In this era, where humanisation of nature is taking place at a tremendous rate, where the nature is altered at an alarming rate for the so – called benefits of “we” humans, disturbances are created in the normal functioning of nature and so nature rises in its fury and the fury of nature is not magnanimous but rather too destructive to ignore.
According to Max Mayfield, “Preparation through education is less costly than learning through tragedy”. The point that he is trying to bring into the notice of so- called enlightened society is that if our learning through education is put into action, we would avoid any tragedy, we would invite less destruction. If the foundation is strong, the building won’t be shaken easily.
If we look at the recent cases of natural calamities, we would get a better picture of what he is trying to bring into notice. In India itself, we could trace the tragedy that took away the life of many. In the Kerala floods, death toll rose to around 417 people, which was the worst natural calamity to strike the southern states in decades. Kerala faced the flash flooding which occurred due to heavy downpour, but this four months of torrential rain in Kerala became destructive because the situation was aggravated due to the ignorance of local officials.
“This could have been avoided if the dam operators had start releasing water in advance rather than waiting for the dam to be filled up, when they have no alternative but to release water”, water expert Himanshu Thakkar told the BBC.
The ignorance of the local officials along with the failure of India’s Central Water Commission to introduce a flood forecasting system to issue warning gave a major setback not only to the southern states but also to the entire nation.
More than one million people were displaced and kept in relief camp. The money that the Central Government directed towards the recovery of Kerala, could have been avoided if the system, if the infrastructure were in place. Millions of people would have not lost their home if there was some preparedness, if there was some warning, if at all the learning were in place. There are many other places in different parts of the world where such calamities are taking the life of many because we tend to over push the limits of nature.
This is what Max Mayfield tried to explain through his words. The cost not only in terms of money but also in terms of lives could have been less if there was proper crisis preparedness.
Another case or why not say another calamity which is not respecting any so – called political boundaries and the effect of which is slowly taking a drastic grip on us is ‘Global Warming’. It’s high time to realise that, “Global Warming is Global Warning”. Global warming is the increase in the general level of earth’s temperature. Our earth has its own mechanism to combat the disturbances in its functioning but “we” humans tend to aggravate the situation to the extent that the mechanism is at the verge of breaking down.
Burning of fossil fuels like coal, gas to create electricity or to power the cars or for the industrial purpose, results in the emission of profound amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere which results in carbon pollution and contribute in making the quality of air severe. It is quite clear the way urban expansion is encroaching upon the wilderness. We clear large patch of forest for the purpose of settlement and other things. When vegetation is cleared or burnt, the stored carbon is released into the atmosphere as CO2, contributing in global warming. The list would be never ending if we look for the causes that involve humans.
The effect of global warming can already be seen clearly – the melting of glaciers, consecutively rise in the sea level and simultaneously flooding of coastal areas, the quality of air from being worse to severe, droughts, expansion of deserts.
The call of the time is “Sustainable Development” which is in par with nature. It was in 1980s that the bad health of environment and consecutively bad health of ours and the concept of sustainable way of living was realised. But why is it that in the last 50 years more species became extinct than ever!
Education is not something which is limited to books, specific to getting qualifications. It would really be a bliss if we would start bringing the knowledge into action, if we would move towards sustainability that we have been learning, if we would start preventing the tragedies through preparedness rather than learning through its cure.
When disaster takes place, timings is essential. Many lives can be saved; destruction can be minimized if actions are taken quickly. But the action can be taken quickly only if there is some preparedness, if there is some alertness. There should be efficient communication system in place for destruction to be minimized.
The government is not always to be blamed for the crisis. We as educated citizens can do a lot, we can channel our learning, our talent through joining various humanitarian organisations that works towards better development, toward preventing and reducing the crisis.
The Kerala case was a big setback to the nation. Though it was a lesson for everyone but it could have been better if we could have prevented it, the southern state could have focussed on other major social issues grouping the society. And the global warming, before it scales to a height, where we would be left helpless, with no idea of what to do next, it would be better if we try to work together to reduce the harmful industrialisation, if we would walk in the path of sustainable development.
So, it’s high time to realise that in this era, we got to be more conscious of what we learn and how do we channel it. As the saying goes, “Learning is a treasure that will follow it’s owner everywhere”. So let it follow your action and put it into right use. It is the collective work in which each and every individual needs to come together to make this world a better place.
Image Credit: Business Standard News
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