Many of us have started counting our carbs, our carbohydrate intake. But what about our carbon?>Wizened old men in villages talk of the mummaari- three spells of rains in one year they used to have and the one spell of rain they get once in three years these days. While teaching about seasons, Maryanne, a Dutch instructor revealed that air-conditioned cars are being introduced in The Netherlands, since it is becoming warmer there. And we know what the reason is.
Though climate change and global warming seem to be the most-used phrases, it is not a phenomenon that has descended on us overnight. Its just that the world has woken up to the realities suddenly.Carbon dioxide is the main culprit responsible for global warming. And do you know how much carbon dioxide we produce every year? 25 billion tonnes!Carbon dioxide was originally a benefactor, rather than the culprit we have made it to be. Without the heat-trapping effect of greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide and methane, our earth would be unbearably cold. But our actions, starting with the industrial revolution has increased the quantity of carbon dioxide so much that the amount of heat trapped has resulted in increase in temperatures and global warming.
According to scientists and environmentalists, climate change is the greatest problem facing humanity. Instead of feeling threatened and helpless, if each of us took a conscious decision to cut down on our carbon emissions, we can reverse the situation.Right from the food we eat to our mode of transport, our actions add to the carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gas emissions. This is the carbon footprint that each of us leaves behind.
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow in his poem A Psalm of Life talks of leaving our footprints on the sands of time, seeing which, a forlorn and shipwrecked brother shall take heart. But leaving carbon footprints will only mean snatching the earth from our future generations. It makes a difference if each of us makes an effort to be environment-friendly. In addition to counting our carbs, let us count our carbons as well.Forthcoming articles in this series would suggest ways in which we can make a difference.