It’s time to act!

Society Magazine - - From The Editor - Am­jad Van­i­mal

More than 15,000 sci­en­tists from 184 na­tions have penned an open let­ter to hu­man­ity, po­litely ask­ing their fel­low bipedal pri­mates to stop de­stroy­ing the planet. They have ap­par­ently been con­cerned about the whole­sale de­struc­tion of Earth’s bio­sphere for a lit­tle while now. Re­gret­tably, it seems that we are still do­ing these things.

One of the ques­tions I re­ceive most fre­quently from read­ers is whether our in­di­vid­ual ac­tions truly make a dif­fer­ence. If you choose to re­cy­cle, com­post, car­pool, re­duce con­sump­tion and refuse plas­tic bags, are they go­ing to make an im­pact? Does it mat­ter at all? The an­swer is yes. Now, is choos­ing to stop pur­chas­ing plas­tic go­ing to sin­gle-hand­edly en­sure that no more plas­tic finds its way into the oceans? Of course not. But re­mem­ber that you didn’t cre­ate it sin­gle-hand­edly ei­ther. Our ac­tions are cu­mu­la­tive: to­gether we cre­ated this mess, so we must fix it to­gether too – both by chang­ing our be­hav­iour as in­di­vid­u­als and by de­mand­ing change from cor­po­ra­tions and gov­ern­ment.

One way we draw at­ten­tion to these is­sues is by cel­e­brat­ing Earth

Day on 22 April. Ap­par­ently, I have mixed feel­ings about it. At times, I think Earth Day cel­e­bra­tions look a lot like Valen­tine’s Day in a fail­ing re­la­tion­ship. We per­form cer­tain rote ges­tures to ap­pease ex­pec­ta­tion, only to re­turn to the same dis­ap­point­ing sta­tus quo when the clock ticks over to 23 April. Sure, it’s nice, but is one day truly enough? To com­bat this anaemic ap­proach, we’ve put to­gether a list of eight cool ways to go green and save the planet ( P.28) – not just for Earth Day but for­ever. These aren’t big-ticket changes, they’re not go­ing to dras­ti­cally al­ter your lifestyle or change your life, and that’s ex­actly why it’s pos­si­ble for each and ev­ery one of us to do them.

Mov­ing on to this month’s spot­light story on P.24 find out how Jisha Krishna, an In­dian home­maker based in Doha, has suc­cess­fully con­verted her bar­ren rooftop and back­yard of the house into a beau­ti­ful veg­etable gar­den. She grows about 80 dif­fer­ent va­ri­eties of veg­eta­bles un­der a sin­gle roof and it produces all the veg­eta­bles her fam­ily needs al­most year around.

Happy read­ing!

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