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July 5, 2007 / Mridul

What Comes First: You Or The Planet

The question people are asking themselves more often than ever before. Everybody loves technology; our hunger for better, faster & gen-next devices never quenches. But as the issue of global warming and its impact on the lives of common people like us is being discussed with increasing concern, we find ourselves caught in a classic moral dilemma.

A few days back I was reading an article about ‘food miles’. It explained how the physical distance traveled by a food product from the farm to our plates contributes the carbon dioxide emissions. I thought what can we do about this, we can’t just stop eating food or move to the farmlands so that the food doesn’t have to ‘travel’ much to reach me.

In the past few months there have come up numerous websites which help you calculate your ‘carbon footprint’. Yahoo! too came up with its ‘Green’ site encouraging people to pledge some amount of carbon dioxide that they would try to save by using their appliances & vehicles more efficiently. But how many of us really follow that and what percentage of our ‘pledge’ do we actually succeed in achieving. Most people tend to calculate their carbon footprint as a fun thing or they treat it like a game. Very few of us seem really serious about it.

People tend to blame their governments or more commonly the developed countries. I don’t have the numbers but I’m pretty sure that the CO2 emissions due to our individual activities (buying big cars & our habits of leaving appliances running when we don’t need them, to name a few) easily outdo the industrial emissions.

Many of us wish & want to do our bit to minimize our individual carbon emissions but more often then not we find ourselves trapped between our desires for technology & comfort on one hand and our conscience which tells to fulfill our responsibilities towards our planet.


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