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?

Silent death

The man is stuck in problems created due to his own lifestyle and the luxuries he enjoys. A few days back there was a serious problem of smog. When I got up early in the morning, I felt that something was choking my throat and I was feeling irritated. When I discussed it with my parents and friends, I came to know that everybody was having the same feelings.  It was actually due to smog which is a combination of fog and smoke and it is a form of air pollution. The main reason behind smog is air pollution which is due to the vehicular emissions, industrial emissions and forest and agricultural fires. These sources emit nitrogen oxides (NO2 and NO3), Sulphur oxides (SO2 and SO3), Carbon oxides (CO and CO2) and Particulate matter (dust, pollen, soot, smoke, and liquid droplets). The most authentic reason of this recent happening is the emissions from coal power plants and fire burning of residues of the rice crop in Eastern Punjab as confirmed by Remote Sensing Images.  These emissions in the air can lead to serious health problems like lungs ailment and its long-term exposure can ultimately lead towards death.

The other industrialized cities of the world like Beijing (China) and London (United Kingdom) too have faced the same problem of smog and that was even worse than this one. But we do not learn from others’ experiences and did not put any effort to avoid such problem. It’s the need of the hour to address these issues at the right time to avoid more complications. It is not the single problem which man has created, there are many problems and they are getting even worse with every passing day. The man is using technology to make his life better and all pollution created by the production of various comfort giving products is becoming a reason for creating problems in his life. This cycle is continuously being repeated and leading us towards our own destruction. As all these things brought luxuries in our life, at the same time they are creating problems. We cannot afford all luxuries at the cost of destruction of Environment. If such destruction continues in future, it will become very difficult for human beings to survive.

We are not only destroying our lives by exploiting the environment but also the life of other living beings. Human beings have no right to damage the flora and fauna and be a reason for their loss and silent death. It’s high time to switch to environmentally friendly sources of energy and to quit the activities which are a reason behind such happenings and problems. The government should take actions to overcome such environmental problems and to make environmental conditions better for citizens and citizens should also fulfill their responsibilities regarding the environment. We have to make our lifestyle environmental friendly and use the resources sustainably so that our future generations can also get the opportunity to enjoy the natural beauty of Earth. It is the responsibility of citizens to put pressure on Government to switch to renewable energy sources and we should deny buying all those products which cause harm to the environment. All we need is awareness and motivation as a nation to make our environment better than before. It is not possible to change all the things overnight but we can take an initiative to bring a change and our small contribution can prove fruitful for every citizen.

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.