BP oil spill update – Whats happening to the Marine life

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/32545640

An Introduction to Ecocide

During my routine research for my blogs, I came across this wonderful website which has coined a new word and has regular updates on earth related topics. I recommend a read. >>HERE is the link to the site – thisisecocide.com

The site talks about Ecocide. which is translated as :

“A CRIME AGAINST PEACE Ecocide is the extensive destruction, damage to or loss of ecosystem(s) of a given territory, whether by human agency or by other causes, to such an extent that peaceful enjoyment by the inhabitants of that territory has been severely diminished...” source: theecocide.com

BP Spill – A comic approach to illustrating the whole issue :-(

Though there is nothing funny about the issue. I wanted to share this video which aptly represents the situation and the irrational approach being applied to solve the problem.

source: ucbcomedy-com & green tv

A serious topic and a comic approach to spreading awareness…hope at least this helps

Oil Spill 2010; An introduction

Ever since the Oil spill on the 21st of April 2010. I have been researching and drafting a post on the Mexican Gulf spill /slick. The damage is so extensive that my research is not winding up. I have decided to do a series of posts on the topic.

One look at the amount of damage raise questions and the need for excessive dependence on crude oil and natural gas and the resultant exploration projects across the globe.

source: theage-com

Let me begin with a brief introduction via this video, courtesy: youtube. This is not the recent oil spill but a previous one near the San Fransisco Bay area. So if you thought that oil spills happen only once in a while, think again!!

Recommended read:
Article in huffingtonpost

The fate of Marine life in the gulf

Imagine a hot summer day, and the oil layer hitting a 90 degree C. What do you think it would do to a bird /dolphin/turtle covered in oil? It is like burning/roasting them to death…all when they are alive. Imagine the Planet of Apes and what if we were the victims instead of these harmless creatures?

Just when you may think that you couldnt do anything to help this issue, take one moment out of your life. Think again, we are responsible for the mess. And only WE can make a difference startign with a few minor changes in our lives. We need to revamp our lifestyles and work on our dependence on Crude oil or any other non renewable energy sources.

Let me know what changes you plan to make. Lets give this a serious thought….its high time dont you think?

Aamir Khan – Sanitation Champion for Indian Schools

Aamir khan, one of the responsible Super stars in Hindi Cinema, has considerable fan following. He is known to make movies which carry socially relevant messages. Be it about parents managing a Dyslexic child, Indians’ approach to education or promoting good values among the generation x, y and Z etc, he really can sway the masses.

source: bollywoodobserver

Indian Human Resource Ministry has recognized this super star’s contribution to Indian change wave and aptly made him the brand ambassador for promoting Sanitation programs in schools. With the kind of following he has among Indian audience, I look forward to a better India.

http://www.youtube-nocookie.com/v/p9ys3yzkAIs&hl=en_US&fs=1&rel=0

More on the Star’s Socially Responsible Assignments…

His movie about Dyslexic Children and their inability to cope with the Indian Education system was wonderfully portrayed in his Movie – “Taare Zameen Par”. Imagine the impact this movie made, that this super star was made the  brand ambassador for The Times of India’s Teach India Initiative. He seems quite dedicated to the Project. I say this because, US Secretary of State – Hillary Clinton, during her visit to India, took time out to meet Aamir Khan. Given the number of Autistic and Dyslexic children being given special care in the United states, her gesture to meet this star is understandable.

Another very important aspect of this star making using of his Star power is his work in Videos for Incredible India! A series of videos, aptly called “Athithi devo bhava!” – educating people about protecting our national monuments and being more responsible as citizens of India. A must see. Here are two I liked the most.

http://www.youtube-nocookie.com/v/GMocKV-A4hU&hl=en_US&fs=1&rel=0

http://www.youtube-nocookie.com/v/-T2qtEu9e5o&hl=en_US&fs=1&rel=0

I hope his influence on population will lead to a more tolerable, habitable India. I have high hopes for the future citizens. (We, the current voting population, are a complete disappointment. I hope we wake up soon!)

