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Environment Friendly


The rainforests of the Amazon play a huge role in keeping the global climate in a state of health – this everybody knows. It is not a local phenomenon that only impacts the countries across which the forests spread. It is only natural that the fires in Brazil’s forests have attracted international concern, particularly in the context of the ambiguous attitude of President Jair Bolsonaro on controlling them. He is accused by environmentalists of favouring clearing of the forests so that industries and farms could be established there in the hope that it would boost the country’s economy. While, for the time being, all round international condemnation has forced him to take strong action on quelling the fires, there is concern about what will happen when international attention shifts elsewhere.
This obviously requires the United Nations and other reputable environmental agencies to craft a practical approach to keeping international opinion focused on climate change issues such as the health of the rainforests, the polar caps, the mountain regions – particularly the Himalayas – etc. Although climate change deniers have a great supporter in the person of US President Donald Trump, almost all of the world’s responsible thinkers are concerned and seek immediate change to stem what could be one of the worst natural disasters in human history.
Unfortunately, in the minds of some, the steps proposed to control environmental decay go against the economic well-being of nations. Also, even as developing countries like India have a very small carbon footprint per capita, the cumulative effect of a huge and growing population draws the ire of people like Trump. They justify their resistance to reformatory policies by claiming India and others are asked to do less even though they pollute more. India can certainly do more and has a long way to go, but this can be no justification for the environmentally costly lifestyles of certain developed countries. While the politics will likely continue for quite some time to come, the solutions will come from advances in technology. Be it the introduction of BS-IV norms and the introduction of electric vehicles in India, or the manufacture of waste to energy plants such as the one inaugurated at the IIP in Doon on Tuesday, the answer lies in environment friendly behaviour that does not require too much compromise on quality of life. Even small gains on this front will encourage change in behaviour and expectations, thereby increasing investment and interest in environment friendly technologies and policies. The world as we know it might yet be saved.