We pass a cheery tribe of monkeys in a jubilant mood, someone has given them bananas. Whats the impact on them, and on squirrels, peacocks, birds, residents of the trees and lawns, or on the micro fauna and flora, the soil itself, as the buildings are destroyed and trees torn down? All structures and bonds will be destroyed, demolished, and concretised. What was a centrally-located, comfortable colony for lower and middle-grade government employees, will be “developed” into multi-storey, modern, fancy apartments serving upper-grade government classes.
Cement wins, trees lose. Apart from depleting water reserves, the cement industry is also responsible for being one of the foremost producers of CO2 worldwide and a major cause of climate change. Trees, on the other hand, can save us from climate change. Again, development wins – our twisted idea of development, which is not sustainable, and which has created this crisis of climate change, in the first place.
The basic 101 version of climate change is that all our CO2 and emissions are raising the temperature of the planet, which is already causing extreme climate events and will make the planet unlivable by the end of this century. All people lose, animals lose, insects are dwindling, rapid species extinction is underway worldwide. The UN climate report has warned the world – if we immediately reduce our emissions, and keep the temperature rise to less than 1.5 degrees, in the next 12 years, we may have a chance to survive. Stop cutting trees, stop using fossil fuels, stop concretizing the world. Now!
And the powers-that-be are still debating transplantation (does not work), compensatory afforestation (does not work). 4 lakh trees slashed for an all weather highway, 50,000 trees for the metro, 17,000 hectares of Chattisgarh forest opened for mining, 800 football fields of dense forest cleared for Adani coal mining, Aarey forest in trouble, bullet trains through mangroves, ports with no environmental clearances, roads through Aravali forests, roads and trains through national parks, tigers killed for cement plants, elephant corridors blocked for tourism, Sohna road widening, Dwarka road widening, PLPA amendment, tree cutting permissions available for any residents in Delhi for a pittance. Its endless.