Now, I love my Nikon. I really do. I have had it for 8 years now, and I refused to add to the pile of e-waste. But, sometime this year, or the next, I shall upgrade. Anyway, this is not about my Nikon.
This is the month of the Roza, and I was in Jama Masjid early one morning, to take some photos, and to wolf down some fabulous nehari curry. Therefore, the chai has been replaced by curry!
A few days later, I was at a conference, in which the French Minister of something or the other spoke about climate change, and the need for us to take drastic action. He had to leave relatively quickly, because he had to meet our Prime Minister, and then a bunch of well meaning senior and well-respected dudes proceeded to engage the audience in a round table debate on climate change, renewable energy etc. The hall was packed with people nodding sagely, taking notes and looking on at the speakers with rapt attention.
It was all very serious. Very serious indeed.
I started nodding off, and to stay awake, I started reading some WordPress posts.
You see, it was all very serious indeed.
The fact also is, that we have over a billion Indians, and more and more of us are buying cars. This is great for the automotive makers. However, our road network has not increased, and the condition of the roads has deteriorated.
We have signals, at times every one hundred metres. We have pot-holes. We have speed-breakers. We have police barriers. We have pedestrians who casually saunter through traffic, slowing it down. We have people who can’t park and people who drive the wrong way.
What this means, is that the journey (the car ride ) that used to take me 60 minutes to that meeting room, now takes me 75-90 minutes. I drive slowly, and I spend a lot of time with the car idling. I don’t turn the engine off, because it is too hot! And, polluted. I do take photos, while I wait for the traffic to move.
All in all, the level of pollution has increased, despite the fact that we have better engines, and better fuel.
However, rationalising the traffic signals, improving driver discipline, and improving the roads is not sexy. No, not sexy at all.
Solar power is sexy.
Climate change talks tend to centre around the sexy, and that which is far away.
Simple solutions that can contribute quickly to a better environment are generally ignored. They are simply not sexy enough. After all, when a politician drives, the traffic is stopped to let him pass, so that he can languidly wave his hand at the adoring crowd.
We’ve had the hottest summer in decades this year. We have the driest monsoon.
Like the sailor’s in that immortal poem, “The Rime Of The Ancient Mariner”, we stand with parched lips waiting for sensible solutions that are not forthcoming.
“And every tongue, through utter drought,