Lat week, while our country’s “Godi media” was busy in declaring Modi as the “Papa of the Nation”, and was busy in declaring Trump as the “Uncle of the Nation”, Something took place last week that has never ever happened in world history 20th August, 2018 A 15 year old girl of class 9 in Sweden, Greta Thunberg, skipped school to protest outside the Swedish Parliament She began her protest with regard to climate change What’s unique is that Greta sat alone to protest No one supported her initially Another special fact is that the Summer in Sweden that month was the hottest summer in 262 years The effect of climate change was clearly visible upon Sweden Greta’s merely demanded that the Swedish government take actions to reduce its carbon emissions in accordance with the Paris Climate Agreement It is not so that Greta did not approach other people Reportedly, Greta had approached her friends and the students in her school She even tried to motivate them to join her in her protest regarding this But no one agreed And then Greta decided to sit alone for the protest even if no one came Let us fast forward to one year later Lakhs of people across the world have realized that most government and most companies have taken negligible action to arrest climate change.
More than 7 million people protested across 6,000 different locations in 185 different countries It was so reported I don’t think that such a protest has taken place ever in human or the world history that were organised by the people across so many different countries simultaneously People from almost all the countries have participated in this 14,000 people participated in India too Strikes were conducted in 26 different locations “Plant trees, save the Earth” “Plant trees, save the Earth”
A lot of people, especially the right wing, have criticized this protest for example, the Trump supporters and the Modi supporters However, most of their arguments were non nonsensical Greta’s face was made fun of and her personality was attacked But some arguments might seem logical to hear For example, so many people were protesting, taking out rallies and raising slogans Would it not have been better if all these people came together to plant trees? It does sound logical, but I do not believe so I believe both the things are equally important One of the things here is Individual action What you should do personally in your life What are the changes that you should adopt to reduce carbon emissions and help in limiting climate change The second thing is Spreading Awareness Informing other people that these things need to be done The climate strike helped a lot on the second thing Awareness spread amongst the people when they saw so many people protesting against climate change So the ones who did not believe in this They too started to feel that this is an important issue that needs attention The third thing is creating pressure upon the government and the corporate (sector) to take some actions And the third thing is the most important.
Assume that you want to grow a tree You grew 10-20 trees in your neighborhood on your own or with the help of some of your friends But then the Government could sign one paper and your entire nearby forest gets cleared This is what is happening in our country The Aravalis are being cut down in Gurgaon. The entire Aarey forest is being cleared in Mumbai which are the last remaining green lungs of both the cities The same story is ongoing in Chattisgarh So you can see the the government merely has to sign one paper and announce one decision and the entire forests will get cleared All of your individual efforts to grow trees will be rendered ineffective This is why these protests are so important I’m not trying to demotivate you if you’re trying to do something individually All I believe is that both things are equally important I’d like to give you another example of this The top 100 worst polluting companies of the world are responsible for 71%of the carbon emissions in the world So only these 100 companies are responsible for the 71% of the climate change in the world On rank number 5 is a company named- Exxon It is a US based oil and gas company An investigative report of the Los Angeles Times has found that the Exxon company knew about the oncoming climate change and its effects 50 years prior to today Despite that, this company concealed this from the people In fact, it spread millions of dollars to spread the propaganda that climate change is not happening This company forcefully funded the politicians that claim that climate change is not happening.
In 1982 this company conducted an internal study, the results of which are this They had accurately predicted what the condition of the earth with regard to climate change would be This graph was drawn in 1982 If you follow this graph, you will notice that it is predicting that by 2020 there would be a carbon dioxide concentration of 420 ppm and there would be temperature rise by 0.8 degrees Now, when you look at reality, in May 2019, the latest data reveals that carbon dioxide concentration is 415 ppm and the temperature rise has also taken place by 0.8 degrees by now So they already knew all this beforehand and they had even predicted all this and yet kept things hidden And according to their prediction, this temperature rise would reach 3.8 degrees by 2080 Now you could think that this is a difference of merely 3 degrees. This would not affect things too much even if it were 3 degrees hotter, I could stand it But 3 degrees is the average temperature rise Average temperature rise means summers would be hotter, winters would be colder More floods would occur in the rainy season and more droughts would occur in the summer season And this is already beginning to be perceptible. The temperature has risen by 0.8 degrees and you can see the conditions prevalent in the country and across the world There are record breaking summer heat waves Whenever it rains, floods occur. Almost every second day there are reports of flood situations somewhere in the country While I’m making this video, there are floods in Pune and Patna in which there have been so many casualties This is the story of every year. Before this, there was a water crisis due to the droughts And all of this is happening due to a rise of a mere 0.8 degrees So by the time it reaches 3.2 degrees in the next 50 years, there would be an exponential increase in all of these things.
In 2016, a lot of countries of the world had signed a Paris Climate Agreement The Agreement stated that all the countries would try to arrest the temperature rise to 2 degrees or lesser to “well below 2 degrees” But what Greta is protesting about is that all the actions taken by the companies and the governments till now it does not seem foreseeable It does not look like they would be able to limit the climate change to 2 degrees In reality, it seems that this could easily reach 3-4 degrees even now.
So this is why the protests are so important I’d tell you to participate in the nearest protests and the protests in your nearby areas next time Because there are going to be more protests in the coming times Greta has named this movement “Fridays for future”. That is people should protest for the environment every friday The school students should protest against the climate change So there will be more in the coming times and if you want more information regarding this and want to search for a protest nearest to you, I have provided a link in the description It is a link for a Google form. You can fill it up and submit it and you will get an email which will apprise you about the protests regarding climate strike in and around you.
Another thing is due to these protests, the environment and climate change become a political issue Next time the people go to vote, it may cross their minds that they should vote with this in consideration.
Talking about individual actions, I’d like to offer a a few suggestions about what you can change in your life to keep your carbon emissions at the lowest possible limit That is, to reduce your carbon footprint as much as possible The first thing is obvious- grow trees The second thing is obvious too- lesser use of cars and more use of public transport Make as little use of packaging as possible how you can reduce the packaging of different things There is a very easy way to reduce your carbon footprint- Change your diet You would have noticed that some food items generate carbon emissions on a larger scale in comparison to the other food items In general, vegetarian foods generate less carbon emissions If you eat meat, that produces more carbon dioxide For example, if you eat pulses or beef, Eating beef generates 40 times more carbon emissions in comparison to eating pulses Sorry, for beef it is 27 times it is 40 times for Lambs So it’s pretty simple- remove meats like lamb, beef and pork from your diet In general , try and eat as much vegetarian as possible If you do want to eat meat, try and eat it less frequently- for example once a week If you do want to eat meat, then prefer the other meats in comparison to these three meats For example, you can eat chicken or fish pictures because their carbon emissions are not so high in comparison to lamb, beef Observing overall, animal agriculture, that is, the farming of these animals generating the meat of these animals generates around 15% of the Greenhouse gas emissions and carbon emissions in total The climate change can be reduced by 15% if the people change their diets These were some suggestions- try and implement them in your life.