The utopia of my thoughts is a farce in the face of a dystopian future. The receding forest cover, rising sea levels, carcinogens in the air, blistering heat waves and barren lands has woken us from our 11th-hour consciousness. Even then, it does not seem to incentivize the common man enough to protect Earth, or himself from the fury of nature. The mundane problems of our everyday life occupy our mind for we care to survive and live tomorrow. But what kind of world are we negotiating to live in? A safer one? An environmentally viable one? Or a world where oxygen masks also become a humdrum task?

Governments around the world are working to bring down emissions, fight global warming and keep earth sustainable. As one of the 7.6 billion people on the planet, what are you and I doing? A few thousand officials, scientists, and activists are alone in the need of hour trying to save what is left after the age of ruthless exploitation. Whether big or small, does each one of us not have a hand in destroying nature by a zillionth every time we used a plastic bag, drove cars, went hunting or any bunch of blunders which multiply the destruction by a factor each time? Then why are we all still in the race for a careless pursuit of dreams? Some might argue about the government created nuclear wastes, environment protection laws, taxes levied and penalties. They exist and it is true, and it does work maybe half of the time, but can we dust the issue off our hands and always blame the leaders for degrading air quality, inscrutable traffic congestion, and thoughtless lifestyle?

It is time that we are socially, ethically and environmentally responsible human beings. We are at a war against human rights violations, droughts, genocide, nuclear weapons, and this list is exhaustive. We are exhausted too. Never did anyone with their ubiquitous foresight imagine the myriad of battles everyone must face in the world of unparalleled technological advancements. One must be thinking, “Oh God! I already worry about my sustenance, family, physical health, psychological balance, job satisfaction, promotion, peer group, living costs, increased taxes, insurance and everything under the sun. Now you also want me to worry about the environment and go green! Do you expect me to ride a bicycle for 100 miles and sleep under the moonlight for a good night’s sleep?!” In the relentless pursuit of life, we often forget that our lack of ecological concern is the doomsday tale of our children tomorrow.

It has always been said that every droplet of water makes the ocean, every grain of sand accumulates to a desert and every shrub helps grow a forest. Extrapolating this to our agenda, every sustainable action on our part adds to the life of Earth. In this regard, a better measure to gauge an individual’s intellect should be changed to environmental literacy. While this is not the ultimate solution, it will ensure that a sizeable population will make efforts to save the planet.

What amuses me the most is that we build robots when we have no space for our flora, fauna, and humans. When did we decide that the machine man created by us was of more importance than the natural habitat of many species which are on the brink of extinction or are already extinct? We make trips to the Moon and buy extraterrestrial land when we do not have one mutually agreed plan to save the planet we live on. Did we already give up on earth after vehemently consuming all that was there? We have algorithms to precisely predict best wine, cancer, elections, hurricanes, and whatnot, but none on how to reverse the insensitive annihilation we caused to our environment. Is this an example of a silent cognitive understanding that our advancements are not robust enough to bring the planet back to a native state? We have everything we always wanted, but nothing that we need the most.

It’s not the deserts that are barren, but our way of life. The forests are not wild, our actions are. The tidal waves are not the most dangerous, our selfishness is. We may not have a standard procedure to conserve ecology, but we know what are the nascent steps towards achieving it.

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