Saturday, February 18, 2012

Change in mindset- Effects of Awareness of Global Warming/Climate Change

When I started writing this blog back in 2009 and I started my individual campaign to make people aware of effects of global warming and ideas of Green Living even few years before 2009 I always found people in large number who didn't believe in all this.

During my engineering graduation, when I decided to prepare an academic seminar for my final year based on energy efficiency and conservation, my professors discouraged me not to select this topic as it lacks practicality and is not a business case! When on my trip home few years back I meet one of same professors and told now I am working in the field of sustainable development/green buildings, all he said was, it's just a fad, don't spoil your career!

In social discussions many people used to react not in favor of sustainability or even used to make their point saying ' since thousand years climate on the Earth is changing and why to make big fuss now'. Though I used to try my best to convince them that natural change in climate because the Earth was cooling down was different and now the climate is changing because of man-made reasons like industrialization, pollution and undesirable loads on natural resources.

Some people used to be so sure about hype of Global warming and climate change that they used to make fun of it and kept themselves completely shut off from the pros and cons

Even in recent years while changing the work flow and delivery methods in my organizations to achieve compliance for construction of Green buildings, most of my colleagues were not in favor of my work, no suprise. These people's favorite quote about Green Buildings/ sustainability was always "It's a money making business".

But in recent past many environmental disasters happened; to name few...Unusual Rains in Mumbai, India; Repeated and disastrous cyclones and hurricanes in USA; Record high Cold Wave in Europe; Frequent and destructive Floods in Australia; Tsunami in East Asia; Drought in China; Wild fires Mexico and Australia and Nonstop news of melting polar ice caps, increase in sea levels, change in weather patterns all over the world.

Also some big events happened in field of environmental awareness or to curb effect of climate change to name few; UNFCC's Kyoto protocol; Nobel prize to UN and Al Gore; UN Climate petition between countries at Copenhagen, Durban; Discussion of carbon tax

Some great movies like Wall-e and (not so great movies like 2012); documentaries like An inconvenient Truth, The story of stuff and such made people think about the issue while entertaining them.

Theses repeated environmental events; bombardment of effect of climate change/Global warming through media (TV channels/ Newspapers/ Internet) and increased Political interest in this topic made people realized that Global warming and Climate change is happening and not just a fad/hype or new trend to misguide the world'.
Now out of above list there is big question that Political interest in this issue is making difference on world politics or environment? And media or entertainment businesses always look for where is higher demand else they won't produce shows or news just for good cause and loose money. But overall effect of all this is good on environmental awareness somehow.

The best examples I have seen are some people changing their minds about Global warming when their children started learning this in schools and their schools asked them to participate in environmental projects.

I would say, it is always better to target that future generation (children) to spread the awareness and teach Green living so that those notorious adults, who have not yet convinced will start realizing at least out of shame.

From what I get to see in multicultural and multinational social sphere in UAE and visits to some other places, I could say I see change!

There is definitely a wide acceptance of adverse effect of Global warming/Climate change in people now than back in 2000's. So much is the change that the people who were strong critics of these real time issues have become now ambassadors of awareness of effect of Global warming and climate change. They now understood how every action of each individual can affect this most important issue of our time.

All in all I could conclude when people are getting aware of issue, it is the first step. The next will be they will start doing their bit to save our mother Earth for our future generations. So it is still a long way to reach that goal of Sustainable Planet!

And if a new reader will think okay you talked a lot about the first step "awareness", but what about next steps which are more important. Then don't think why governments not doing anything about it or what people will say if I save water/petrol by going extra mile. Just browse through this blog or internet, one can find numerous life style changes, which we all can do to curb climate change. Or go back to roots, culture, traditions to find eco-friendly tips. Green living is nothing but a natural way of human being to live, cutting extras and using necessary resources in efficient ways!

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