China’s Prosperity- at what cost?

I see people happy when Walmart and other retailers announce SALE on their stock. These retailers conveniently dump out of season good onto customers. It is quite true that some of the products on the shelves aren’t worth the entire retail price. However, does it make sense or justify a buying, just because some product is on sale?

Marketing teams do a wonderful job by making most of the consumer goods look indispensable. Over 70% of the consumer base is led by this “Buy things off season, and during a Sale “ mentality.  This group of customers think only about their money saving deals for now and care less about the impact of their incessant buying habits on the supply demand economics. Given this fact, it is impossible to expect them to think in terms of the torture our planet goes through to help them meet their NEEDS.

One look at the overstocked aisles in any store reminds one of the excessive consumerism patterns, such huge conglomerates promote. When companies like WalMart, Kroger, Publix and Whole foods talk about sustainability, it sounds like a joke and a mockery of the earth friendly effort ever proposed/ put in by a human on the face of the planet.

source: americajr.com

World’s major economies survives on the health of their retail sector, no denying that. But doesn’t that mean that they need to work towards being the most responsible as well. Every retail giant claims to be doing their bit for the planet. REALLY? One look at  these stores’ slogans show how tangential their business policies are to their Green claims.

Let us take a look at their Punch/tag lines: Walmart – Save money . Live better; Publix- Where shopping is pleasure, Target – Expect more , Pay less, etc….Retailer talks about Saving green  and never encourage customers to go green with their shopping choices.

Why would they, wouldn’t that affect their bottom lines and their sales figures? Hanging a reusable bag at the billing counter isn’t helping folks!!

Other than encouraging excessive consumerism, these retailer are doing nothing for the community. A classic example would be Kroger’s 10 for $10 sale. Their ads make Stocking your pantry for less seem like saving millions. As part of its green efforts, Kroger conducts a design a reusable bag contest every year. But never bothers to encourage its customers to bring in their own bags.  My question – why not suggest people to get their bags rather than make it look like they want the customers to BUY a bag at the counter. This strategy makes the plastic /paper bag seem like a MONEY saving option for any average consumer.And the entire Green drama put up by the conglomerate moves backstage.

Time and again, I have been putting up with arguments from people about why they should buy a reusable bag when a plastic bag is free? Right, can’t they see that they could take their own bag to the store. No one forces them to buy a reusable bag. Where do these people leave their common sense? Is it justified when educated people argue that they cant make simple choices for the better?

One need not be an economist to put one  plus one. It is known that every product sold across the Atlantic and this side of the Pacific comes from the Land of the Forbidden City. Every product ever manufactured may be contributing to this said country’s apparent growth and prosperity. But all this at what cost? Is it ok to ignore impact of our mindless living? These impacts are no longer a distant occurrence. We can see the aftermath of excessive exploitation of our natural resources and can no longer ignore the way our life (read health) is being changed for the worse. What would take the majority of the population to wake up?…I am yet to figure that out.

Apart from doing their bit in destroying the planet and adding to the resource crunch. These retail giants kill local, small time grocery stores who could have been greener with their functioning. Not only do these small time stores go out of business, but these giant’s monopoly impacts local economic as well. All said and done, do we really need a WALMART in India? No, definitely not!!!

How could I miss sharing this cartoon??

 source: courtneyelizabeth.com

My next article is about the KING? of the retail sector who thinks that projecting a We sell cheap imagine translates to more business and money in his pocket. To hell with the environment and the drastic impact his money making conglomerate would have on the planet!!!

A school girl at the UN Environment summit – Rio

I had this video link in my bookmark archives….a very simple and straight forward speech by a school girl from Canada….echoes every environmental concern – relevant more than ever today. This undated video should, among many others, actually help us wake up…its high time…its not about money, career or expensive living. It is all about sensible minimal living which will allow existence of life on the planet.

