I wish I had a spare heart

“Sometimes I think I need a spare heart to feel all the things I feel.” ~Sanober Khan

This is how the article I read on Tiny Buddha today started out. But, what is the point of feeling something if you are not taking any action on it? What is the point of acting on it if you haven’t put a great deal of thought into it? What we feel strongly about is what we are passionate about. Here’s another version of passion in a LinkedIn post by Adam Grant:

Passion without perseverance is idle curiosity.

Perseverance without passion is a grind.

Passion with perseverance is grit. 

A few years back, I started writing this blog to raise more awareness about environmental protection. Since then, I’ve seen a lot of progress all around the world. Progress not just for the protection of our environment, but the whole of us – you, me, all the people, the planet and fellow species. Although, there were times when I felt frustrated over the lack of speed at which it was taking place. I am happy when I am now able to bring it up in the day to day conversations. I understand that not everyone reads my blogs. I understand that my methods need to evolve.

Everything takes time and when the most pressing issues take precedence, other issues take a back seat. That doesn’t mean that no one is going to work on them, that doesn’t mean we have to let it go. Somebody somewhere is thinking about it, acting on it. A problem may be small for one but maybe big for another. In times like these, I hope we find the grit we need. Because we cannot have a spare heart, but if all our hearts beat as one, we wouldn’t need one.

A good read for when you think you need a spare heart:

How the Environment Has Changed Since the First Earth Day

 

What will you protect first? Water or forest?

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Do you find yourself in the middle of another chicken and egg story as you read the title of this blog? You should, because it is.

Editor of Sanctuary Asia, Bittu Sahgal, has something interesting to say about the Cauvery river in India. Stay with me, we are on the same story. “Cauvery Cunnundrum: States fight over the water, but cannot find the wisdom to protect the water source… the forests.

So, we should have more national parks, right?

I have another story for you, that of the Van Gujjars, a forest-dwelling nomadic tribe in northern India, who for centuries have migrated into the Himalayas every spring. Now their culture and livelihood is at risk as some of the jungles and meadows they call home have become national parks.

As it goes, solutions are not cut and dried.

This year, Peru established that it would protect one of world’s last great untouched forests. Difference between this and the national parks in northern India is that Peru is working alongside local and international conservation groups and the National Park designation also protects land inhabited by several tribes of indigenous peoples, it doesn’t push them away. Or at least, that’s what the article says.

Technically, you are not in a chicken and egg story anymore. It is not this and that. It is different – each case.

Green sense of humor

Environmental protection is a serious topic, and so are many other issues we face every day. Yet, in all seriousness, humor has a way to get the point across. This blog post introduces people who are spreading the message of environmental protection through their sense of humor. These are environmentalists who are making people laugh with their art and wit.

Vasu Primlani: Indian stand-up comedian and environmentalist.

Rohan Chakraborty: India’s wildlife and environmental cartoonist.

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Dallas Goldtooth: Environmental activist who uses comedy to help stop oil pipelines.

“The angry Indian activist character, I think, is hilarious. I actively choose to go about my organizing in a different manner.” – Dallas Goldtooth.

Penny Walker: Stand-up comedian, facilitator, coach, consultant.

A part of Sustainable Stand Up –  a place where you can learn how to convert your ideas to become human, engaging, and deeply funny.

The Ecospot Grand Prize Winner 2007

Q. Generally speaking, sustainability advocates seem to be a serious crowd. Have you got any jokes or one-liners that can bring some levity to our work? Especially ones related to recycling? – Find out the answer on Ask Umbra.

How do you communicate environmental issues and concerns?

2018 Atlas of Sustainable Development Goals

I studied the 2018 Atlas of Sustainable Development Goals to understand how India, Canada, and the USA are doing. It is safe to assume that this post is going to talk a lot about India because it is a lower middle-income country with a lot of progress to show because from where it is coming from as compared to the other two countries who have already done a lot of progress before. It contains over 180 maps and charts and shows the progress societies are making towards the 17 SDGs. It’s a big report, hence the cherrypicking.

