By Mushtaq Hurra
No doubt, the nuclear giants of the world have enough armory to destroy the whole world multiple times but the silent monster of environmental pollution, in general, and the atmospheric(air) pollution, in particular, are all set to wipe off the life from the planet without making use of any nuclear bomb.
The natural environment is like a cradle which nourishes and nurses us all.
But the exceedingly high concentrations of deadly gases and chemicals present in the atmosphere, have sent shockwaves among the common masses because pollution levels have gone beyond the alarming proportions.
Industrialization is a boon for the mankind. The invention of machines has made our lives easier and more comfortable. Automobiles have enabled us to travel faster and quicker. But, the way our roads are abuzz with a deluge of vehicles have added fuel to our vulnerable and susceptible environment. High level emissions of greenhouse gases have changed our moderate weather system into an extreme one.
Human avarice, insensitivity and, to some extent, the lack of environmental consciousness among our masses, is a big challenge for our fragile and delicate environment. After the nuclear threat, environmental degradation is considered to be the most devastating calamity for the mankind.
As responsible and sensitive citizens, we must not leave every issue for administration to resolve. We can play a vital role to make the planet a better place to live. We can reduce the excessive usage of fossil fuels by switching to bicycles and other non-fuel modes of transportation. This will not only save us from the pangs of environmental hazards rather will help us to cultivate health. We can check uncontrollable deforestation and plant new trees to infuse a new lease of life into our deteriorated environment. We can stop the usage of polythene bags which pose a threat to our own existence. Thus, we as commoners can do wonders by being a little proactive. We can change the destiny of our nation if we can exploit our wits and wisdom.
Automobile exhaust is one of the biggest sources of atmospheric pollution. Burning of fossil fuels releases exceedingly high levels of green house gases into the environment which increases the average temperature of earth’s surface. Though, automobiles are necessary for the smooth functioning of our lives and life can’t be imagined without this blessing of science but its excessive use can result in a catastrophe which can endanger our own existence.
The recent early snowfall in our plains has sent shivers down the spine of our sensitive and soulful Individuals though the commoners are enjoying it. No doubt, snowfall is the beauty of our valley (the white cover adds a great deal to our scenic beauty and ensures the adequate water flow in our perennial water bodies which is essential for our agriculture and horticulture).But , this recent snowfall in the first week of November is not a good omen for us. Apart from damaging our orchard trees, it is also a testimony to the fact that the demarcation between the seasons is gone.
Drastic climatic phenomena like cloudbursts, heat waves, erratic snowfall, droughts, heavy rainfall and so on, have already knocked our doors. Our valley, which used to be famous for its moderate climate, has been facing the tantrums of human indifference and global warming is not anymore a stranger to us. Our glaciers are receding at an alarming pace. The recession of glaciers is a double edged sword .It can cause floods and can exhaust our future stock of water. Therefore, the matter is extremely serious and needs to be assessed for conservation of life on the planet.
Agricultural and cold-climatic States like Jammu and Kashmir need to take all the necessary measures to evade any climatic calamities in the future although we have been witnessing alarmingly high pollution concentrations for last two decades. The number of private and commercial vehicles plying on our roads is exceedingly high, emitting a lot of carbon dioxide(green house gas) and other toxic substances .Some three or four decades ago, the scenario was altogether different. We were less “developed” but our environment was safer and cleaner. The advent of technology has snatched our peace of mind because it has subjected us to dangerous ailments.
The onus is on us. We must try our best to make the world more beautiful and calmer. I slam and our Prophet Mohammad (SAW) have stressed upon the value of plants. Our famous Sufi saint Shaikh ul (RA) has said that food is subservient to plants. Our ancestors were wise enough who would plant trees by roadsides, without expecting any return or remuneration. (The giant Chinar and mulberry trees are a vivid proof of our ancestors sincerity and highly developed civic sense)
If correct measures are not taken, we may end up by loosing many species and our old health resorts to environmental deterioration. There may droughts and famines. There may be wars and blood baths. This may wipe off the human existence from the planet unless we wake up and take drastic remedial measures
The writer is a teacher and can be reached at: email@example.com