Environment Does Not Need Our Protection

Environment

image by woodleywonderworks

Today is the World Water Day. On this day I wanted to write something about water and environment. And then I realized that I could not write better than what my wife – Jyoti – had written on environmental protection sometime back on her NGO’s website – she works in the area of water conservation and runs a NGO called FORCE – Forum For Organised Resource Conservation & Enhancement.

So I have flicked this article from her blog and published here.

I don’t know about the Google wrath, but I know that this is what I feel and would like to talk about today.

So here it is with just a little bit of my own modifications here and there:

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‘Environmental Issues' and ‘Environmental Protection’ are the new buzz words – in policy, text books, corporate manuals, CSR agendas, political manifestos, NGO Objectives……. Anywhere and everywhere….the slogan is – ‘PROTECT THE ENVIRONMENT’.

And yet…the ‘Environment’ continues to get a raw deal everywhere –  villages spring up in forests, animals disappear; mining holes appear in ancient mountain ranges, mountains become bare; streams dry up, rivers turn into nullahs; wells give water of all colours & smog envelops us all….

save the environmentWhy this dichotomy on environment issues??

Sometime back, as I was interacting with a bright young set of media & communication management students, I found the answer to this apparent contradiction.

It’s all a matter of semantics – our choice of words.

The words ‘Protect the Environment’ – cue off in our brain, the thought “The Environment is under threat of destruction. We must do all we can to protect it – Because We are strong and the environment is weak. We are fair minded strongmen, with a heart of gold – that’s why – even though, WE HAVE CONQUERED IT, We must take good care of the environment.”

…And therein lies our BIG BIG mistake. The environment (read: nature) is NOT weak. It does NOT need to be protected by us. On the contrary WE NEED TO BE PROTECTED from the dangerously quiet wrath of nature.

As a Mother, Nature is infinitely caring, patient, giving….

As an opponent, it is a master strategist, delusion creating, many headed medussa; a ‘meethi chhuri’ (sweet knife) and a cold butcher. It will let you poison it, and then feed you back the same poison through its air & water- multiplied manifold. It will let you cage it – only to hit back from a tunnel you never knew existed….

In fact I would go so far as to say that Hell hath no fury like the nature scorned! (my contribution to the article)

Beware ! We have made ourselves opponents of Nature!

We think of ourselves, not as Nature’s children, but as its Conquerors…. with a  clear mandate –  whip it to extract most out of it and feed it just enough to keep it productive. Torture it, if you wish, just make sure you keep it alive – as a symbol of your ultimate victory.

Wake up – snap out of this delusion! Look around, see the patterns and recognise how we are, slowly but surely, losing our battle for survival.

environment protection

Environment does not need your condescending protection.

Let’s try & give mankind a chance to survive. As a start, let’s change the buzz word – from ‘Protect the Environment’ to

‘PROTECT MANKIND FROM MANKIND’.

In our own interest, let’s learn, and teach all, to respect & care for Nature – our Mother. She loves us, perhaps more than we love ourselves. Let’s try not to snatch away, from the rivers, forests, animals, mountains, air and water; their right to live with freedom, health and dignity.

Let’s protect ourselves – re-learn to live in harmony with Nature – the Mother – She will protect us.

What do you think? I would like to have your comments and answers to the following questions:

1. Do you think that the environment needs our protection?

2. If yes, how can we protect it?

3. If no, then what do we need to do to protect ourselves from the nature’s wrath

26 Comments

  1. I feel it needs protection since we are the only species on earth who alter things in nature, the best example would be plastic ( a non-degradable material. We should stop using such material for sake of comfort. We should ban such materials and some global law should be created where the country should pay fine to all other countries for not doing so.
    If any one feels that they can not live with those then how could our ancestors lived. They lived along with nature. They used what nature mother provided.

    after all this I would say we should start encouraging things that are created from nature and goes back to nature just the form of it changes. If we are not doing so then it means that we are digging hole for ourselves to fall in.

    Reply
    • I agree Kashyap, we must ensure that we do not use things such as plastic etc since it degrades the environment. And what happens when we degrade the environment is that eventually it hits us back. Take the case of the environonmental pollution – both in case of air and water. We pollute these two and in turn we get affected – we drink polluted water and inhale polluted air. Result is that we get ill and can even lose life. So ultimately the protection of the environment is OUR own protection. We need to protect environment for OUR sake, not environment’s sake.

      I believe that if we destroy the environment, then eventually we will destroy ourselves. And when human beings are all gone, environment will eventually rejuvenate itself – maybe in a few hundred or thousands years and will be back in its own pure form. SO who would have lost? humans and not the environment.

