• We call her Mother Earth for no ordinary reason. Like a true mother who simply showers love and affection along with the goodies she cooks up for us, Mother Earth keeps on giving and giving, but alas like all good things, that too must come to an end some time.
• The terminology of Earth Day itself may sound interesting if not intriguing but the implications are grave enough for one and all to ponder over. Earth Day is celebrated annually on April 22 with events worldwide in support of the environment and to raise awareness for the environmental protection and care of our planet.
• In 1969 at a UNESCO Conference in San Francisco, peace activist John McConnell proposed a day to honour the Earth and the concept of peace, to first be celebrated on March 21, 1970, the first day of spring in the northern hemisphere. This day of nature’s equipoise was later sanctioned in a proclamation written by UN Secretary General U Thant. A month later a separate Earth Day was founded by US Senator Gaylord Nelson. The first Earth Day on 22 April, 1970 is considered to be the birthday of the modern environmental protection movement.
• Our own Mother Earth is simply taken for granted by all of us because she has always been there from time immemorial and will remain there till eternity. Or will she? Mankind has been steadily exploiting the natural goodies that Mother Earth has been providing her children without a word of protest but this may not last forever. There is always a proverbial last straw that will break the camel’s back and that day might arrive sooner than we would like.
• World population remained more or less static over the past centuries and millennia, largely because death came in various avatars periodically and balanced the additions and subtractions of demand and supply. If you trace the world population graph from prehistoric / ancient times till the twenty first century, you will see a flat, straight line till the beginning of the last century when it shoots up and stays shot up till today. That unarguably sucks out all resources to sustain it as an open-ended growth is a mathematical impossibility.
• Every single thing that we claim as ours has in fact come from Mother Earth. And every single act of our using it is going to deplete it relentlessly. Be it water, air, minerals, plants, animals, what have you, each and every thing out there in Nature must be kept sustainable or else disaster will inevitably strike mankind one not-so-fine morning and we as a species will no longer exist.
• Remember, a depleted Earth cannot be restored to its original bloom and glory. The only way left for us is to ward off the day of disaster by judiciously consuming the precious resources and sustaining our species for as many millennia as possible. That calls for vision and a commitment on the part of policy makers as well as each and every consumer.
( Dr. Srinivasan works with Wockhardt Foundation)
Views are personal.