Is climate crisis real? What does it mean to you and me? There are huge conferences being organized across the globe like the massive COP 27 in which various representatives from different countries are meeting and discussing extensively about the perils that are looming large on the planet. They’re figuring out alternatives to common governance methods.
The recent IGBC event that happened in Hyderabad brings the subject of climate crisis much closer to us. Most of these discussions revolve around overpopulation, increasing consumerism, which is around 5.1 times that of the earth, required for us to sustain the way we are living now. As we go forward, different countries are going to consume natural resources in diverse ways.
Then we keep hearing about forest flames that destroyed wildlife in the US or floods and earthquakes happening in different countries. We keep reading about many species depleting or disappearing altogether. Expectedly, there is anxiety, eco-anxiety is real.
If we consider Hyderabad, the way it is today, traffic is on constant rise, pollution is on the rise, air quality is bothering us. Especially, post covid most of us have become more sensitive to things which we would otherwise overlook and believe that it will not affect us. For instance, waste dumps which are overflowing. When there are incessant rains, we go through serious problems. So, what are our choices to deal with these issues? Are we going to complain and get anxious about what the future holds for us? Or are we going to reflect and take individual and collective responsibility to do everything we can as a society to reverse the damage we have inflicted on the environment?
The current progression with which India is growing from 1. 35 billion and counting, of which the privileged people are mostly contributing to over consumerism and the under privileged are aspiring to emulate the lifestyles of the rich. So, how does this work? Either we close our eyes and think it is someone else’s problem or honestly own up and say – I am climate responsible.
To author an article or join a movement are fine but they are still superficial. If we really want to be conscious and want to be climate responsible, the word responsibility itself has should be interpreted differently. We should internalize it and respond in a climate sensitive manner. Even if we start small by acting on genuine issues like the local issues, the immediate issues within our lives, and then it can change us.
We should start responding to what is happening around us immediately. To me, to you, to us, there are many things we need to change in our life. Like consuming less at a personal level, at family level, at neighborhood level, and at professional level. Most importantly, we need to change our mindset. Changing our mindsets towards consumption, moving towards green, nature friendly living is the best action we can take right now.
It makes sense to minimize our requirements, avoid hoarding and give away what we do not use to someone needy. Even if we are aspiring to buy something, let us choose an eco-friendly option not because it is fashionable but because of the mindset. Right before buying anything, be it a cell phone, a dress, or a house, let us make a conscious decision to not succumb to social media hype or adverts. These basic changes in our mindset will make all the difference we need right now. This is the best climate action we can take at an individual level. Let us start from bottoms up while others go top down.