Earth Day: The Bigger Picture

The following article is based on my own interpretation of the said events. Any material borrowed from published and unpublished sources has been appropriately referenced. I will bear the sole responsibility for anything that is found to have been copied or misappropriated or misrepresented in the following post.

Glen Savio Palmer, MBA 2015-17, Vinod Gupta School of Management, IIT Kharagpur

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Earth Day is an annual event, celebrated on April 22, in which events worldwide are held to demonstrate support for environmental protection. It was first celebrated in 1970, and is now coordinated globally by the Earth Day Network and celebrated in more than 193 countries each year. In 1969 at a UNESCO Conference in San Francisco, peace activist John McConnell proposed a day to honour the Earth and the concept of peace, to first be celebrated on March 21, 1970, the first day of spring in the northern hemisphere. This day of nature’s equipoise was later sanctioned in a proclamation written by McConnell and signed by the then Secretary General U Thant at the United Nations.

Earth day this year is especially significant, as the landmark Paris agreement will be signed by 122 countries of the world. The world has pledged to limit temperature rise from global warming to 2 degrees Centigrade, and attempt to become carbon neutral by 2050. This agreement, if abided by honestly, shall bring down world pollution levels and bring global warming under control. Not only this, the regular earth day practices followed around the world, such as composting, carpooling, carbon footprint reduction and recycling drives, ensure that this day turns out to be a happy one for mother earth.

A question arises: Does this day really make a difference? The answer is unambiguously, yes, it does! However, what do all of us do on the remaining 364 days of the year? The answer is: Mostly doing more harm than good. The earth day spirit is all about thinking for the greater good. One must introspect, rise above one’s ego, and resolve to do his/her bit to save mother earth. Every drop of water preserved and every watt of electricity saved makes a huge difference. The time is ripe to stop being cynical, pull up our socks, and save the planet.

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