NUMBERS

The ones i have lived with:
11 cities from paradise and hell
8 schools of learning and miseducation
12 houses lived in solitude surrounded by crowds
7 states that reinforced my belief in India
500+ classmates whose diversity taught me about people and most importantly, individuals.

The ones i let myself live with:
2 short stories - Can i write no more?
70% in 10th and B.Com - Could i do it different?
2nd list of SDM IMD - It did make a difference. Didn't it?
1 book by Orhan Pamuk - Is that criminal?
30 pages too less of my first novel - Will this be the difference between 'ordinary' and 'what can be'?

The ones i live for and allow me to live:
85% in 12th - Comfort, hard work or committment?
4 Best Manager Titles - A testament to me...
1st President of Mangalore Amateur Gavel Club - An effort not gone in vain
11 players in red - The one constant in my life
200+ pens, pencils and 1 keyboard - Given my wandering mind a place to live

a green promise

6 billion people sit back and watch the world die. We don’t sit quietly I agree. We make movies like the ‘Day After Tomorrow’ and 2012. We write books proving and even disproving global warming (Mr.Crichton, may your soul rest in peace). And then we have the ultimate show of faith, at Copenhagen.
A 100 countries came together in the beautiful capital of Denmark to mend a broken world and realign its objectives. The Kyoto Protocol only led to a rise in carbon emissions and global temperature and a loss of faith. But what happened in those years was the emergence of countries like India, Brazil, South Africa and the biggest of them all, China. The shift in power has been understated and China’s dominance underrated. The world has watched the quintessential super power, America, plague and plunder the world over the last decade only to rise from the ashes with the advent of what is, many believe, a new beginning with Nobel Peace laureate, Barack Obama at the helm of this ‘low on ideals’ and ‘high on political and moral blabber’ nation. With these ingredients in place, the world congregated in what was to be the greatest and most important summit of all time. At least that was the way it was built up and the way we perceived it. A few years ago the world met at Doha to finalise on a binding deal for world trade which fell flat on its face. But we can live without agreements on trade, but I’m sure a failed climate agreement will spell a lot more than a trade deficit. With the hope of the world and with thousands of activists claiming justice for our planet, our elected leaders sat in the jury room deciding the fate of the planet.
The papal elections happen behind closed doors in the Vatican and the doors remain closed until all the cardinals assembled elect a Pope for the world. The one minded dedication towards this process is unfaltering and has no option of another round of talks. This very protocol has helped millions of Christians around the world to believe in the sanctity of the process. A process very important for the faith and deliverance of these people. So then I wonder, maybe the leaders of our world, should have been put through the same process. There is obviously something right in the papal elections because it has never failed the world but Copenhagen not only failed but also brought to the fore some terrible realities that maybe the world is not ready to face yet.
REALITY 1
WE ALL LOVE BLAMING THE USA
For all the power it wields and for all the deeds it does, the US somehow is always the scapegoat for when things go wrong. Am I sounding a little patronizing towards whom many would like to believe are the ‘enemy of the world’? But the reality is that for all the reasons we blame the US, we just show our overriding ignorance and just how fickle we can be. As a developed nation, the US already has an uphill task of suddenly changing their extravagant ways and cutting emissions, but for all those doubting their resolve, time to be enlightened.
Barack Obama for all the criticisms he endures, is a man with a definite vision but not backed by the same commitment from his senate and his people. In his effort to pass legislation to cut down emissions in the US, he has torn the country into two halves. A majority of the youth, who in the future may have to suffer the consequences of decisions made now, are in favour of what Obama wants to bring to the table. A huge number of green activists in the US are the youth and are backed by Obama who feels that only they can take the message of immediate action to the people. On the other hand, this tough legislation which in turn charges an individual or corporation for polluting can send the American economy into a spiral because it will at its very root increase the prices of basic amenities like electricity which is produced using coal and with an increase in the price of electricity there will be a causal effect on the prices of everything produced in the free market. Therefore even though Obama’s ideas are radical, they will change the face of the US economy forever.
But for this legislation to go through, the senate must approve of it and with all the Republicans against any such move, the Obama administration is left with a political battle of galactic proportions added with the small task of convincing certain Democrats who will be letting down thousands of coal workers in their states if they approve of such a policy.
There is light at the end of the tunnel though. While the country remains divided, in Texas which is the greatest contributor to America’s oil reserves, a paradigm shift in its energy production is being observed. Wind energy is the new mantra and with the profits its bringing in, saving the environment has become profitable. One of the very few success stories but one which can inspire a nation to move ahead and be the leader they at least claim to be.
REALITY 2
CHINA: NO MORE CROUCHING OR HIDING
At Copenhagen it wasn’t the US or Europe that took charge but it was China that bullied their way through and took the mantle of being the leader of ‘the needy’, which includes all developing nations including India. For all China’s endeavours to moving towards greener solutions for its energy requirements, they still heavily depend on cheap coal to make ends meet. China has blazed a path which they will find very difficult to turn back on so they decided to take a little shortcut, piggyback on US shoulders. China used the media and the non committal stance of the US to great advantage, when they turned the summit into a joke by not accepting any of the regulations and made the US looks like the ‘bad boys’. In a closed room meeting of all the top leaders of the world, while every head of state was present, China decided to send a representative who for every idea proposed by the gathering had to call his boss to get an opinion. While Obama, Angela Merkel, Gordon Brown and other leaders fretted and fumed, China flexed its ugly power in what ended up becoming a fa├žade and absolute disgrace to the spirit of the summit. Unfortunately, India joined China in this embarrassing display of impertinence and even though a few face saving promises were made in the end, the entire purpose of a joint effort was lost in the show of strength of the new leaders of the world.
REALITY 3
WE THE PEOPLE : WE CARE A DAMN!
Amongst all the chaos and lack of maturity shown by our leaders, we stood by and watched, not with bated breath but with the least possible concern for anything that happened in Copenhagen. We have seen more excitement and tension for the football World Cup than we have for this world saving conference. Were any of us even concerned of what may come out of the conference? Or had we given up on our leaders?
If we had given up on our leaders, then do we have a solution? Or are we atleast ready to be a part of the solution?
Maybe all of us are not capable of parting oceans but we surely can wet our feet for the planet we live in. Let’s not wait for any signs to begin work on saving ourselves. Let’s not wait till a low lying nation like Maldives gets submerged or wait for drastic weather changes. Let’s promote the spirit of going green. The government is planning to reduce duties on electric cars, let’s buy them as our ‘city car’. Ask your architect to build you an energy efficient house. Go to
www.carbonfootprint.com and see how you can reduce your carbon footprint. Take less print outs. Put off the lights. Make a difference to your world. Let us not just sit back and hope for a calling, just start your day a little different tomorrow.
Our planet will not be saved by our elected leaders, it will be saved by the decisions you make today. Let those decisions not be monumental, let them be simple and easy to implement and we will not need another Copenhagen or Kyoto. Just take the green promise today.