Rain…Rain Everywhere

ak

“Rain makes everything better” updating her Facebook status while enjoying the rain in her comfortable bed. “Well, not everything. You must watch the news after the heavy rainfall” her friends replied in a comment.

Meteorology department already issued warnings about the monsoon season and modifications of weather phenomena before the time. “Three to four spells of monsoon rainfall with thunderstorm and isolated heavy falls are predicted in Punjab, KP, AJK and GB, while, two spells are expected in southern parts (Southeast Sindh and Eastern Baluchistan) of the county during the current month” that’s the report outlook prepared based upon regional and global weather conditions incorporating the climate system dynamics.

ak

But despite the cautionary statements, citizens suffered and normal life is disrupting by an urban flood, inundation, massive traffic jams and frequent power cuts especially in low lying areas. Heavy downpour also caused problems in different hospitals.

The system of electric supply company failed, resulting in electricity failure in various areas due to tripping of dozens of electric supply company feeders. Numerous areas are without power for many hours, which also interrupted the supply of clean water. Even till late night, many parts of the city are without electricity as the supply of electricity is badly hampered due to rain.

A massive gridlock confirmed after a heavy monsoon rain, inundating major thoroughfares and low-lying areas due to poor drainage system. Poor drainage system and ongoing construction work for various projects in various cities are cited as the reasons behind the worst traffic jam, as hundreds of commuters can be seen stranded with their vehicles stuck in gridlock on waterlogged roads.

Thus, rainfall is not making better everything for everyone. As people, especially of low-lying areas, are facing issues from drinking water to proper water drainage. Not just only the long traffic jams and storm water on roads are making life rough for many but also power cutouts at home and at offices complete the circle of inimical life. Hence, is capable of turning a blessing into an obscenity.

When in doubt, don’t throw it out!

“Just throw it here!” two students came out of tour bus nearby the Katas Raj temple, the historical site in Chakwal district of Punjab. They were studying environmental sciences (future of the environmental solutions), a source of provision of services on how to make the Solid Waste Disposal System efficient and prospect public campaign runner on “garbage-in-bin”. The Public urges on throwing waste outside, near, away or anywhere but the bins. Environmental scientist inspires and provides awareness to the public and makes them ‘environmentalism’. Or so we thought!

Cognizance comes from knowledge but ethics is something that can’t be acquired. But are moral values inherited and can’t be produced. Students studied “environmental sciences” for 4 years in BS (Hons.) are oblivious to this basic thing (they are not polluters, they are solutions). When people talk about any issue to resolve they always say “awareness is needed”. Where the awareness comes from? How they will provoke society? Will it long lasting? Will it be effective? These questions arise in mind when anyone starts a campaign to address any concern but the main question is: Who will provide the awareness?

“Ha-ha! Don’t throw wrapper in front of her, she will go and pick it up and will act like I-am-environmental-advocate” mocked by her environmental science class fellows while they throw the wrapper on the street. After getting a degree, these students will become professionals and replicate the same thing. Don’t ask people to act upon, if you are not ready to act on them. If the students of environment’s degree won’t abide by on the “don’t throw it”, how can they prompt others to do so.

There is a need to ignite responsiveness among students without any field discrimination because the youngster population in Pakistan is more than 70%. The youth is not the problem, they are the solution. There is no subject in the course outline of environmental sciences or any other field that makes students aware of the fact that ‘what goes around comes back around’: what damage is being done to mother earth will have consequences. Without any concern for the future, everyone keeps on polluting the earth. There is a need to stop by and make an effort to make people awake – PauseThinkReflect. It can only be achieved by focusing on the very start of an individual to inculcate concrete basis and reflection of moral responsibility towards the environment.

Make that happen until that point when everyone stops and think where should I dump this?

Psychology and Environment

There are an exchange and a dynamic interaction between a person and its environment that changes over time. A person transforms the environment and in return, the environment transforms a person. This transformation takes place on many levels and when it comes to problems, as a result of this transformation, it becomes clear that multi-level solutions are needed. That is why the system-oriented approach that promotes a holistic perspective has become a standard approach in many sciences.  This approach promotes the interdisciplinary collaboration between different fields. For example, full ecology is more relevant today than natural ecology. And full ecology is related to the social sciences, including also the environmental psychology.

