Earth Day- A Significant yet Trivialized Festival
Why are festivals bracketed with some sort of a culture or religion? A festival is a day of celebration ergo, Earth day should also be celebrated with an equal amount of ardour as any other festival for, it is a global festival that is not associated with a culture or a religion. Human beings today are distinguished on the basis of caste, creed, race, sex, religion, culture or community. On the other hand, countries are distinguished from one another on the basis of power. There is so much difference amongst individuals and amongst the countries that at times it becomes hard to think of a thread that could bind all of us together. But there is this one thread due to which human beings and countries exist today, and that is our planet Earth.
Apart from global diversity, individual nations further have its own diversity, the biggest example being India- that is a regionally diverse country. Indians witness variety of festivals and all these festivals are celebrated beautifully perhaps because everyone is upbrought to appreciate their respective religion or culture but not many people celebrate, or even appreciate for that matter, one day that is given to our mother earth. April 22 (Earth Day) is the date that is assigned for our planet earth as it is the very same date when, for the first time ever, an environmental movement was carried out by 20 million Americans i.e. around 10% of a total population of USA at that time- in 1970. It was an initiative to escalate awareness about the environment around the world but with time, instead of escalating, it has only diminished. It is due to this lack of consideration that global warming has intensified thus leaving a catastrophic effect on the earth.
One of the biggest challenges of our times is climate change as it has already started showing its ramifications. Sea-levels are rising, glaciers are melting at a striking rate, wildfires are occurring more frequently, temperatures are rising and patterns of rainfalls are shifting. Today, our community is advancing towards one of the biggest threats, that is climate change and it is vexing to see how the major chunk of our community is unperturbed by it. Along with a lack of awareness, lack of seriousness is another major factor why this issue has become this worse. However, it is never too late to mend a mistake so it is my belief that even if we start today, we might be able to gradually lessen the appalling effect of global warming. It is the need of an hour for all the countries to unite and counter this near catastrophe that is powerful enough to wipe off the entire mankind from this planet. In the international arena, we talk about peacebuilding amongst the nations for security, similarly, in a pragmatic arena- it is about time that we start paying attention to climate change as it is the sword of Damocles that is hanging over our heads. Recognising earth day as the global festival and celebrating it collectively in a way that proves to be an asset for our environment could, in my opinion, be a baby-step ahead in the direction of our fight against climate change. On this day, people from around the world must be enlightened and reminded of the importance of a healthy environment so that they could, on their personal level, contribute however they can and help us combat this fight against climate change. People are well aware of the value of life; therefore, it would not be difficult to make them realise the importance of a healthy environment. Celebrating Earth Day, with the same dedication as any other festival, will make them cautious of everything they do in their day to day lives. For example- there is a massive amount of pollution in north-India during Diwali. So, once people are aware of the adverse effects of pollution- for not just our planet but also the health of living being- and importance of saving the planet for their survival, they will make sure they don’t turn their surroundings into a gas chamber and not celebrate a festival at the cost of their lives as they are the very same people who also celebrate earth day and recognise the importance of a healthy environment.
Coming together as one community and combatting this common threat could also be a step forward in the direction of peacebuilding. Greater peace in the world would ensure a healthy environment, not just in terms of ecology but also humanity. In my opinion, having a festival that does not cause any kind of discrimination in the world is a huge initiative towards maintaining peace and it might prove to be an awaited nudge towards having a peaceful community along with the healthy environment.
“The History of Earth Day.” n.d. Earth Day. Accessed April 11, 2020. https://www.earthday.org/history/.
“Climate Change Is One of the Biggest Challenges of Our Times.” n.d. Storytelling. European Environment Agency. Accessed April 11, 2020. https://www.eea.europa.eu/themes/climate/climate-change-is-one-of.