11th Hour Environmentalists

Nothing was posted on Earth Day by Greenmoksha, Why? Because we consider Earth Hour, Earth Day, World Water Day, Environment Day and others as partying and social networking events for 11th hour environmentalists which would feature on the page three of any environmental newspaper.

Our country is full of such 11th hour environmentalists who wake up only for an hour before a climatic disaster, which is beyond stopping.

Maharashtra drought is not few days old. It caught up slowly in several years. There was always a possibility of transferring water as some states have excess and get flooded but why this tanker train now. It could have been done before to avoid this irreparable damage. We too are going in that direction. Crossed Cauvery a week before and people were walking on its dry riverbed. There was very little water in small patches.

Why only a few days before world event would a well-known NGO and its head jump up to protect environment, which could have been looked into several months before that. Funny part is now they are not heard anymore.

A renowned conservationist getting bitten by a leopard in order not to harm the animal but no one protested  in last 10 years when the real estate mafia was destroying the animal’s habitat.  Having stayed in that area I have personally seen the change from living forest to a concrete jungle. Though we all know that living beings don’t survive long without their habitat then what’s the use of trying to save the leopard.

Recent IPL water wastage petition was filed few days before the event when tickets had been sold and contract workers engaged with lots of employment and other resources at stake. IPL being a yearly event there was enough time to file the petition well in advance.

Now when the forest fires are raging in Uttarakhand people are talking about poaching and timber smuggling knowing for decades the demand for certain wild animals for their skin and other body parts. So far no petition.

In Bangalore no one bothered to segregate waste till there were no more landfills. Then NGO’s jump in with their home composters or banning only plastic bags. Blaming poor plastic bags rather than its careless disposal. The bad effect of banning plastic bags is that now brown paper bags are being used which will force more trees to be cut. Proper segregation and recycling from the beginning would have been a better way than these bans.

There is a petition going on Change.org regarding damage to lakes which have been restored in Bengaluru. No NGO came forward when the first construction debris were thrown in the lake. This being a very common practice of land grabbers. Infact a very stupid act on the part of civic bodies destroyed one of the baby lakes of Bengaluru- Ibblur Lake. For construction of a flyover all nearby untreated sewage was diverted to lake which killed marine life making it look like a grassland now waiting for the land grabbers. It was a beautiful lake with a park and jogging track. I have also seen migratory birds in it. Here is a recent snap of it. Try to find  the lake in it.

ibblur lake

National Green Tribunal approved the construction after the developer modified the project plan by reducing the extent of construction. This is what happens when we have 11th hour environmentalism. Compromise is the penalty of waking up late. Where were green activists when the construction started.

The definition of environmentalism is changed completely now from “Prevention is Better Than Cure” to “Misuse First and Take Care Later”. High drama involved in taking care later is what keeps us interested rather than the long process of prevention.

Traditionally we have never been futuristic as seen in our lifestyle as well as social structure. We believe in infinity in all aspects of life very selfishly but the most unfortunate thing is we don’t like or appreciate when someone uses his/her foresight. These people are almost neglected in media and people hardly know about their work. There have been people who tried to curb population growth or reclaimed desert by growing a forest single handed. People are getting beaten up by religious fanatics when they try to stop non-green practices. There are people who have given up their entire life to prevent cutting of forests or destroying ecosystems in the name of development.

Very few of us know that the name “Tree-Hugger” originated from the act of certain people of India, though we love to read environment related articles from “Tree-Hugger”.

Environmentalism is not an offspring of a special culture but vice versa. Ways of consuming and conservation evolves. It’s time we recognize our mistakes and lead an environmental friendly life whole year rather than on these few marked days.



A physicist turned green living advocate.

5 thoughts on “11th Hour Environmentalists

  • 3 May, 2016 at 6:49 pm

    One feels sad really! The once beautiful Bangalore all gone!

    • 3 May, 2016 at 7:24 pm

      11 years I am in Blore and have seen the damage done

    • 4 May, 2016 at 1:40 pm

      Thanks Rakhi, This is for people who are in position to make changes. Not everyone can lead but everyone can follow.
      I would like leaders to wakeup in time so that there is time for proper legal action and not a compromise.
      We miss you here Rakhi. Do share your views sometime.


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