(Dr Raghav Gundavarapu)
Education is the most powerful weapon to change the World. The present education system does not fulfill, what education is meant for. It has become only a job-seeking tool. Education has become so reductive that a person specialized in a subject does not have any knowledge about other subjects.
With the increased use of the internet, the average attention span of a person on a single news item has come down to 15 seconds from 5 minutes. The short attention span has its own negative consequences. This 15-seconds time is sufficient only to read the headlines, there is no time to read, analyze, reason, and to authenticate the source of the article.
Most of the news is nowadays is biased, with most of the big companies like Google, Microsoft, Facebook, Twitter. The information you look for on search engines is driven by advertisement, whoever pays more they get preference to show their ideology first whether it is true or false.
These big companies sell biased information for their profits. A lie told hundred times becomes true and people start to believe it as truth. The dictators used propaganda for their benefit by enslaving the people.
The present type of enslavement is by big corporates in various sectors like Pharma companies, Insurance companies, fossil fuel companies, Seeds, pesticides, and fertilizer companies. We are being pushed to a corner that these companies take royalty in whatever you do include for the air you breathe.
Carbon footprint is the amount of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions associated with all the activities of a person or other entity (e.g., building, corporation, country, etc.).
It includes direct emissions, such as those that result from fossil-fuel combustion in manufacturing, heating, and transportation, as well as emissions required to produce the electricity associated with goods and services consumed.
In addition, the carbon footprint concept also often includes the emissions of other greenhouse gases, such as methane, nitrous oxide, or chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs).
The gaseous constituent of the atmosphere, both natural and anthropogenic, that absorbs and emits radiation at specific wavelengths within the spectrum of infrared radiation emitted by the earth’s surface, the atmosphere, and clouds
Methane and N20
It takes about a decade for methane (CH4) emissions to leave the atmosphere (it converts into CO2)
Century for nitrous oxide (N2O).
After a pulse of CO2 is emitted into the atmosphere:
40% will remain in the atmosphere for 100 years
20% will reside for 1000 years, while the final
10% will take 10,000 years to turn over.
This literally means that the heat-trapping emissions we release today from our cars and power plants are setting the climate our children and grandchildren will inherit.
Historic Levels of CO2 in the atmosphere
Antarctic ice core records vividly illustrate that atmospheric CO2 levels today are higher than levels recorded over the past 800,000 years
Atmospheric CO2 levels rose 40 percent between 1750 and 2011. (In 2013, atmospheric CO2 levels surpassed 400 million parts per million for the first time in human history.)
Half of the human-related CO2 emissions occurred only in the last 40 years. CO2 (and other gases emitted from industrial and agricultural sources) trap heat in the atmosphere, so it is no surprise that we are now witnessing an increase in global average temperature.
In the same way that CO2 emitted long ago is now contributing to the changes in climate we are already experiencing today. The emissions we are currently releasing will help determine the climate future our children and grandchildren experience.
Integration of Knowledge into Curriculum
Every year we see many days being celebrated to protect the environment, World Environment Day, Water Day, Plantation Day, Earth Day, etc. All these have become photo op for most of the Governments, Voluntary organizations, students, and other stakeholders.
Most of them are not aware of what they are taking up such activities and most of the activities have never been followed up like a tree planted and forgotten later to water it. All these activities are of no use until knowledge is transferred.
The sole purpose of human life is the quest for true knowledge. True knowledge is facing threats from propaganda-driven corporate companies. Everything that is available free in this world has been made commercialized, natural resources have been plundered thereby causing degradation of the environment, causing natural calamities like floods, cyclones, extreme heat conditions, droughts all these are causing massive displacement of people, failure of crops leading to starvation and hunger.
We attempt to bring a holistic approach to the problem of Environment, how it is affecting our lives, including the food we eat. As people have become health conscious most of the people are aware of the calories in the food they take, the people need to be carbon conscious to save the environment. Good things repeated will become good habits and much better when done at an early stage. Good habits at an early age will spill over to the parents and they are going to become the building blocks of the Nation.
We tried to bring various concepts like Carbon footprints, Global Warming, and its effects, types of agriculture, how organic farming helps to solve our health problems and the environment, poisons in our food, and the effect of plastic on our health. Learning is best when heart and mind are involved, even better when hands are involved.
Integrating this in the curriculum at the primary and high school level will help the next generations to mitigate the adverse effects of environmental degradation. This should become a part of our daily life rather than celebrating certain days forgetting them after celebrations.
(Dr Raghav Gundavarapu MD is a practicing doctors in Ongole, Andhra Pradesh)