The non-resident Indian replies...

"I think its better the people of India decide on whats best for their environment, not a bunch of people sitting in front of their computers half way around the globe.As far as i know, the "buzz words" as you call it, namely global warming,carbon di oxide and
sustainable development in the US's environmental law is just an eyewash. currently, US is responsible for 25% of global CO2 emission.Please refer "http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/
List_of_countries_by_carbon_dioxide_emissions"
if in doubt.Considering the data was collected by the US gov., the percentage is obviously more. And India contributes just 5%. I see it more as an imperialist propaganda to curb the rapid development which most 3rd world countries are going through right now, than a genuine concern for global warming"



This is a comment by one Mr.Ashwin Hariharan on my Earth Day Competition details post.

Well let me make one thing clear, I sit in front of the computer, halfway across the globe as mentioned but I still am an Indian and I unlike some people care about my country. Global warming, sustainable development do not figure in the US law system and I tell this as V is an environmental law student. And also as an environmental engineer she knows they are not eyewash. I can give numerous proof of various research work done.
I never said US is pollution free and I don’t doubt you, infact I live in one of the most polluted cities in the world. And thanks for taking a couple of minutes to find out facts. That is what I wanted. A small awareness amongst everyone. I just do not want my hometown to be the most polluted city. I live in Houston for a number of reasons and I don’t have to justify them, but to me home is always India where I grew up.
I am not against development of 3rd world countries and never against development in India. After all like every Indian, I too dream about my country being a superpower, but at the same time, when India becomes I superpower I don’t want to live in a bubble to protect me against the air I breathe and the water I drink. I want India to develop but at the same time retain its diversity. I still want to see the peacock as the national bird and the tiger as the national animal, free and roaming in the jungles and not just textbook images of them.
I am not out to change the world, India or US. I am out to encourage people to think about the environment and if inspired change their lifestyle a bit towards a cleaner world.
I don’t want to shut down power plants, chemical industries and leather industries, I just want people who are reading this to turn off their lights when they go out, change to low watt bulbs, plant a few trees, reduce use of plastics and especially not dump garbage on the road. These will not stop India’s growth; it will just make your home a little better. Small contributions from everyone can make a difference and that is what I hope to do.
I am no social-worker. I am no saint preaching on clean environment in India while living a luxurious life in US. I am just another person who dreams about a better life, for me, for my family (yes I am another selfish person!) and my friends. I am not bothered about others, but I as a selfish person want the space I live be it in India or in US to be clean and green and unpolluted. Am I asking for too much? Don’t I have so much rights as a human being?


3 Comments:

Kavi said...

The environment is just a great leveller and it will affect you, me, Mr.Ashwin Hariharan and the rest of the world.

I wonder when people will wake up, and stop talking boundaries : of your country, my country etc & look at broader pictures.


By the way, i do not stay in the US but out here in India. And live face and do my bit to take on the problems we face out here. Does that make me Indian enough to warrant a concern for our environment, or does my owning a computer negate that ! huh !

Mr. Hariharan's focus seems to be on propoganda that the US is belching out ! Our focus must be on one planet ! One earth. And a collective fight for a greener peaceful earth !

We owe it to our future generations.

smyo said...

Gotta state your residency status it appears - So I am an NRI who just spent 6 months in India and go back and forth often. I guess I can claim I have a decent stake in both places.

So lets talk about good things first -

a) in US what we call active recycling is the norm in india - example

- paperwalla comes and pays money to u to take newprint so the newspapers can recycle the paper for the next day.
-batliwala do does it with metal / plastic / bottle containers. you turn in your old soda bottles at the store to buy new ones.
- Someone buys your old useless radio / tv, fixes it and resells it in villages. ( In US its put in electronic waste dumps if you decide to goto the local smart station to recycle )
- Majority use tubelights which are energy efficient (40W). Have you ever seen 4 100W bulbs to light a bathroom counter / dining table in India ( In US its norm )
- Houses in Bangalore all use solar heaters on rooftops to heat water for daily use.

Negative Sides :

- I think the problem in india is a lot to do with water pollution and land pollution. This has lot to do with civic sense.
- Culturally we never figured how to deal with trash and let it lie around. Garbage fills are unknown. I was in Kanpur for 2 days and it appeared i was walking on a landfill with trash all over the place.

- Airpollution : newer cars are slowly going green. Still a long way to go considering we have lots of legacy vehicles spewing black smoke. Enforcement sucks thanks to bribes.

On the bright side there is a pollution report every night as part of the news so folks know how cities compare and how bad is bad. It would be good to compare cities over the globe instead of within India.

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