Chok­ing on hu­mour

Hindustan Times (Lucknow) - Live - - My City - Vikas Bhan­dari

When in 2014, I moved to Delhi I was quick in re­al­is­ing that among other things like the safety of my school go­ing kid, I could also no longer take clean air for granted. With the record CO2 lev­els last year and the two hottest years of the past five decades back to back, aware­ness of the po­ten­tial dev­as­ta­tion of cli­mate change con­tin­ues to grow and I read some­where that now even a Baba has spo­ken about it!

While just a few years back the wear­ing of breath­ing masks by for­eign­ers in Delhi was seen by many of us as an act of dis­re­spect and an ef­fort to de­monise our na­tional cap­i­tal, it is now a grow­ing trend among the lo­cals in Delhi to flaunt them. In fact dur­ing the smog of Novem­ber last year, I bought two masks from a chemist in Ben­gali Mar­ket area of Mandi House my­self, af­ter all that was a tough month for breath­ing in Delhi and the smog was as un­prece­dented as it was un­set­tling. Since the masks cost a for­tune, I nat­u­rally asked the chemist- “What was so spe­cial?”; to which he replied that it has a spe­cial “N95” el­e­ment that fil­ters most car­bons out from the air just the way we use th­ese strange sound­ing jar­gons fresh out of NASA labs to fil­ter the cur­rency out from your wal­lets!

Yet to­day the face masks are no more a fash­ion state­ment but they have be­come a ne­ces­sity else why even the “24 Seven” stores in Delhi are sell­ing them!

The U.S. En­vi­ron­men­tal Pro­tec­tion Agency says that an in­dex of above 300 is “ex­tremely rare” in the U.S. and typ­i­cally oc­curs dur­ing events such as for­est fires. In Delhi we clocked thrice as much last Di­wali. In fact, out here lev­els be­low 300 are “ex­tremely rare” and typ­i­cally oc­cur dur­ing heavy rains only.

And if it’s not enough al­ready, th­ese deadly gases also form a ma­jor con­trib­u­tor to the Global warm­ing prob­lem that Gov­ern­ments are grap­pling with… glob­ally of course. Yes, it has been pretty con­clu­sively proven now that the earth is un­der­go­ing a pe­riod of sur­pris­ingly in­tense global warm­ing and sci­en­tists have adopted the the­ory that the in­dus­tri­al­i­sa­tion of the world is re­sult­ing in a marked rise in so-called “green­house gases” such as car­bon diox­ide, re­spon­si­ble for in­crease in Earth’s tem­per­a­tures and melt­ing of po­lar ice. Now that’s se­ri­ous and if not stoped 1/3rd of the po­lar bears will dis­ap­pear by 2040… What?… Hu­mans? Oh I guess they will just build some gi­ant ship like the ‘Noah’s Arc’ and sur­vive.

But for now and un­til the gov­ern­ments work to­gether to fig­ure out how to con­trol the ris­ing global tem­per­a­tures you can try low­er­ing the tem­per­a­tures dra­mat­i­cally your­selves… how? …let’s see… just switch from Fahren­heit to Cel­sius maybe! On a more se­ri­ous note the Baba has said- The Fu­ture will be green or not at all :)

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