India

  • Home to 260 million people in poverty. No – extreme poverty. Which means all these people do not have the pleasure of basic necessities and facilities.
  • Has the largest number of people practicing open defecation. When I was a kid, I’ve done it too. In fact, hear this. I’ve experienced both open defecation and dirty public toilets. Not during the occasional travels, but for a good 20 years of my life. It was accepted as a way of life. It wasn’t such a bother until I leaped over to the other side of the world that uses good smelling toilets and soft tissue rolls.
  • 100% village electrification achieved – exhilarating to hear about, but it hasn’t reached each and every house.
  • 780 million (59%) people do not have access to clean fuels for cooking. People are now talking about indoor (ambient) air pollution. Although I do enjoy the occasional wood-fired/dung-fired food.
  • Don’t even ask about North India’s air pollution. The area is practically living in soot instead of clean air.
  • Forest cover has been slightly increasing.
  • Low CO2 emissions per capita.
  • More than 9% animal species threatened.

Canada

  • Forest cover looks steady. As if nothing is growing, nothing is dying.

USA

  • Increase in patents being designed to encourage innovation by providing incentives for research and development.
  • Alongside China, it collects the most municipal waste, the majority of which makes its way to landfills.
  • High CO2 emissions per capita.
  • Forest cover has been slightly increasing.
  • 16% animal species threatened.

It is not a competition. This report is calling for harmony. It is an in-depth and compelling report to read. I encourage you to read it and learn even more insights into our world today, such as:

  • 71% of the world gets safely managed drinking water.
  • One-third of food produced for human consumption is lost or wasted.
  • Carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions have been growing steadily.
  • Fish stocks are increasingly overfished.
  • Activities on land are causing marine dead zones.
  • Only about 7% of the world’s ocean area is designated as marine protected area, officially reserved for long-term conservation.
  • Oceans are warmer and more acidic because of climate change.
  • Globally, about 14% of the land is protected as national park, wildlife preserve, or a similar designation.
  • China’s forest cover has been growing substantially.
  • Over half of assessed plant species and one-quarter of assessed animal species are threatened.

Sustainable consumption and lifestyle in modern times – My research paper is out!

 

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The Hulk face of accomplishment

 

For the first time, I tried to write a research paper, and the journal accepted it. “Sustainable consumption and lifestyle in modern times” was the subject of my research. Published by AIMS Journal of Research. Such a delight!

This paper looks at the advances in sustainable consumption & lifestyles and the current trends of material consumption in our day to day lives globally. It showcases the ripple effect of consumption and therefore our resources on people, industries, countries, our planet and outer space. The goal is to identify the influences of and on individuals and collective consumption patterns, and the consequences thereof on our finite and non-renewable material resources. Making linkages to the human psychology, mass media, politics and trade, living standards, education, culture, social groups, demography, urbanization and accessibility, health and wellbeing, technology, certifications and labels, and activism, provides insights into consumers’ buying behaviour. Balancing economic growth, environmental concerns, and improved quality of life for all remains to be the challenge. Global movements in the form of green lifestyles, the boycott of Black Friday, and fair trade show shifting patterns in the consumer culture towards a more conscious society. Value-based businesses are developing relationships with the community for a positive impact through value-based management strategies, and consumers are buying products that are aligning with certain values. Industries are integrating circular and sharing economy; and sustainable production and consumption (SCP) practices in their operations. The knowledge of consumption patterns and influencing factors can be input to policy analysis and technological solutions to challenges to our sustenance.

Wouldn’t have been possible hadn’t Dr Sharma introduced me to this Journal.

Download:

Copy of the issue.

Is population control overrated?

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Source

In my very first blog post, ‘Major Challenges to Sustainability‘, puts the population on the top of the list. In such a case, if all of us stopped consuming like we do, will we still run out of resources? Will we have alleviated poverty and famine? Will we have eliminated all other issues just by tackling this one? Is population, the most significant challenge in the world?

I’m pinning two works of thoughts that go against the grain to try to answer these questions. First is from a review of a book called Poverty and Famines: An Essay on Entitlement and Deprivation by Amartya Sen and second is from a book It’s Better Than It Looks: Reasons for Optimism in an Age of Fear by Gregg Easterbrook.

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This is a JSTOR article. You can read 6 articles for free for every 30 day period when you sign up.
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Visit your nearest library to read thought-provoking books.

Are we running out of resources? We have a lot of resources, but we are not managing them well. Are we running out of time? When it comes to climate change, yes we are. Climate change could cause a lack of access to a sufficient quantity of affordable, nutritious food.

Above all, is population control the panacea? I don’t think so. If we could only manage our time and resources well, we could do a lot better. Just think about how much time and resources we waste and how much we could save by working together – through efficient management and knowledge transfer.

What are your thoughts?