Going Green

Kuttan-bhai prompted me to with this question, is the old man turning green? I had joked around previously when I wrote the blog on Mushrooms and Switzerland

Let me start with the bad – Yes, it is true that the development of a country is measured by the waste/refuse (trash) it produces. More than that, it is also measured by the plastic it produces I guess! Articles mention that 63 pounds of plastic are produced per person in the US and it just ends in landfills or well, you have to believe this – is dumped in the ocean. That is how responsible we are…Have any of you heard about the sea of plastic in the Pacific Ocean? A floating mass that is slowly destroying the marine & bird life out there, guess how much - many thousands of square miles of it. Have you read about it or heard about it on mass media?
If not, read about it here.......and here (The picture is from the second link) and here. This is the plastic island, 3 million tons of it.

Now this surely is bad, my wife is livid, she is not happy that there is no recycling here in South California. In the UK we used to have separate trash containers for each type of waste and plastic was always recycled!! And I agree, this is not the way it should be. If we create a profitable invention like plastic or radioactivity, we do have to research it through its life cycle, not just the useful (to mankind) cycle. In this sometimes humdrum cycle of life, we are chasing dreams, shadows, fear and opportunities, there is no time even to think about decades & centuries into the future…yes I am guilty………..that I do nothing about it, nor does my thinking about it result in any positive or revolutionary ideas.

My mother wants to recycle everything. She collects bits & bobs, bottles and batteries, plastic and paper and stores them carefully for future recycling, only that there are no buyers or receptacles for recyclable trash in Palakkad. The ‘aakri’ guys who used to howl for bottles & tins are not seen these days, they have better things to do maybe, so the nett result is that the pile of junk at home just increases in volume, year after year and I get furious, when I reach home and see it. My efforts at disposing them are met with vehement non violent protests from my mother, finally I leave her be and I curse the whole concept of recycling..

But then I do think about some of the other high spots on ecology, our planet and the such, yes, in general I am concerned….but in particular…ah! I don’t know.

Climate change
The planet Earth, the solar system, the galaxies & nebulae are so complex, we humans hardly understand the actions & interactions in these creations or happenings. I believe that talking about a possible temperature rise of the planet Earth due to human actions is as vague as thinking about an asteroid hit that can destroy all & everything in the planet. Unfortunately we humans are avaricious beings created to devour away resources, much like other living beings…Collective action about voluntarily restraining ourselves seems not a possible situation to me…But who knows?

Ozone levels
First we read that it is required, up there, so that UV rays are restricted (they harm DNA – cancer etc), then we heard that depletion of the layer is taking place due to man made actions (CFC) and this is also a reason for global warming & climate change. Then somebody said that well, the dammn hole is now
closing mysteriously (maybe also due to reduction of CFC’s!!). Thanks to this site for the wonderful picture & lesson. Well the latest is that the Antarctic hole will close in 50 years!! But then a hole may very well be created by solar storms and other unknown causes on the Artic layer!!

Fossil fuel
I am not so sure that the discovery of petroleum was a good thing. It was good & bad (costs me >$3.50 per gallon); it hastened the industrial revolution, but decreased the possibility of creating clean energy. It is due to the fossil fuel lobby that battery development & efficient cars are not promoted. It also created the wealthy Middle east – though providing employment to a large number of Indians, it has been the reason for all this violent geopolitics of the last two or three decades. Same with Power plants & renewable energy, Solar, wind and wave energy has been delayed…with us depending today on power plants that work to less than 50% efficiency, never more as would be attainable with the other types, when developed…A vicious cycle…

I don’t know how seriously they are taken, though we hear about their protests. This is what they do. Quite a nice ideology..

Greenpeace is an independent, campaigning organization which uses non-violent, creative confrontation to expose global environmental problems, and to force solutions for a green and peaceful future. Greenpeace's goal is to ensure the ability of the earth to nurture life in all its diversity.

Just a simple question – I understand their goals, but will it actually result in peace? How? i.e. Peace for mankind?? I am not yet sure, nor have I spent time seriously thinking about it, but I am motivated by this statement that Mustafa Kemal Ataturk - the founder of modern Turkey, made many years ago,

Peace at Home, Peace in the World - "Mankind is a single body and each nation a part of that body. We must never say 'What does it matter to me if some part of the world is ailing?' If there is such an illness, we must concern ourselves with it as though we were having that illness."

A very fine statement, Mustafabey, Cok tesekurlar (Many thanks, Mr Mustafa..)
Pics - courtesy various linked sites


Nanditha Prabhu said…
The same thoughts that have crossed you regarding the recycling and trash disposal have crossed my mind too! I liked your post as it makes one ponder seriously!I too feel guilty at not being able to do anything regarding the junk we create!I too believe that each and every minute action of ours reflects on the whole of mankind! Thanks for the wonderful post!
diyadear said…
hey that was a post with some real insight.. MY god teh palstic island is unbelievable. i hope some action is taken.. n BTW y was the liril ad song playing in the background??? ;)
Maddy said…
Naditha, Diya - Thanks for the thoughts...nobody has brought the plastic story on mainstream, nothing is being doen sinc eit is no mans land..

diay - the liril tune was in the 'come alive...' page...It was probably the most difficult thing to find, finally i got it from the shweta song..