The editor in chief and the CEO of the Time magazine sounds so convincing when he writes to his readers in the latest edition of the magazine titled ‘TIME 2030,’ a decade-long global editorial initiative. He writes;
as the world resets for a post-COVID future, we have a collective choice. We can mistake this inflection point for just another news cycle. Or we can roll up our sleeves.…  is the year by which the UN’s sustainable-development goals— targets on equality, poverty, health, growth and sustainability— will be met or missed…. By 2030, we will know whether we’re on the path toward a better planet. This is a shared enterprise, in which we all have a role to play, with opportunities for our readers to participate… We are all, as we say in the journalism world, on deadline.”
I would like to read his message in the context of what happened in #Uttarakhand two days back. The most beautiful and scenic state in India has hit the headlines; once again for a natural disaster due to #climatechange. This is not the first time the state is facing a climate change disaster. We have not yet forgotten the massive floods of 2013 killing thousands of people and now with glaciers breaking off there, Uttarakhand seems to be a continued spot for ecological calamities.
What would follow this incident of a natural disaster?
Of course, the usual stuff! We will aggressively talk about it and become sympathetic for a couple of hours as long as it is showing on primetime new shows at night. We would get creative at our best with search words for finding the most authentic and raw video of the destruction on the internet and watch it a hundred times on YouTube and share it on our social media pages for our obsession with likes and comments. Yes, that is us and that includes me as well.
What would the government do after our brave forces have saved as many lives as they could?
The usual stuff again, of course! The government would grant some monetary compensation to the family members of the victims and constitute a committee to find out the cause of the incident as if there were not enough reports already that had warned us of the upcoming destruction. But that’s them, the government. A study published in the Science Advances journal in 2019 had already warned that #Himalayan #glaciers have been melting twice as fast since the start of this century due to climate change and we all know this was neither the first nor the last such report.
The Geological Survey of India, the country’s top body to study geoscientific activities, has already said that prima facie this appears to be an incident of glacial calving at the highest altitude in Rishi Ganga and Dhauli Ganga area and the upper reaches of that. It was suggested that it could be due to the formation of glacial #lakes. The overarching reason is, of course, climate change and global warming. The glacier could have broken off for multiple reasons – due to erosion, a build-up of water pressure, an avalanche of snow and rocks, or an earthquake under the ice. Some #environmentalists are even calling it a classic case of #climatechange.
It sounds so hopeless that we both (the government and us) would not change for the better. As individuals, we would not switch off the engines of our cars at red lights and we would not stop asking for plastic bags when we go out for our daily grocery shopping. As for the government, they too would continue dumping all such environmental studies and alerts, and give a ‘YES’ to all environmentally dangerous projects for their madness of growth at any cost.
The world is recovering from a dreadful trauma that would leave its marks in our memories forever. We have suffered irrecoverable losses of lives and livelihoods due to #Covid-19 pandemic and in the aftermath of global lockdowns, but we have also learnt a few lessons. Sometimes the best lessons come to comprehension the hard ways, it is said. I don’t think any of us truly appreciated what a simple luxury it was to be able to travel and be together with family and friends in a safe environment until the last few months. We took things for granted, even the most important ones like health, family, and the little happiness of staying alive as if they were and they will always be there for you. This year, we were all reminded of the fragile state of our being and of the things that truly matter and should always matter.
We have seen during the #lockdown and learnt that mother #Earth can be healed if we slowed down a bit. We just have to find ways of slowing down better so that lives can be saved and livelihoods are unaffected. We have to learn to live in balance with nature so that we don’t kill each other. Nature finds its ways of correcting itself, we may not have that right or privilege tomorrow. We have to stop hurting the mother Earth every day as much as we can so that one day nature does not wake up to course-correcting and takes us all for its revenge. Scientists and environmentalists have been warning us of the upcoming apocalypse due to #globalwarming and climate change if we did not care now. It is time we cared a bit. It is time we slowed down a little.
In a world when most of the media house and news publications in this country and around the world are obsessed with serving their own fallacies and when almost all the journalists I read and admired during college days or afterwards are busy pushing their Right or Left propaganda, for TIME magazine and its editor Edward Felsenthal to create a decade-long project to explore solutions to the challenges of the post-Covid world and to create a dedicated space in its editorial works for building a healthier, more resilient, and all the more #sustainable world deserves all the compliments and best wishes.