“Creatures are not for the planet but a planet is for the creatures” is a famous saying and full of meaning. We have only one home and if our home is destroyed, we will be homeless. Mankind will go on living but the earth wouldn’t, at this present rate. We as such may not live to see the end of the Earth but our future generations certainly will, if proper care and precautions are not taken. We do see a ray of hope in this regard as we can see a shifting change in our attitude and approach. The world is changing from a mechanistic view to a holistic and an ecological view. Such a change is necessary and we have to uphold this trend to the maximum possible extent. Only a shift in human perceptions can save the world. The growing consciousness in this regard is more in the right direction.
The earth is therefore an enormous organism of which, we are all parts. The decline in the earth’s health is also a decline in the health in various parts. However, the concept of sustainable development was popularized in 1987 by the World Commission on Environment and Development. It decided to meet our present needs without sporting the needs of the future. That is the reason why the Zoo in Lusaka considered ‘man’ as the most dangerous animal. Hence, wisdom lies not in domination but in partnership. The Brandt Commission was set up to view ecological and environmental matters. Nature forms the foundation of the global economic system and also provides raw materials for our industries. It is therefore, necessary to protect nature to the maximum extent.
Deforestation has been a major factor contributing to Earth’s decline. The only result has been the increase in flood occurrence and climate change. The soil, too, loses its natural fertilizer in this way. The other factor aggravating deforestation is over-population. If birth and population are not controlled, it would only lead to more deforestation to meet the demands of firewood and settlement areas. Education, therefore, becomes not only necessary but mandatory. Spreading of awareness, removal of ignorance and self-consciousness can promote the idea of better survival. Lesser population would also lead to lesser poverty. In other words, we are to entrust more responsibility on ourselves. Industries too, have a major role to play. They are to control their sewage disposal and pollution levels as industries form the major factor in the pollution of air and water.
All these are, however, easier said than done. Mankind has its own limitation. But the survival of our planet is more important than our own survival. Without earth, mankind too would cease to exist. That is why the chief Environmental Officer of Du Pont, S. Woolard said, “Our continued existence as a leading manufacturer requires that we excel in environmental performance.” We are to grasp the fact that we have no free hold on earth. We are all temporary members and we are to ensure that Earth remains fit enough for the future generations. We can’t be selfish to spoil and reshape. Just as we have inherited it from our ancestors, our children too have a right to inherit from us. We can’t disappoint our children, can we?