“What you do make a difference, and you have to decide what kind of difference you want to make.” Dr Jane Goodall, Scientist & Activist
On September 7, the first International Day of Clean Air for blue skies, 12-year-old climate activist Ridhima Pandey, a schoolchild from Haridwar in Uttarakhand wrote an open letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Here is an excerpt.
“Every year, in many parts of India, the air becomes much polluted and it becomes very difficult to breathe after October. I worry that if a 12-year-old like me finds it hard to breathe, what it must be like for children younger to me living in cities like Delhi and others,”
A youth ambassador and intern at United Nations Development Programme Aditya Mukarji from Gurgaon said, “Each of us must try to leave the world a little better than we found it. A responsible citizen makes a responsible country.” (1)
All of us are pursuing capitalism by way of our economic activities. That is destroying natural resources directly or indirectly. What are we doing to balance it by restoring the climate impact of our economic activities?
The problem is we are neither aware, nor we are concerned about it. To become aware lets, know the impact of this gigantic imbalance we are unleashing on the Earth.
According to the Environmental Defence Fund, the global warming that’s changing our the climate is already having dire consequences.
In just the past few decades:
• Rising temperatures have worsened extreme weather events.
• Chunks of ice in the Antarctic have broken apart.
• Wildfire seasons are months longer.
• Mosquitoes are expanding their territory, able to spread disease.
We humans are the ones who burn fossil fuels and chopping down forests, causing average temperatures to rise worldwide. That global warming trend is increasingly disrupting our climate — the average weather over many years.
Earth has already warmed by about 1 degree Celsius, or 1.8 degrees Fahrenheit, since the 19th century, before the industry started to boom. While we experience the effects, we’re on our way toward 1.5 degrees C (2.7 F) by as early as 2030.
A warmer world — even by a half-degree Celsius — has more evaporation, leading to more water in the atmosphere. Such changing conditions put our agriculture, health, water supply, and more at risk. It’s how you go from half-degree of warming to economic hardship. (2)
It is not just developed countries, everyone and every country will be affected if we do not wake from the slumber.
In his book, Air: Pollution, Climate Change, and India’s Choice Between Policy and Pretence, Dean Spears suggests that a new-born exposed to a week of the hot and humid environment is much less likely to survive compared to one faced with a less hostile condition. In cities, which are epicenters of economic activity, rising temperatures can increase the spread of diseases and hurt productivity. And, in coastal cities, climate change-induced rising sea levels also pose an additional threat through more frequent flooding.
The question always remains what I alone can do? Every one of us can and should do.
Plant trees, to help suck carbon out of the air and stabilize the climate. Spread the word about it. Tell your friends, family, and co-workers to watch too. This is a mega problem but also a mega opportunity.
The author Naomi Klein writes in her book, This Change Everything,” I am convinced that climate change represents a historic opportunity on an even greater scale. As part of the project of getting our emissions down to the levels many scientists recommend, we once again have the chance to advance policies that dramatically improve lives, close the gap between rich and poor, create huge numbers of good jobs, and reinvigorate democracy from the ground up.”
“By polluting the oceans, not mitigating CO2 emissions, and destroying our biodiversity, we are killing our planet. Let us face it, there is no planet B.” Emmanuel Macron, President of France
The topic of this piece is not climate change, but We the CAs. We are a bunch of highly educated population of the country. What are we doing for the country apart from executing our professional role and making our living?
There are some versatile CAs, doing fabulous social work by contributing their might positively. Baring those few, most of CAs can be classified into two categories.
- Perpetual Auditors
They are either indifferent in social contribution or fault-finders, part of the problem wherever they go and whatever they do. Audit, tax, and compliance are not only their bread and butter but their water and air too. They do not have the fourth angle to anything.
We wear this hat of CA in our day to day social life and act as an auditor of everything including life. Finding fault with everything has become our birthright or we assume it is our life mission.
I live in a housing complex where there are about 500 flats and a population of around 2500 residents. It comprises 4 housing societies. We have about 40 CAs in the complex. Most of them are not willing to join managing committees. Out of the 40 managing committee members from 4 societies & 40 odd CAs, there are hardly 3 CAs who are the part of managing committees.
As a Chairman of the common association, I was in touch with all 4 managing committees. I get feedback from other managing committee members that these CAs are just playing the role of a compliance officer. They are extremely focused on compliance, minutes, methods, and legality & other petty issues irrespective of whether it’s stalling the work and killing the spirit of cooperation.
They do not see life beyond that. As a managing committee accounts, tax, compliance is important, but it is an insignificant area as compared to the larger role they can play in the overall development and maintenance of the society and creating social awareness among their residents.
“The Key Responsibility of Leadership Is to Think About the Future. No One Else Can Do It for You.” Brian Tracy
The hat of CA we wear comes with a huge advantage. We understand finance, we understand issues and the perspectives, we know how to articulate, we know how the Govt department works, and how to deal with Govt officials. These are huge assets any changemakers can possess.
What we lack is confidence, empathy about the world around us, necessary courage, and we suffer from what is there for me attitude.
We all CAs have to listen to what 17-year-old Swedish Activist Greta Thunberg has to say, “Adults keep saying we owe it to the young people, to give them hope, but I don’t want your hope. I don’t want you to be hopeful. I want you to panic. I want you to feel the fear I feel every day. I want you to act. I want you to act as you would in a crisis. I want you to act as if the house is on fire because it is.”
It is not only about climate change. The world is suffering from poverty, hunger, inequality, illiteracy, financial illiteracy, of course, global warming, and many more problems.
“A person who is awake in those that sleep.” is our motto. However, that should not become a barrier for us to assume a larger role in life but it should enable us to awaken to the society we live in and its problems. I have seen in politics or in public life vacuum created by the educated is the cause it is filled either by undeserving, anti-social, or unethical people. Our apathy is the major cause of the state of society today.
12-year-old climate activist Ridhima Pandey, 17-year-old, Greta Thunberg, eight years old Licypriya Kangujam from Manipur, and 23 years old Malala are taking up the leadership roles.
What are you waiting for? The prestigious hat of CA that we all have earned with great efforts has the power to do many good things for the society than mere living for self and the family.
(The purpose is not to criticize but to awaken.)