While the Global Warming debate (is it or isn’t it warming up?) rages on in the world, Pathways, Aravali, has decided to take no chances… just in case.
Although the theory of global warming was “invented” not very long ago, and we are still in the process of figuring out which side to believe on this issue, most of our teaching faculty grew up on the works of environmentalists like Gerald Durrell. Some of us were studying the general decapitation of the earth’s forest cover and dealing with high levels of pollution in cities when Gro Harlem Brundtland chaired the World Commission on Environment and Development (1983) which popularized that marvellous phrase “Sustainable Development“. Suddenly, it was as if the lines separating nations had disappeared off the map of the world – and there was growing realization that we had a “common future” and our “common wealth” needed joint and concentrated thought and action to preserve the planet.
The Mockery Bird, by Gerald Durrell, (published in 1981) a delightful work of fiction, helped us to understand the very delicate eco-balance that exists between a bird, a tree, a moth and a human community on a little island called Zenkali. Having learnt such lessons early in life and grown up trying to do everything in one’s power to help preserve the environment, the world debate about Global Warming causes much concern – are we in danger of throwing the baby out with the bathwater, if the side opposing the theory wins out? If the idea is indeed a myth as many claim, or indeed if it is not being caused by CO2 emissions as highlighted by others, should we return to our earlier exploitative and potentially disastrous lifestyles and completely forget the wisdom of sustainable development?
Treading thus through this minefield of claims and counter-claims, it was heartening during the Middle School Science Fair to see a project called “My Eco-Friendly City” created by a student of Grade 6. Pancham Yadav, one of our editors, had built this model using scrap materials, putting the school’s philosophy of recycling into active practice. What makes the project exceptional is how well it is planned, including little details like how traffic moving along a road would set windmills rotating, which in turn would generate electricity that could be used for lighting purposes…
It is humbling to interact with students like Pancham. The vision, the drive and ambition to ensure that the planet and indeed the human race does not implode, infuses our daily lives with hope for the present and the future.
Making of “My Eco Friendly City“