environmental degradation to be among the ten threats to human lives.
We call the huge developments our progress, but once you look deep into your report cards, the case is contradictory. What we call progress is synonymous with mistakes. Mistakes, which are both intentional and unintentional, however, continue to wither the bounties we had. A society walks along with its nation, and a country forms itself under the government’s guidance. A government is a body that builds the framework as to how the nation will function and facilitate its people. It provides us with our rights and duties to carry out. It introduces projects and policies to ease our lives. But, what if the government endangers the nation and our lives? What if the projects introduced turn into a short, futile future? While many of us might consider the machines’ sounds and industries evolving, they are only hindering our life spans. Below are some projects initiated by different governments, which obstructed human lives in the name of “development.”
Narmada River and Sardar Sarovar Dam
After India got independence, the new government tried to evaluate and bring out the possibilities to use the water of the Narmada river. The government decided upon a large, exclusive project which was to provide people with water and electricity. The plan to establish 30 major, 135 medium, and 3000 small dams was approved for construction. Apart from it, the government also granted permission to raise the height of Sardar Sarovar Dam. However, only in 1985, when activist Medha Patkar and her colleagues brought out the insufficiency given to the people from the project. Locals complained that they had no role, as the authorities did not consult or asked for their views on the multidimensional project. The construction of dams would have endangered the lives of farmers, laborers, fishers, and others. It also threatened the loss and submerging of vegetation. After the widely regarded Narmada Bachao Andolan, the government decided to halt the project and provide rehabilitation to the people. However, the nation still criticizes the government for it failed to measure out the loopholes and gaps of the project before starting it.
Bhopal Tragedy of 1984
The year 1984 saw a heart-wrenching tragedy that killed hundreds and continues to affect the generations coming from the same region. A gas leak incident at the Union Carbide India Limited(UCIL) pesticide plant in Bhopal had endangered 500,000 lives of the residents. One of the world’s worst industrial disasters, the tragedy has killed more than 2000 people and left thousands with physical deformities for a lifetime. If this is not less saddening, the generation which came after the tragedy, in the same place, continue to suffer from the after-effects of the gruesome incident. The government is framed for this incident because it had taken a lack of interest in effective planning of the project. The industry provided employment, and the government considered it a good move, establishing the plant in the middle of the city. The local governments were aware of the safety problems, but they continue to pursue the project. The government’s political populism, giving the assurance of water and electricity to those who started dwelling near the factory, played a role in several deaths and injuries. The government should have pondered more on safety before setting up a plant to work beyond the capacity of other plants instilled in the nation.
Acid Rain in China
A case study published by the British Broadcast Network (BBC) in the year 2006 reported that one-third of China was suffering from the dangers of acid rain. Acid rain is caused by a chemical reaction that begins when compounds like sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxides are released into the air. With the country striving towards maximized industrial development, air quality continues to deteriorate and pollution level increases. Due to 100,000 lives polluted by a chemical spill in northwest China, 25,5 million tonnes of spewed sulphur dioxide from the country’s coal-burning factories in 2005 have led to 100 percent acid rain showers in several parts of the country. These activities have triggered the building up of sulphuric acid and nitric acid, which endangers lives in China. A significant cause for this destructive phenomenon is the burning of coal. The burning of coal has increased with each year as the country strives towards more economic growth. The local authorities in the country continue to pursue their economic activities with less attention to environmental regulation. This can also be traced to China’s motive for having an influential economy. And due to such wealthy goals of the government, the lives in China continue to see a rise in environmental depletion.
Exxon Valdez Oil Spill in the USA
In the year 1989, the Exxon Valdez was a (Very Large Crude Carrier) oil tanker which spilled 257,000 barrels of oil as it made a collision with Prince William Sound’s Bligh Reef. This oil spill is one of the worst disasters mated out to the water bodies. It is the second-largest oil spill in US waters after the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. The mechanical cleanup could only manage to clean 10 percent of the oil. Exxon was widely criticized for its slow response to cleaning up the disaster, and the community-dwelling in those areas felt betrayed by the government’s response. To remove the oil from rocky cloves, the government decided to remove it through high-pressure hot water, but it brought further damages. The action had displaced and destroyed the microbial populations on the shoreline. The marine food chain was destroyed, and certain bacteria and fungi needed for biodegradation were destroyed. The lack of attention from the government and the need to clean up the spill had led the government to make rushed decisions which in turn endangered the water life.
The above incidents are a few. There are many incidents where the government acted irrational and did not try to figure out the loopholes before proceeding with their ideas and projects. There is a need of the hour for the countries to frame activities per the working of nature. There is also a need for the people of nations to comply with the request of the nation to straighten the curve of sins against nature. We are fragments, along with other beings, who build the planet. And it is only when we work together, shall we respire in a surviving nature and future. It is only when we decide to change, shall the change echoes through skies and mountains.