Just another Earthling? 

No, because this is not just another planet. Christopher Nolan via Interstellar may have given us the hope otherwise, and a lot of science geeks will argue with me on the realities of time travel. For me time travel ends at LOST skipping decades on a doomed island, or when JJ Abrams tried too hard to use this non linear storytelling skills.

Again, this is not just another planet.

Game of Thrones would have campaigned better to save the North or the Narrow Sea than us trying to protect our home - the Earth. Seriously, science has spoken - like a million times on what is going to happen soon if we happily go about wiping out forests cover for mining, drilling into the Arctic, or dredging into the Great Barrier Reef. For everyone in Indian metros, we are breathing towards our end. Delhi is the most polluted city in the world, and we need an action plan urgently to stop a public healthcare crisis!

There are innovations and solutions too. At Greenpeace, I have witnessed the madness an entire village has gone through for over three decades, because they did NOT have electricity. Yes, no power sir and madam. None at all. Can't charge laptop, can't have one because there is no point and to be blunt, can't save lives in a local dispensary which has one fridge (you guessed it, it does not function because - there is no electricity). Cannot have the basics of the so called developed world. The central grid coal power - the same one which apparently is booming every year and is going to end our energy woes - has not reached this village - Dharnai for 30 years, and when we spoke to people, this is not uncommon, having electricity is. A decentralised solar grid - it's basically a bunch of solar panels that are set up in a small community, and it supplies solar power to the households through a local grid. This is an off grid model. All the set ups in the desert of Rajasthan and all won't still solve the problem of villages like Dharnai, because getting electricity from the central grid to remote villages has been one of the biggest challenges. Communities all around the world are trying the off grid model and seeing the value in it.

22 April 2015

Children sitting under a solar panel in Dharnai, Bihar © Vivek M

 

But what's stopping them?

It's all about the money, honey. Until there is not investment made in this model, nobody sees the value in it. And guess what who drives the investment? You got it. It's the government. Local and national. As an advoacacy group Greenpeace has displayed what the power of the sun can do. But now it's the time for the government to do the same, and not come down on an environmental group with absolutely absurd allegations. Let everyone do their work. We all are here living on the same planet, and we better realise it sooner than later.

And among other things - earratic rainfalls, severe weather conditions. This is not normal. And people can argue - the Earth will warm and cool - it's a cycle you know. Blah blah blah. Yes, there are lots of arguments, but what are we acting on then if we spend most of the time trying to convince and debate. And there is something called as time remember? 

Facts --> argument --> more argument--> time lost--> planet dead early --> humans cry boohoo

In another scenario 

Facts --> argument --> less argument --> act --> planet has a chance --> so do we

So do not make this about one day. #MakeEveryDayEarthDay Sign a petition, be heard, listen, speak up, advocate for the things which we cannot afford to lose. We would not need an Earth Day if we do our bit.

Ruhie Kumar works in the mobilisation team at Greenpeace India.