22 Apr This World Earth Day, let us heal the planet
When Greta Thunberg, the Swedish environmental activist sailed to North America rather than flying to reduce her carbon footprint, she and her speech at the 2019 UN Climate Action summit made headlines worldwide. Greta brought to fore the much-ignored climate crisis.
Cut to a year later – one fine day, the world woke up to a deadly contagion – COVID19.
People have gone on to say that this is Earth’s way of healing itself. And while it may seem surreal, today on World Earth Day, we cannot overlook the fact that COVID comes at a time when all anyone could talk about was the climate emergency. It really does make one wonder, does it not?
World Earth Day is globally celebrated annually on April 22 to showcase support for environmental protection. The concept was first celebrated in 1970, and today is celebrated as a global event coordinated in more than 193 countries. This year however, due to the entire world being under lockdown, World Earth Day will be for the very first time, celebrated digitally – through a live stream.
The silver lining
The spread of the contagion has completely shut down human activity for over a month now. As a result, we have witnessed lower pollution levels, clearer skies, and animals living and roaming freely on the streets. There have been sightings of peacocks dancing on Mumbai roads (it isn’t even monsoon yet!), dolphins returning to the coastline, and marine life returning to Venice’s now crystal-clear canals.
All these incidents are proof-of-pudding that the earth has enough for everybody’s need, but not for everybody’s greed. The Earth is trying to teach us a lesson.
And learn we will!
Once we are out of the throes of this deadly pandemic, there is hope that people will stop taking the earth and its denizens for granted; that we will treat each other and the environment with more respect; that we will give before we take, and rectify our past mistakes.
This Earth Day, let us be the change we wish to see in the world. Let us help the earth heal so that once we all step out, the rains will fall a little harder, the sun will shine a little brighter, the autumn will bring the fiery reds and the yellows, and the winter air will be a little nippier!