13 March 2009

More room ? But where ?

Ever since Al Gore 's movie " An inconvenent truth " has hit the the theatres, climate change and global warming is a hot topic for everybody. Financial analysts reports show that a " green industry" has been taking shape in the last few years and the projections have shot up only higher. Green Century Funds, and other industries are beefing up their social responsible activities through some environmental intitiatives to increase their ticker value at the stock exchange.

The
Food and Drug Administration have relaxed their definitions for "organic". Coco cola has asked a jewellery maker to make ear rings using old coke cans which they can list on their corporate social responsibility report. But many serious scientific minds know that only this time the " Green industry " will become black if serious conscious attempts are not taken, which scientists are keeping silent, lest the people get panicked ! A veneer of green is attached to any products that you buy these days.

What fails me is, one still finds shelves stocked with eco-friendly green products such as
seventh generation. It is paper being used again. Umpteen number of 'Green" cleaning products are in the market when vinegar and baking soda will do the job. The number of products and attractive packaging have only been increasing all in the name of green ! I fail to see the green aspect when people are having a TV in every room and putting up a solar energy on there roof tops.

Every children's toy has a battery and each kid is profusely playing with it. Parents do little encouraging in asking the kids to play in the park or in the backyard.I did not know how to react when a six year old girl told me that she is fat and that her mother has asked her to hit the gym) Retail stores give discounts and ring up sales when products green and not green is flying out the door.

The heater is set high that an egg will start to cook! An extra layer of clothing at home and insulating the windows will save some energy. Such inertia is yet to be found in many households and retail chains. Our so called politicians-cum leaders who are using climate change as an election gimmick are only using more number of green alternatives - when the number of things used are not decreased ! My imagination says the green shall soon deplete.

Al Gore is smart enough to have established his legacy having won a Nobel prize, but that does not solve the pollution of soot. Oprah, the cultural icon for many North Americans touts
" favorite gifts". Consumerism galore is definitely not green. Only a change in attitude about what earth means to each of us will bring about change.

When children grow up in urban jungles with very few trees or no trees around, they do not develop a love for the earth that they live in, because what they know is the superficial, electronically sophisticated jungle. Learning through imitation is the fundamental nature of mental development. And more so as a human species, because children learn as they watch what adults do.

So when as adults we do not observe actions that inculcate a love for the earth that we live in, children will fall behind, which has happened in the last few generations. When adults doused their own agricultural land consumed with greed went in rigging for oil destroying the forests, the earth turned backed and lashed on us.


Edited to add:
http://discovernavajo.com/a7.html : Take lessons to love your land from the native americans.
http://www.bishnoism.com/thefirst.php : environmentalists of india

14 comments:

Pangala Nagendra Rao said...

Very thought provoking!!
Everything is viewed through the lens of corporate benefits. Same things applies in India also. Many companies do social work only to get tax benefits and a feel good factor from public. Mainly companies like Coca Cola which sells nothing but highly acidic aerated liquid spoiling whole human digesting system talks of social responsibility!!
All are doing for name sake only. People do know the exact facts and may be as blog says it is too much frightening cruel truth. We are already facing it bit by bit. But when the ice bergs melts there will be no place to run away!!
Each individual has to understand firstly his impact on global atmosphere. And you can fool the people by perceiving of being green and actually living reverse, but the results can not be altered by this drama you have act accordingly to get this world really green.

Chikki said...

@Pangala Nagendra Rao

"Mainly companies like Coca Cola which sells nothing but highly acidic aerated liquid spoiling whole human digesting system talks of social responsibility!!

All are doing for name sake only.

--Hmm--
Was wondering what do you expect out of Cola companies, or say Fast Food Chains like McD, KFC,BurgerKing??
Do you expect them to shut down their Business?
Why would someone do that if millions visit them every single day?
I think, it totally depends on oneself, one can limit his/her cola/fast-food consumption, but expecting the profitable companies which employ millions and billions world-wide is UNREAL and unpractical.

So,,why are we cynical about their Motives behind CSR)Co-orporate social responsibilty)??
Lets say, they are doing for NAME-SKAE only, but what is the end result?Better than they running their Business without doing anything for the soceity, right?Because, trust me, the other option of shutting down their Business is not even an option!!

