The Amazon forest. Himalayas. Lake Baikal. Grand Canyon. These names conjure up images of heavenly natural beauty and adventure in our minds, don’t they? However, today we are witnessing the extinction of several forms of life at the Grand Canyon National Park; rapid warming of the world’s oldest and deepest lake – Baikal; retreating glaciers and melting permafrost across the Himalayan range; and the seemingly inevitable death of the Amazon rainforest.
Foolhardy and thoughtless human behaviour, more so in the 20th century, assumed that Mother Nature would repair itself, and even if that failed, there will be some of us who enough with plenty of time to re-construct it. Unfortunately, we have now run out of time. Greenland’s main airport is set to close for civilian flights within the next five years due to the melting of permafrost, which is cracking its runways. Closer home, we see schools forced to declare week-long holidays on account of the degrading air quality in New Delhi. These are the recent events showcasing the depth, extent and certainty of the effect of climate change in our everyday lives.
As we collectively recognise the need for urgent action to seize the pace of environmental degradation, it’s time to discover and examine some of the several age-old traditions and concepts from around the world that we do apply in our daily lives at an individual and household level even today and their positive impact on the health of our environment.
From Japan: Mottainai
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