This environment day is special as never before. It has a message as loud and as clear than never before. On this environment day, the official theme for this year is- CONNECTING PEOPLE TO NATURE. But with recent development regarding world’s resolve towards a green and sustainable planet, it is changed (though not officially). And it is in all bold and capital.
It is- PARIS OR PERISH.
It is not though the first time this message has appeared. It has been appearing in it’s all suggestive forms repeatedly. For example, in 2013 Typhoon Hyann the strongest hurricane to landfall ever in history, was all mumbling it while making its way to storm all Philippines. Similarly in 2004, tsunami waves in Indian ocean, all set to kill more than 300000 humans all along the coasts of Indonesia, Sri Lanka and Thailand and even in Port Elizabeth in South Africa 8800 miles away, containing the subversive effect of a 9.5 Richter scale earthquake, were more a bell buoy echoing the same message all their way. Alike the Afghani blizzard of 2008 was more a prophet gnashingly murmuring same. And so East African Drought of 2011 & European heat wave of 2003 & continuously shrinking glaciers of Greenland in their own ways. It was not like the message fell completely deaf to the human ear. It was heard. Though it still didn’t generate that much alarm and alert as it was meant for. To credit to some sane voices still surviving, human-conscious finally agreed to heed for it and world leaders, though half-heartedly and uncomely, came to formulate a way to combat climate change. And the plan was famously called Paris Agreement. With more than 196 countries keeping aside their differences, agreeing to work together within a time frame for the cause of saving this planet, this agreement is a magnum opus of human wisdom. But it seems that petty yet fatal human weaknesses have once again tried to overpower its great wisdom. we all have a duty to not let our weaknesses win over our wisdom. This is a test we all need to pass without fail.
It is not just a mere coincidence that World Environment day has fallen just four days after the dramatic exit of US from Paris accord under Trump leadership. As planet earth could not bear to awake late to the alarm raised by this unfortunate event. As she was in a hurry to remind her inhabitants once again of the importance she contains in changed context. This environment day has come with a warning- if we continue to fail to think beyond borders of economic interests, mutual entanglement, and narrow outlooks and if we continue to fail to envisage ourselves as global citizen of this planet leaving all other boundaries blurred and if we continue to allow our weaknesses to overcome our wisdom- we will soon belong to the past. This is not the first time mania of a man is going to cost mankind. But this time the threat is most real which not only is harmful but is able to wipe out the whole humankind from the face of this planet. In fact, it may cost the planet itself. The Paris accord is not just a need of the hour but a guarantee for future. Let’s be unmistakenly clear that any threat to it is a direct threat to humankind. Indeed, ‘Do or Die’- the famous English phrase has got a new version in the context of climate change: ‘Paris or Perish’.
– Abhinav Shankar