It bothers me…the callous attitude towards the environment. I was watching a show on the National Geographic Channel today. It was about how human beings are changing the environment drastically because of their intervention. For instance, at the Yellowstone National Park in the US, a hydrologist noticed that the river that runs through the park is eroding more and more of its bank. The bank earlier had a row of aspens and willows which prevented the erosion. This was a protected area so it could not be human beings cutting down trees. Also, the trees outside the park were quite unaffected, so it could not be climate change. Eventually, two biologists found out that new aspens and willows had stopped growing after the 1930s. They connected this with the killing of the last wolf in Yellowstone in that same decade. How? Well, the extinction of wolves in the park meant that there was nothing to check the population of the herbivores. These herbivores could then graze on the newly growing aspens and willows, thus effectively preventing them from growing into fulfledged trees.
Why is this important? It is important because, we’re just part of the environment, we’re not above it. Seriously..think about it. If all the predators in India were killed off, their prey would grow unchecked. They will then overgraze and prevent plants from growing. No plants means no roots to hold the soil in place. Come rain, precious top soil will be washed off. That means loss of fertility in the earth. We won’t be able to grow enough food for our ever-growing population. This can only mean disaster.
Another scenario…no trees, no rains. This is because trees attract rainclouds. It has been proven that much of what is the Sahara Desert today, was lush jungles. It’s worth thinking about, isn’t it?
I fail to understand why people don’t see this. Lets talk about the Sardar Sarovar Dam for a bit. The dam drowns not just villages, but also forested area, of which there is precious little in this country. It also drowns wildlife. Have any plans been made to rescue this wildlife? I watched a show about a dam in Venezuela which flooded a forest. A team of scientists and volunteers went in there and rescued animals that were stranded on the trees. It left me wondering….would it even occur to us in India to do that?
Sure, we worship the cow. But there stops our piety. We see the world as revolving around humans. Nothing else matters.