And let us not forget every company is made of humans like you and me, and most people who join these CSR people in organisations are generally volunteers and hence Passionate about what they are doing!

I don't think this statement has any logical conclusions :-

Mainly companies like Coca Cola which sells nothing but highly acidic aerated liquid spoiling whole human digesting system talks of social responsibility!!

One --> They cannot shut down themselves
Two --> Whats wrong with them talking of CSR if the 1st option doesn't apply??


@author

I think, people want to enjoy the comforts of technology while at the same time feel least guilty about it, so they follow the middle road --> Not chuck using those battery powered toys, but buying GREENER one. :-). !!

Ordinary Guy said...

:) good one....
btw, Al gore, the nobel prize winner annual "Carbon trail" is 17 times higher than the average americans.... :) read it somewhere...

we all talk about saving petrol, how how many of us do it.... yes we might use less of it for monetary reasons.... but for the earth...??

this is a good line:
Only a change in attitude about what earth means to each of us will bring about change.

pink dogwood said...

Anrosh,

I love this write up. I came from India 24 years ago. we were not used to many things that were common here, but we got used to them fairly fast. About 3-4 years ago certain things started bothering me. Like I use plastic spoon for a quick lunch and then it lies around for ever. paper towel - how did I live without them? ziplocks, grocery bags - I am making changes slowly but surely.

But the most important thing that I am trying to do is instill these values in my kids. One day as we were heading for our evening walk, my older daughter saw our neighbor's son throwing a wrapper in the storm drain and she took a moment to explain to him how this wrapper can end up in the cheasapeake bay and end up hurting marine life - stuff like that gives me great hope :)

Usha Pisharody said...

Pertinent and thought provoking!

The irony of the greenness and it over enthusiasm is sometimes laughable and sometimes rather sad! Simple steps if taken by each person should ensure a healthy environment.

But that is the catch isnt it? Each person... and the fact that simple and easy is no longer "in"!

Eye opener this post is!

Vinod_Sharma said...

"Our so called politicians-cum leaders who are using climate change as an election gimmick are only using more number of green alternatives - when the number of things used are not decreased ! My imagination says the green shall soon deplete." That is the real problem that is not being addressed. Till we develop a "love for the earth", things only going to get worse...unless the recession bites really hard and lasts really long.

Indyeah said...

A very thought provoking post Anrosh!
All that you have written about seems so distant from India..and yet In India too we in the cities are fast going the same way..
We used to have this system in delhi (all over Delhi)of sorting our biodegradable and non biodegradable waste everyday...

the idea was a failure because People apparently did not have time to sort their garbage or their brains to know which was which(a lil education was needed too regarding the diff between the two)
Imagine!
no time!what an excuse!


and yes as Usha says so rightly green products and the call for all things green has become a mini industry in itself..

I hope that we are able to teach something to our kids by example...Pink Dogwood's story gives me hope..we all need to let our children learn by example..

As you say so rightly here,
''So when as adults we do not observe actions that inculcate a love for the earth that we live in, children will fall behind, which has happened in the last few generations. When adults doused their own agricultural land consumed with greed went in rigging for oil destroying the forests, the earth turned backed and lashed on us. ''

Pangala Nagendra Rao said...

@ Chikki:
I do agree with your views!!
But won't it look like you sin how much you want and it can be purified by Ganga Snan , Haj visit , confessions etc?
Of course something is good than nothing. And these MNCs can not be shut down because same mentality is present with people. As long as people do not worry about the environment these will go on.
And this accountability lies with each individual also!!

manju said...

I loved this post, Anrosh!

Many children living here in Mumbai do not even see trees unless they go out of Mumbai for a vacation.

When my children were young, we lived in the heart of the City where we had the Chowpatty beach and a few parks close by.

The suburbs are a different matter-with many having no parks or playgrounds at all.

Corporate 'Green' seems to be only gimmicks and making politicaly correct sounds.

Consumerism and the general short-sightedness of us all is destroying our planet!

Anrosh said...