      Reply
  2. I agree, nature does “get a raw deal” for earth’s visitors. Fortunately for us, the earth has a way of replenishing some of the natural resources.

    I am no expert in these matters but I’m encouraged in the varying degrees of education, instruction, and lifting of the issues to various populations. For example, young children being taught cause-and-effect at an early age. And business owners diligently working to “go green.”

    Every little bit helps. Thank you for doing your part!

    Reply
    • You are right Vernessa that fortunately for us, the earth has a way of replenishing some of the natural resources. And we have been so far misusing this generosity of the mother earth. Finally everything gives and if we continue to only keep taking from the Earth without giving back in equal measure, some day we may not be in a position to take anything anymore.

      Like you, I too find that there is now widespread education on these issues and people have started to “Go Green”. And I am sure that in the coming years the efforts to help save ourselves by saving the environment will only increase.

      I would like to thank you for your comments and also for sharing this on Twitter with your friends.

      Reply
  3. It is yes and No. Yes becoz the nature needs to be protected so as to protect human life. Unless the parameters are ideal only then life can exist so protect those parameters. and no becoz nobody can protect nature. All constructions specially industrial should be stopped immediately. that’s the only solution

    Reply
    • You are right Ganesh, we need to protect the environment because we need to ensure that the conditions that make the existence of life continue. Else we would have played the devil and helped destroy the gift called life.

      Reply
  4. See if u don’t care for ur home, it will not be a better place to live for you. That’s why whatever effort a person can put, needs to put them at every place where he/she can do so. Besides saying ” what it matters If I only do so?”

    Reply
    • I agree with you Prafull that every effort counts – as they say drop by drop an ocean can be filled. The final result that we see is the sum total of all the minute efforts – good or bad – that people put in. A classic example of this is the current state of the environment – every one thought that the atmosphere will not be polluted just because of my use of, say fossil fuel – and the result is that most cities are polluted. So every bit of effort counts – both positively and negatively.

      Reply
  5. Great article. Human beings are acting like a virus that has infested Earth.

    Personally, I wish there was more wisdom than knowledge in the human society

    Reply
    • Hi Maina, harsh words but unfortunately quite true. One of the constant refrains that I hear from people when this subject comes up for discussion is that human beings are intelligent and that is why they have been able to harness nature. Sometimes I feel we are too intelligent for our own good and look only at the short term.

      Reply
  6. I think we have to help each other out. Like you said, live in harmony.

    Like Kashyap mentioned with the plastic that ends up in our waterways that hurt our animals. We need to be more aware of how we are hurting the environment in that respect.

    Mother Nature is a powerful source and the recent tsunami that hit Japan’s coast is the perfect example. I believe it all results from things that have been happening over the years. If we learn to respect Mother Nature, she will learn to respect us.

    Thanks for this, great post and love your view on this topic.

    Adrienne

    Reply
    • Yes, Adrienne I think the word is symbiotic relationship. Actually even that may not be completely true because in that kind of relationship both the parties give something to each other. However, in our case we cannot give anything back to nature, except maybe ensure that we do not take away too much from it.

      And I agree that the tsunami that hit Japan has shown us that at the end of the day however much technology we may develop,there is no safeguard against nature’s fury. We must accept that as an unchangeable fact and respect it. The keyword as you said is RESPECT.

      In environment’s protection lies our protection – both short term and definitely long term.

      Reply
  7. Protect mankind from mankind is key for our survival. The number one way to protect ourselves is to stop reproducing. There are too many people (and too many more projected to be born) for this earth to nourish without itself collapsing from being forced to give too much. The environment does need protection from mankind, however, mankind is in the position that it must take and take and take to survive and thrive by today’s standards of economics and lifestyle. Nature and the environment will get the last say…it has been ever evolving for millions upon millions of years. Mankind will not have that luxury. The fact that we do not heed the ‘warnings’ of poor water quality, the diminishing aquifers, the dwindling glacier run off, the soil erosion and desertification of vast areas, the deforestation, the removal of barrier islands and mangroves, the overflowing air, water, and land ‘pollution’ that we create, goes to show that mankind is too arrogant to realize that we do not have the ‘control’ over the environment to make it continue to provide for our greedy over indulgent ignorant and virtually unimportant lives. (unimportant in the grand scheme of surviving as a species if we don’t maintain a balance in population and harvesting natures bounty.)