Does it matter?
Thinking about every thing we do and not hiding behind the very oft used phrases/words – “cant help it” or “convenience” is the need of the hour. If one really wanted to make a sensible choice, they could do it. Ignorance, or lack of common sense is what makes involuntarily-earth-hating crowd, the people they are.

Being eco friendly is lot more than not using plastic bags. I am tired of being called as someone who advocates against  plastic bags.Yes, that I am, but there is more to living a green life than just that. The whole terminology kicks my soul. It is sad that we humans first take the fast lane, do some considerable damage and then trace back our steps to go back to where we were. Given this fact, all the jargonology- Green, eco-friendly all make no sense. It seems like a mockery on groups which work in favor of the planet, in favor of LIFE.

Jargons don’t matter. Actions make a difference. People need to understand that the choices associated with food, clothes and shelter (our house, furniture, furnishings etc) are all what influence our earth friendly living, or the lack of it. Fancy terms like recycling, composting don’t matter if you buy your grocery and supplies in a plastic bag and use it for throwing your trash. Think about the landfill you will contribute to or the nearest water source you will pollute by using and dumping the plastic bag. Chiffon, nylon, acrylic and polyester clothes you buy, will never bio-degrade. (Let us keep in mind that we have not considered the entire value chain footprint yet.) Give a thought to before you purchase – synthetic furnishings (curtains, upholstery etc), your kitchen chopping board or the throw away plastic spoons and forks, paper plates, tissue paper/towel, hawaii slippers/flip flops, beverage bottle, yogurt container buy etc… Everything we choose to use, has an impact and it does matter. 

You would keep your house clean by dumping out the trash..but all the junk never leaves the planet right…Look at a municipal worker paddle his way through a garbage dump (in a local city water source)


Image source: JAY DIRECTO/AFP/Getty Images
A scavenger in a dugout canoe paddles through a sea of garbage along a Manila waterway

All this is to make your surroundings look like this.

 Birds and marine life mistake our plastic garbage and debris for food and ingest them only to die. We are responsible for this. This is neither a regular cyclic change our earth goes through nor is it a natural occurrence. We should be ashamed to see such impact of our mindless actions. We have no right to disturb the eco-system.

source: thechicecologist.com

If you think it doesn’t affect your life or health. Think again, look at this cow munching a plastic bag (in india).

Cows are revered in my country. And this is what an average cow eats – both rural and urban cows tend to eat everything and anything they lay their eyes on. Thanks to the plastic menace, Cows dying due to ingestion of plastic bags is a common thing as of today. Let us not forget that the same cows and buffaloes are milked to provide us with our daily supply of milk /dairy products. And can we ignore the beef consuming population? So, technically, we end up eating these plastic bags ourselves (remember the “FOOD CHAIN” fundamentals)

Is it too late for a wake up call?
Just like that of other green-crusaders, my quest for minimal footprint lifestyle is a stressful journey too. What I dint know yesterday, I learn today. And what I learn and imbibe, I implement in my life right away. We need the will to open up to ideas and think beyond our comfort zone. This a never ending process and needs time and effort. It is worth the effort and is all for our own good!

I am so tired of people arguing with me or anyone else who speaks about going gentle on the planet. It is just their way to cover up their useless ego and be the escapists they are. It makes the job for a green crusader much more difficult because we not only need to clean up the mess these escapists leave behind but also take things forward with such skeptics in tow. It is tiring but we don’t have time to complain, how wonderful would it be if our fellow earthlings, who refuse to do their bit, at least start thinking (for now).

Time and again, I have maintained that, we as a civilized society have gotten used to a certain lifestyle and feel that shifting from usual is difficult. Come to think of it, let us consider a simple things like grocery plastic bags. There was a generation which survived without ready to eat food packs, plastic beverage bottles, and disposable cutlery. It is therefore not unimaginable to survive with out them. Let us make an effort, start with small changes and leave this planet habitable for our children. They deserve that much and more.