We may look at ourselves for solution
Mahatma Gandhi wrote:
"I suggest we are thieves in a way. If I take anything I do not need for my own immediate use and keep it I thieve it from somebody else. . . . It is the fundamental law of Nature, without exception, that Nature produces enough for our want from day to day and if only everybody realizes this and takes nothing more, there would be no pauperism in this world, there would be no man dying of starvation in this world."
The Dirty Dozen
The Stockholm Convention focuses on eliminating or reducing the releases of 12 Persistant Organic Pollutants, the so called "Dirty Dozen".
The Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants (POP) is a global treaty to protect human health and the environment from chemicals that remain intact in the environment for long periods, become widely distributed geographically and accumulate in the fatty tissue of humans and wildlife. The Convention was adopted in 2001 and entered into force 2004.
These 12 chemicals are: PCBs (Poly-chlorinated biphenyls), Dioxins, Furans, Aldrin, Dieldrin, DDT, Endrin, Chlordane, Hexa Chlorobenzene (HCB), Mirex, Toxaphene and Heptachlor.
At its fourth meeting held from 4 to 8 May 2009, the Conference of the Parties of the Convension has decided to add nine additional chemicals to the list.
They are: Chlordecone, Hexabromobiphenyl, Hexabromodiphenyl ether and heptabromodiphenyl ether, Alpha hexachlorocyclohexane, Beta hexachlorocyclohexane, Lindane, Pentachlorobenzene (PeCB), Perfluorooctane sulfonic acid (PFOS), its salts and perfluorooctane sulfonyl fluoride (PFOS-F) & Tetrabromodiphenyl ether and pentabromodiphenyl ether.
The chemicals are listed under three categories viz POPs for Elimination, Restriction, Unintentional production.
These hazardous chemicals have strong presence in the daily life in the form of/ or constituent of/ or emerging as the by product during the production of :- pesticide, insecticide, heat exchange fluids, in electric transformers and capacitors, and as additives in paint, carbonless copy paper, and plastics, production of chlorinated substances, flame retardant, products for tree and wood treatment and against ectoparasites in both veterinary and human applications, in dyestuff carriers, as a fungicide, electric and electronic parts, fire fighting foam, photo imaging, hydraulic fluids and textiles etc… etc…
Find more details at http://chm.pops.int/ and think about the ways you can help the global community to get rid of these dangerous chemicals.
We realize that every element in this PLANET, both living things starting from microbes and nonliving things starting from the most basic particles of matter, is being used in the production of various products. The influence of these industrial activates over the natural harmony of our PLANET can be broadly classified into three, viz,
How to start?
Influence of relocation of natural resources; Man takes things from earth, water and air in one location and transport them to other places in very huge quantities for industrial purpose, that is, relocation of natural resources in huge quantities
Influence of transformation of natural resources; Man changes such natural resources into other forms – these other forms might be either products, intermediate products or by-products. In some cases by-products are more dangerous. For example, Dioxins, a class of super-toxic chemicals formed as a by-product of the industrial use of organic chemicals and plastics that contain chlorine. Only radioactive waste is more toxic than dioxins!
Influence of the use of transformed resources: Hundreds of verities of hazardous substances/chemicals, starting frrom Lead, are there in the things of our daily use. Continued and widespread use of such products contaminate, not only our body, but also the entire environment globally. These chemicals are really silient killers.
Now it is time for action and it should necessarily start from a real understanding of the present situation. The governments and knowledge societies in each nation may together enlist all the products as discussed above, categorized based on an essentiality scale that runs between the most essential to the least needed (least needed products are an indication of acute consumerism. In acute consumerism, fortune hunters may induce false requirements, introduce products for that and attract folks to it). Afterward each such product may be studied and tested carefully to see whether it endanger the natural harmony of the PLANET in some way or other. When a product is found to be hazardous to nature either during its production or storage or extensive use, policy decisions may be taken to abandon the product, discover alternative products or alternative method of production etc based on the type of potential danger and the product’s ranking in the essentiality scale. It is at this juncture sharing of technology, expertise and resources among the nations in the PLANET becomes the most crucial.
Initiatives to save our PLANET would succeed only if the public is fully aware about the gravity of the situation. Therefore standard awareness materials should be prepared from all the notable researches and studies in this matter and it should reach all the individuals in the PLANET in their dialect. With the power of knowledge people should facilitate the development of remedial measures and enforce its implementation.
How can individuals start saving THE PLANET?
There are a lot of ways for individuals to start saving the planet. For example see a short list below (not comprehensive).
- Learn thoroughly the dangers being faced by our PLANET and share the knowledge with others.
- Provide voluntary support to governments and organizations to formulate remedial measures and implement them to save our PLANET.
- Keep away from consumerism and lead a simple life to the maximum extent possible. Stop fleeing after luxuries, it will save not only the PLANET but also your family budget and health.
- Love agriculture and farming. Find sufficient time to work with your family in the farm and stay with them in your home.
- In agriculture, use environment friendly alternatives to chemical pesticides and fertilisers ( a lot of environment friendly alternatives are available now). You can also research and develop such alternatives and share it with the global community.
- Effectively use online technologies to avoid unnecessary travels. This can visibly reduce the threat of hydrocarbons.
- Use public transport systems for your travel and help authorities to maintain public transport systems reliable, safe and comfortable .
- Research and develop open technologies to make Cyber space more socially accountable.
- Develop and popularize alternate planet friendly open technologies in place of technologies that ruin the planet.
- and many more...
Before discussing this query we should realize that, if the future environmental situations would force the world population to queue up for the daily ration of oxygen supply, floating over water and wearing heavy insulated suits, all prosperity would mean nothing but a curse. Value of money will be lost once the PLANET is sick. We do not want this nightmare to happen.
Though a little bit late already, still we have time to peacefully think about the kind of future industry and the life style we want for a happy living in this PLANET. We have necessary time for reorientation, wherever required, if we are willing to share technology, experiences and resources. Only thing is that we should start right now to avoid hasty steps in future.
If we are ready to free ourselves from the clutches of consumerism, we would realize that agriculture is always here to compensate and protect us along with the PLANET friendly industrial activities.
A Consortium for alternative open technologies
I would also propose the formation of a Consortium of all Nations for developing and popularizing alternative PLANET friendly open technologies in place of existing technologies that are hazardous. We may prefer open technologies for fast implementation and fine tuning of the same by all those volunteer to support. Open technologies will also avoid wastage of valuable resources by way of reinventing the wheel again and again. All nations in the world would be free to adopt and adapt such technologies for localized requirements.