Benjamin Franklin once remarked, “When the well’s dry, we know the value of water.” Our wells are dried up but, unfortunately, we haven’t realized the magnitude of the impending peril yet. Pakistan—if it doesn’t mend its ways soon—will turn from a “water-stressed” to a “water-scarce” country in the year 2025. With our reservoirs already at capacity and our political leaders waging a tug-of-war over interprovincial water distribution, those who still have the luxury of a full water tank dare to daydream in front of a running tap. Seriously! If warnings about impending environmental disasters do not startle and frighten you, you have just climbed the Mount Everest of imprudence and insensitivity. Congratulations!
A single episode of nature’s retaliation spoils the blue moon moment of ecstasy—our ostentatious success stories regarding environmental protection and conservation often lose their luster with a mere thrash from the sky.
To what extent can we exaggerate the success of the 10 Billion Tree Tsunami drive to restore the fractured forests of Pakistan when we are incapacitated to prevent fires from engulfing the available forest cover? How tactful are we in dealing with a burgeoning population, unprecedented pollution levels, and biodiversity loss while dealing with our faltering economy and natural inevitabilities? How valiant enough are we to think of endangered species when our own extinction seems round the corner?
If anyone of you thinks that our “Allah Malik Hai” attitude would save us from the vagaries of climate change, they need a serious reality check. If your smart brains can’t see how bad Code Red for Humanity is, you can’t get out of your state of denial.
Sadly! Our job ends with catchy speeches and public awareness campaigns (where most of the partakers, if not all, come in their private cars to shout slogans promoting public transport); our fervor settles down as soon as the date turns to June 6-Environment Day Celebrations Over! We deem ourselves The Environmental Activists by updating our profile pictures with an inspiring quote and attending a walk where some participants most often don’t bother themselves to know the cause behind putting their vocal cords in trouble and hurting their legs.
Apology to the serious members of the rally! Our environmental negligence lifts us from the cauldron of social conflict and drops us into the inferno of political fracas, and this alternation of misery continues! The situation has worsened to the extent that proverbial little drops make an ocean hold no more here. The alarm bells are deafening, and the evidence is irrefutable. Earth may not wait for the rescuers to save her when they have a change of mind. Luckily, we still retain an option to make a mid-course correction to avert an absolute cataclysm, but values more than policies will make the bigger difference. So, how’s the morale?