I really wonder at the absurdity of the title of my speech ‘Save Mother Earth’. Does it not look absurd that a 6ft tall man, just one species in millions of species of earth, a species that is powerless against tsunamis, earthquakes, tectonic plate movements, volcanic eruptions, a species that cannot save itself if mother earth sneezes is talking about Saving Mother Earth..?
Let’s look at some facts.
The climate of earth has been undergoing changes all throughout its millions of years of existence. Tectonic plate movements, Orbital variations, variations in solar radiation, change in vegetation, volcanic eruptions that throw out materials from the depth of earth into atmosphere have been happening all the times.
These have been causing climate change all through the history of mother earth. Only in the last few centuries, the impact of man on climate change has accelerated.
Due to rapid industrialization and very high energy consumption, man has been drilling petrol from deep inside the earth, throwing it out into atmosphere through uncontrolled emission almost relentlessly every second and all over the world. Thus Mother earth has been subjected to artificial volcanic eruptions every second, polluting the atmosphere all around earth. This definitely has accelerated the climate change.
The expanding human population and greedy consumption of minerals and materials has resulted in rapid deforestation. This has accelerated the changes in vegetation and has accelerated the aging process of Mother Earth.
Onshore and Offshore drilling of petroleum, Huge dams that generate hydro-electric power, deforestation, un-controlled mining et al could have caused changes in tectonic plate movements or accelerate earth-quakes, though it is yet to be scientifically proved.
Irrespective of man’s actions, Earth has its own life-cycle and would get doomed in few billion years. But man’s irresponsible actions as I said above have accelerated or subverted the natural process in particular directions and brought the impending doom much closer.
This doom is not for Mother Earth. It is the doom for all the species living in Mother Earth and in particular the doom for human race. So when we talk about saving Mother Earth, it’s not about saving Mother Earth. It is about saving ourselves and our progeny from faster death.
"Modern technology owes ecology an apology" – said Allan Edison. I would say Modern technology owes man an apology. I would offer here four solutions with which we can decelerate our impact on climate change and save ourselves from accelerated doom.
My first solution is to decentralize energy generation. Centralized energy generation and distribution over long distances causes huge energy losses and increase the environmental cost. We need to invest in technologies that allow energy generation closer to place of consumption. For example, with right technologies, fuel cells and solar energy could be used in every home and office. Tidal energy could be used by industries located closer to sea-shores. Industries could be located closer to sea-shores to exploit tidal energy and wind-energy. Why we should not have technologies that capture the heat of our tar roads and convert them to energy..?
Instead of establishing large-scale energy plants that guzzle up exhaustible resources, we should invest in technologies of future that rely on in-exhaustible resources. Clean Energy technologies are the need of the hour.
My second solution is to decentralize food production. Food grains such as rice, wheat are almost grown all over India. Today these are transported to central warehouses located in few places, raising the need for transportation and impacting climate. We should have ware-housing facilities in every village powered by bio-gas and other local available energy mechanisms.
Our crop patterns need to be made scientific, variable and not focus on just rice and wheat or cash crops. Such a spread of crops would promote local self-sufficiency.
Strange but true, we need to also modify our food habits to have less environmental impact.
Why can’t we grow green and vegetables in every house as we grow fish in aquariums..? It is just a question of technology.
Decentralized distributed production is required not only in food, but also in many items wherever it is possible to be achieved to reduce transportation costs.
My third solution is to work on our economic models. Our economic model of centralized production, distribution, large enterprises and globalization add their bit to environmental impact. We should develop a combined and optimized economic model that reduces the environmental impact.
For some products, we can use globalized models. For some products we should use local self-reliance models. We need to choose the model based on environmental impact.
Not only production and distribution models, the overall economic model of large enterprises, global stock markets and bourses all need to be revisited with their environment impact and optimized.
My fourth solution is to make environmental impact analysis studies compulsory in all streams of knowledge. Economists must correlate environmental impact in their models. Chemists, Biologists, Scientists of various streams ranging from nuclear science to nano-technology need to consider environmental impacts in all their products and solutions.
Why..? Even mathematicians, statisticians, musicians, cine-actors, workers, employers, management graduates, Civil service people, almost everyone need to have the knowledge to understand the environmental impact of their solutions and services.
As I said initially, man has no power to save Mother Earth. Long after the death of human race, mother earth will continue in this form or other forms. We are simply talking about not accelerating the aging process of human race and avoiding a premature death to our race.
Hope this reality sinks in every one of us and all the thinkers and planners of this world.
you can actually cut short the speech if yu fell it is long