Being caretakers of Mother Earth

Being caretakers of Mother Earth

To the inquisitive, the Earth has ever been enigmatic. Many facts about it, including knowledge of the varied flora and fauna, minerals and valuable resources on its surface, not to speak of several layers within, remain to be discovered. Humbled by the mysteries of nature, great thinkers like Thomas A Edison, Albert Einstein, Leonardo da Vinci, Confucius, Gaylord Nelson, have pleaded for humility and gratitude towards it.

A cavalier attitude towards the Earth along with the mindset to exclude interest of other creations has resulted in irreversible loss. Unless the indiscriminate exploitation of the planet is curbed and we understand that “the Earth does not belong to us, we belong to the Earth” as Chief Seattle said, the very survival of mankind shall be at risk. The damage already done to the the Earth’s terrain by draining of rivers, construction of dams, industrial and housing facilities has been enormous. “Water and air, the two essential fluids on which all life depends, have become global garbage cans,” lamented explorer Jcques-Yves Cousteau.

Some 40 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide is added to the atmosphere annually by burning carbon-rich energy sources like coal, gas and oil, leading to rise in the average global temperature, changes in weather patterns and disturbance to the oceanic ecosystems. Decreased river water flows and consequent increase in salt concentrations has made life difficult for many aquatic species; draining of rivers has lowered groundwater levels. “For 200 years we’ve been conquering nature. Now we’re beating it to death,” – Tom McMillan.

Non-biodegradable plastic and similar compunds remain intact for thousands of years in the environment after being dumped, damaging the health of the Earth and its inhabitants. Traces of 60 billion tonnes of plastic produced yearly have been found even in uninhabited regions.

Farming and construction activities contribute to the planet’s plight in no less measure. Once dense forests are being cleared for farming, about 2 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide is added annually to the atmosphere through deforestation alone. Lakes and ponds that conserved water by collecting the rain water and recycling it, have dried up due to neglect.

Considering himself just as one among the several species on the planet, primitive man didn’t tamper with the Earth like we do. To him Earth and its forms – rivers, mountains, trees and animals were sacred and were associated with deities. His symbiotic relationship with other livingbeings meant concern for others and reverence for the soil, whose blessings were solicited at religious and other occasions.

For example, when a farm manager in an agricultural institute offers his regards to the soil in the form of bhumi puja before beginning any venture – business, building an office etc – he exhibits man’s intrinsic faith in nature’s benefaction which digital ethos have failed to understand.

Grounding advantages

Grounding ie connecting with nature for most hours of the day, helps maintain the harmony between magnetic resonance within man’s electrical system and that of the Earth, imperative for our allround wellbeing. NASA has also attested that living beings can survive in spacecraft only if its electromagnetic environment is similar to the Earth’s. Studies also suggest that the AC system of modern electronic and digital devices leads to metabolic disturbance – a fact industry does everything to hide. Fitness of early man can be attributed to his contentment with minimum clothing and shoes to stay close to nature. Emerging trends of nudity in certain public spaces point to the perceived benefits of closeness to nature. Ditto with the barefoot lifestyle.

Behind the Earth Day celebration every year by Earth Day Network (EDN) on April 22 – the largest civic observance in the world involving a billion people – is the plea to promote a caring attitude towards our planet. As the planet is losing over 15 billion trees every year, this year’s theme is ‘Trees for the Earth’.

EDN plans to plant 7.8 billion trees by its 50th anniversary in 2020, to make the Earth a healthier, cleaner and sustainable planet for all. Significant this Earth Day shall be the signing of the Paris Agreement on Climate Change to limit global temperature rise to well below 2 degree Celsius.

In India, we need more people like water conservationist Rajendra Singh, who through his initiatives replenished water in ponds and 5 rivers in Rajasthan.

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