So That Tomorrow Exists: Aditya Dubey is the Indian Ambassador for Earth Day Network’s My Future My Voice Campaign and is the Founder of the ‘Plant a Million Trees Initiative‘ & ‘ Revive Yamuna’ Campaign. His public interest litigation before the Supreme Court of India led to the legislation of the ‘Commission for Management of Air Quality in Delhi ‘.
Unarguably, it is one of the most dreaded words, in the thesaurus. Unfortunately though it maybe dreaded, it’s never anticipated in time to avert it. So let me start by telling you all that extinction is coming. And not because of any nuclear war, alien attack or incurable plague, but because of the arrogance. Ignorance which the human race has treated this planet. Decades of ruthless exploitation of the planet has resulted in a situation that nature is now hitting back. It is hitting back hard. Rising number of instances of violent weather phenomenon, flooding, rising sea levels, global pandemics are just warning bells. That is waiting for us just around the corner.
However, we continue to ignore all these glaring symptoms and continue to live reckless, wasteful & uncaring lives without a worry for our future or that of the coming generations. The climate scientists have an almost unanimous view that to avoid this calamity. We need to restrict the rise in temperature to below 1.5 – 2 degrees over the pre industrial levels. And for this purpose it’s imperative that the world becomes carbon-neutral by 2050.
Paris Agreement and future:
Though the Paris Agreement, its member states to make all efforts to limit the rise of temperature to below 2C. Till date no significant action has been taken by most of the Signatories. And thus our reckless slide towards oblivion continues. The future looks dark. However one silver lining is that even now the situation is not irreversible. And if the National Governments wake up to the seriousness of the crisis, then we can still save the world.
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The recklessness of the previous generations has thrust upon us the unwanted honor of being the last generation. It can actually save this planet and the future of human race. If you want to save the world then it is on us, You and Me. No help is coming. We need to speak up for the environment and fight against environmental wrongs, wherever and whenever we see it. We all know what’s wrong for our environment- plastics, vehicular emissions, industrial emissions, waste generation, and excessive consumption of resources being few of them. So lets fight to get rid of these and though you may have self doubts about your ability to bring change, believe me when I say that if your commitment is real, effort is genuine and your cause is just then you can win any battle, howsoever mighty your adversary might be.
I have started my personal journey in 2016 as a response to these problems. I was working in the middle of another bout of Asthmatic Respiratory Infection and Chest Congestion due to the critically high levels of pollution in Delhi-NCR. As Delhi’s industries, millions of carbon-spewing vehicles and deforestation are continuing to play havoc with the respiratory systems of thousands of children like me and other vulnerable classes, it finally has dawned on me that no help is coming. The world can only offer me antibiotics, steroid puffs, air purifiers and nebulizers but there was no permanent solution to our situation, till the air pollution of Delhi gets reduced.
So, what was the option for 13-year-old me? I could either live my life cribbing that not enough has not done by the State OR I could try to do something myself about it, which though may not resolve the problem of air pollution, but will at least be a small step in that direction. So I founded the ‘Plant A Million Trees Initiative’ with the objective of planting and encouraging citizens to plant and care for trees. Over the last four years we have been able to ensure plantation of more than 1,80,000 trees in Delhi-NCR and thus have been able to play a small role in improving the green cover of Delhi.