The rising concern about the environmental problems has led environmental psychology to focus more on the study of man in relation to the natural environment. As a result of this focus environmental psychology has become today more relevant. Many practitioners in the field of sustainable development argue that promoting sustainable development is less a matter of applying environmental technologies and more a matter of changing peoples’ attitudes towards the environment. Peoples’ attitudes result in specific behaviors, which can be more or less sustainable or unsustainable. Therefore, it becomes evident that the study of the formation of environmentally relevant behaviors and attitudes, which belongs to the spectrum of environmental psychology, is very essential for promoting sustainable development.

Environmental psychology explores the transactions between people – both individuals and groups – and their physical setting; it gives a prominent place to environmental perceptions, attitudes, evaluations and representations and accompanying behavior. Environmental psychology focuses on both the effects of environmental conditions on behavior and how the individual perceives and acts on the environment.

To sum up, it can be said that, even though environmental psychology is a relatively new field of psychology, it has already contributed much to the improvement of many peoples’ quality of life. The holistic approach of environmental psychology in the research of human behavior and its implications on the natural environment is in sync with sustainable development. Environmental psychology can play an important role in the future as the environmental problems around the world escalate and the development of sustainable behaviors is becoming more pressing. Environmental psychologists and sustainable development practitioners could work together and create a better future.

Dirty Grey Sky Puts Tears in My Eyes

“Yay! Winters are coming; “fog” is all around”, yelled in excitement with “environmental” thoughts.  On November 03, 2016, I woke up to witness a thick fog descending the area, blocking the sunlight, and the vision. First I got excited but when I started to ponder over it and seen the tribulations it is causing, I realized it’s not the winter fog coming around every winter, it is something else.

The cause of air pollution in Lahore – smog or fog? I shall call it air pollution rather than fog or smog, which seems ambivalent. There is no solid evidence that whether is it from India, where 32 million tons (30 billion kg) of leftover straw has been burnt by Indian farmers or is it from high levels of “fires and thermal anomalies” in Pakistan.

fog

Wherever the cause has raised either from us or the other side of a border, the impact is global. Although there will never be a shortage of doubters, the scientific evidence is overwhelming that humans have impacted the planet, particularly over the last few millennia, like no other species ever has. It’s not only the climate that’s changed but the oceans, atmosphere, freshwater, land use and even the plants and animals that can’t survive and thrive in such environment.

“Prevention is better than cure.”  But what if we don’t know the root cause of the disease, then how to prevent and further cure the disease. Why I call it air pollution and not smog or fog?  “The international definition of fog consists of a suspended collection of water droplets or ice crystal near the Earth’s surface that lead to a reduction of horizontal visibility below 1km” (National Ocean And Atmospheric Administration, 1995) and Sulfurous smog, which is also called “London smog,” results from a high concentration of sulfur oxides in the air and is caused by the use of sulfur-bearing fossil fuels, particularly coal. And smog doesn’t vanish in days, it takes at least months or rain shower to dilute. Some people also called this fog with a suspended particulate matter.

Complex ecosystems and food chains in the environment provide unlimited services for the support of life. In the absence of damage, the environment is very efficient in self-stability through the complex interaction of living species. Humans benefit by being part of this ecosystem. Any harmful alteration by anthropogenic activities can give global impacts as can be seen as climate change and irreversible changes. The more we damage the environment, the worst and unforeseen the consequence will be.

The only human doesn’t hold the right, every another organism has equal rights to being the residents of mother earth.  So what is vital to stop pollution? The main thing is what we have done afterward, after facing the consequences of our deed, the harm caused by our activities and impact on us, now taking precautions is not enough. There is a need for awareness, and that awareness can only be designed by the government to fully implemented stage. Like OXFAM is working on the campaign “Fight against climate change for food justice!” And everyone should be a signatory of that campaign not only the students but all the public because, at the end of the pipe, there are our children playing in the river of effluents.