Ocean, plastics and our ignorance!
BY NASIR AHMAD DAR
Earth may not appear as blue by 2100: MIT study
Owing to climate change surface of the oceans will change color by end of 21st century leading our blue planet to look visibly altered, reveals a new study from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).
The earth is being polluted fiercely and it is just getting worse every day. The oceans are being filled by the plastic and other wastes. The sea creatures are dying and so is the ocean vegetation. This is happening at a very fast rate and it is clear that there is no looking back. The world powers seem to be busy in fighting each other and in producing more and more wastes. Although there are innumerable NGOs and organizations working for the cause but they are not enough. This is because their work always gets hindered for political or geo-political reasons.
We are 81 years away from 2100 and the way each of oceans and air is being polluted it can be said that earth may stop looking blue much before the estimated studies. The countries seem to be ignoring one of the biggest and the most evident threat that is lurking ahead of us and is going to shake the entire earth. Man has started a quest to explore extra terrestrial bodies but ignores his home- The Mother Earth.
It is high time that we all ignore the political and regional differences and we start working towards the damage control. The first step we can take is to avoid dumping plastic in the oceans. Australia is one of the few countries which have started to work for it. They have set up nets at the ends of the dumping pipes and now some of the plastic is avoided from getting into the ocean. This method can help us reduce plastic pollution but it won’t be enough at all. Because the rate at which the oceans are being polluted is too much and far more worse than we think it is.
Oceans are very deep and vast and when we begin to dump plastic in them we consider the plastic to be negligible in comparison to the enormity of the oceans. But the reality is that every day we dump so much of the plastic that the consequences are pretty much evident to us. That is why, probably, they carried the studies at the first place.
The ocean pollution is not helping us any ways; in fact, if it is doing something it is just increasing our concerns. Not only does the color of the oceans look altered but the living creatures of oceans are dying by consuming plastic. Some even get caught in the plastic ring at suffocate to death. There are other countries also who have switched to organic farming and organic culture in order to reduce plastic emissions to the sea. They are going a great job. But the problem is that these countries are very small. Just like Scandinavian countries these places may be doing a great job but if we compare it to the major problem that we facing at the global level their efforts look negligible. However we must appreciate the efforts these countries are putting forward to reduce the betterment of their oceans. They have certainly paved a way for other countries to form a system where they can reduce plastic emissions.
Now it is up to the other countries to take the advice and reduce as much of plastic wastes as possible. How many times do we see whales and other marine creatures dying on the coasts because of the plastics? Why we do all keep ignoring this thing. Oceans are one of the most important sections of our mother nature and we seem to be ignoring them completely. Everybody talks about air and water pollution but the ocean pollution due to plastics is not as much hyped as it deserves to be.
Now the above mentioned study has also put a stamp on its importance. The beautiful coral reefs of Australia are dying and they are taking the very charm of Australia away. These are some of the last remaining coral reefs but even they are not being spared. USA is one of the countries with the most amount of plastic junk. In fact the amount of plastic junk of USA can be imagined by the fact that USA has a plastic Island. And hundreds of fishes, birds and other creatures die because of the plastics drowning in the water or flying in the air.
The time is now or never. We either act or we start looking for another earth which is elusive currently. We need to look for alternatives to plastic dumping or avoid plastic at all. Industries need to be more responsible. And the best work towards saving our planet can come from the biggest world powers like USA and other western nations. The peace and violence will continue and may not kill us all but any damage to our mother nature is going to completely destroy entire humanity and other living beings on the planet earth. Earth knows balance only and we need to provide it with that balance. It needs to be taken care of and only then can earth hold and nourish us.
Advancements in technology are fine but these advancements must never come at the cost of planet earth. Our oceans are polluted, our skies are toxic and our water is running out of the threshold quantity alarmingly. We better work or we will suffer forever. And this time sufferings will make us cry forever. In fact! We may not even be able to cry as we all would simply die and no one will be left to cry.
Earth needs nourishment and safety but it needs everything right now. 2100 may seem far but the time is running very fast and the more we stop caring the more it is going to be difficult for us to recover our beautiful planet. The rapid action needs to be taken to avoid our earth getting altered as much as it does today.
We need to work and start helping make this earth a better place to live. We all have powers to work for it. We can start by being responsible ourselves. We can start by avoiding non-biodegradable plastics in our everyday lives. The lesser plastics mean lesser polluted oceans. The problem of plastic pollution is worst in the USA and other coastal western countries like Great Britain.
We can switch to organic farming and avoid toxic and poisonous fertilizers and pesticides thereby saving living things of water and land. The earth is on a threshold level and it may burst anytime. So we must all act quickly and work for a better place to live. Start keeping your place and surroundings clean. Use dustbins and avoid plastic. Start recycling and start taking public transport. If we really want to save our mother nature then it is us the people who have to take the responsibility in our hands. The reduction in plastic consumption seems to be the best possible way where we can start as of now. The next step should be to avoid polluting the rivers and canals by dumping trash in them. This can be avoided by all the local governments also thus saving another large junk from going into the oceans.
Moreover, science needs to work faster and more enthusiastically towards finding replacements of plastic. The world powers need to keep their political, military or economical differences aside and come to one table. Moreover they need to act on the agreements signed on the occasion of different conventions. Mere signatures, sign boards, seminars, conferences, videos and social media posts are never going to help. These countries need to start working in literal meanings. They need to reduce carbon emissions, plastic and nuclear wastes.
The picture below depicts the junk that is revolving round the earth and any sane minded person can understand the amount of pollution that we have inflicted to this planet. This is the junk in air only, you can imagine the junk that lies beneath the ocean and the banks of our unending but currently dying oceans. This picture gives me chills and it can hurt anyone with love towards the humanity.
Earth was never unstable and that is why it lived so many billion years without a glitch. But sadly only centuries of industrial revolution has turned this blue planet into dark grey planet. If we don’t work we might end up losing the privilege of being the residents of beautiful and a blue planet. The mother earth is calling us. We give attention to lot of things but this is the time we give attention to our beautiful planet so that not only us but the future generations can live here peacefully and in sound health.
(The writer is a civil services aspirant and can be mailed at firstname.lastname@example.org)