    Reply
    • Hi Alicia, I completely agree with you that the number one way to protect ourselves is to drastically reduce the rate at which we are reproducing. In fact in one of my earlier articles I have mentioned that the biggest cause for global warming and environmental changes is the population. Every negative thing derives from that. It is said that he who laughs last, laughs the longest – and in this the longest laugh will be environment’s, unless we human beings stop ourselves from committing environmental harakiri.

      Reply
  8. This: “protect mankind from mankind” sums it all up.. Its time to wake up to the fact that even if we have killed each other off towards extinction, mother nature will continue to live on. We modern humans are very quick to forget that the earth is actually billions of times older than us. Human are but modern residents of earth. So, unless we get that thru our head then goodbye humanity. The earth will move on.

    by the way, it was good finding your blog over at Brankica’s site. I like your posts 🙂

    Reply
    • Well said Ling – The earth will move on. Human beings must remember that. They should also remember that nature does not keep the design of the species that it creates. So if we humans do not protect ourselves, then after we are gone even nature will not be able to create humans again. Just as nature cannot recreate the great dinosaurs.

      I am glad that you found this blog and like it. I hope that you’ll come back often for some great conversations.

      I don’t know why, but you comment had ended up in the spam folder and hence the delay in my reply.

      Reply
  9. Good to see everyone has the feeling and reasons to protect, but it would be great if one starts it right from their home. Like carrying a bag(cloth or jute) if one needs to go to markets and having a handkerchief instead of using tissues. If we make a habit of such small things, I think we all individually can make a difference.

    Reply
    • Well said Kashyap. I think the Delhi government’s decision to ban even manufacturing of the plastic bags in Delhi is an excellent step in the right direction. As we know, so far in Delhi plastic bags have been banned though shopkeepers and people still try and use them as much as possible. But now even the manufacturing of these bags is being banned. So first people must on their own stop using things that are detrimental to the environmental health and if required governments must also step in and do their bit – kind of carrot and stick policy!

      Reply
  10. Thank you Sanjeev, I also would like to say is lets not wait it government bans or such thing since we have an attitude like Rules are meant to be broken sort of. We need to educate and spread the awareness, it should come from the individuals that yes we need to take care of our mother earth we should start taking such steps. We should dare to say NO to plastic when the shop or market people gives products in plastic bag.
    of this I take pride in saying that I follow the things I have mentioned in the previous posts and always say NO to plastic bags.

    Reply
    • I completely agree with you Kashyap on that. There are many things where if we keep waiting for the government to act, then no action may happen. We should take the initiative and do things that will help save the environment.

      Reply
  11. I agree with the article and the responses. Nature is a best leveller. Time and again it shows how mighty it is by way of earthquakes, tsunami, storms, droughts and floods and all other natural catastrophe. However advanced we may call ourselves scientifically no one can predict the wrath of nature. We only need to protect ourselves. Everyone is trying to leave material wealth for their children. If they don’t leave green earth, clean water and air then how their children are going to enjoy the wealth?
    We need to use only renewable sources so that the nature is not seriously damaged. In less than last 100 years we have used most of the oil and minerals from the earth and cut the forests.
    Laws are there to protect environment but most of the times they are bypassed and large amounts of poisons are released in the air, water and land. We are going to pay for it in the form of various diseases. The ostentatious living is also going to cost us dearly. There are more menace of plastic bottles nowadays. Water and beverages should be served in glass bottles. That can reduce some burden. I will go for mass plantation “peepal trees” after I get success in my pain relief work.
    Ramanuj Asawa
    http://www.painrelieffoundation.com/component/content/article/38-home/59-president.html

    Reply
    • That is right Ramanuj, the sooner man recognized and accepted that the nature and environment is the BIG BROTHER, the better it will be for the human race. We cannot tame the nature. And we must live within the limits that the nature and environment have specified – and we cannot take the plea that we do not know what that limit is. Just as ignorance of law is no defense, so is ignorance of laws of nature is no defense for us.

      Reply
  12. Clean and Good Environment is our gift to our future son and daughter. How would our people see how beautiful is the world if today we are making it die. Lets help each other to make the first step to contribute to our mother earth a chance to have a wonderful and clean environment starting today.

    Reply
    • Hi Jhun, I could not agree with you more. You are absolutely right that we must leave the nature in good shape for our future generations.

      Reply
  13. I think you’re right that the environment does not need our protection, but what it does need is for us to stop abusing it. Yes at the end of the day nature will win out and we need to become educated in this fact and embrace it. Abusing it will ultimately shorten our time here and then nature will clean up and life will continue.

    Reply
    • I am glad Mick that we’re on the same side. We must respect nature and live by her laws. As you rightly pointed out, we must stop abusing nature else it will destroy us.

      Reply

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