Rao, lets be part of the feel-good- look good type" otherwise be condemned! -CSR is a gimmick - a tax saving act - where most of the money is used in parties and luncheon - read more on my reply to chikki.

chikki -

welcome - you may want to check out the damage that is done by industries who run on aerated drinks . Water is already rationed in many parts of the world. we can resort to living on the earth by going on foot for many miles and going local - saving on oil -- how much quantity of water can you ration - there are a lucky few who have had a 24/7supply of water.

australia lies beside an ocean -- there is a lot of water problems there. japan is another one.

how can i forget hyderabad- the rich households in jubilee hills and banjara hills wait for water to come in tanks.

powai lake is near kanjurmarg- there are many houses that get water for only an hour or two a day.

( all my above stories are 12 years or more old) -

the great state of california is under water stress and have current cuts!

may be cocacola and other aerated drinks companies has to close down so that some who are parched now can drink plain water at least. don't you think it is worth it ?

oh and the CSR started with a great motive - now it has watered down to tax exemptions and tax savings - cocktail parties and luncheous and dinners in fancy restaurants.

a pie chart of how the funds are used would be really interesting.
without the creative accounting of course.

and for most it is a serious profession ( volunteees are only the garnish)

ordinary guy,

more on carbon print there is a new link -
weekend-meditation-and-consciousness-raising-its-up-to-you-and-me-079193

hi pinkdogwood,

i came and went easy on plastic and paper for the first 2-3 years. it was easy not to carry cloth bags and cloth handkerchiefs, but since 5 years ago i started making a conscious change-- i remember the first time i took my own bag to trader joes in the city ( before they carried their own bags) and said they will give a 10 cents off !

i could feel all eyes fixed on me when i left with my unstylish cloth bag ( proper thaila )-- but now it has become a very common thing - it has become the other way round - "how come you don't have your own bags".

my husband brings grocery after work in a tote bag. other friends who see him make fun of him "babuji ke jaise sabzi leke aata hai apna thaili meh."

but i still have a long way to go. i still use kleenex when i catch a cold..

knock on woods on the enthu of your daughters -- the current generation kids are more aware and practising too.

hello usha, a neighbor used to make fun of me taking a bag to the grocery shop (it is only becoming common here but not in mainland america. i know this is definitely a common deal in india.) but now she takes one too!

you said it Vinod.

indyeah

- the simple villagers in the mainland of india know what biogradeable and non-bio is, but urbanites don't because they only know one word "trash". the villagers know no trash - they recycle - make compost - give it to the animals. plastic bags were expensive for them - so they used cloth - they did all good and the urbanites would think that the villagers were out of style, but they were the ones who had the style with love - don't you think ?

manju,
you are right - our parks - were the terraces of our building where we played. my green was when i went for a picnic - or for a vaction in the village - my only green was when i stayed in powai for some time -

we had plants at home -so my mother used to throw peels of vegetables and fruits. we grew herbs too, but that was the planting we knew.

soon it was not fashionable to use cloth bags (!) that was how it was when i left - now i don't know - i only know what i read on your blogs :)

Thank you for writing your thoughts. it is always a pleasure to read -

HalfCrazy said...

I haven't watched Al Gore's An Inconvenient Truth but I'm pretty aware of Global Warming. It has actually been discussed to our class, I remember, when I was in Elementary, about 5-6 years ago when people don't know much about Global Warming. But it wasn't a major discussion, just a little something what it is.

I love Electronics, almost everyone loves it but we are too greedy, I guess, to fall to more convenient things, things that will make everything easier which seems to be the number one aim nowadays. I don't know if you have watched Wall-E but if Global Warming continues and the waste worsens, we have to evacuate Earth. Global Warming is one of the reasons why there are a lot of new diseases.

corine said...

brilliant, as always and so true. The change will only come with awareness and awareness ins incremental. Or it will change with a complete collapse of our society, that might be the most efficient way. The other way might take too long. Yikes.

Georg said...

Bonjour Anrosh,

All you say is true for Western Europe, too. You have resumed it accurately.

It looks as if we are on a train we are unwilling and unable to stop.

I wonder how this earth will look like in about 50 years.

Georg

Anrosh said...

half crazy - earth would burn. human beings would die. what has caused this to happen is the lifestyle of the last 4-5 decades or so. Technology increase to raise the comfort level of man, but cause discomfort ment to the man's house - the earth.

corine -- the awareness is incremental. but many people are leaving the job of being earth friendly to others!

georg - may be we will be staying in houses and wearing clothese under some controlled temperature ( like how the astronauts wear !

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