Cleaning the air artificially

Dec 28, 2022

Mistaken measures and follies of counter measures

Spending money is central to all our actions. What we spend becomes a waste if the value of its results renders us undesirable results.

Kerala, a land blessed with the beauty of nature, is known as “God’s own country.” It is a place people visit to feel close to nature and breathe fresh air far away from city life. The state has relatively fewer polluting industrial complexes. Still, it faces a lot of problems such as global warming and air pollution. To meet the challenges by reducing greenhouse gas emissions the State government estimated a requirement of Rs 57,000 crore. That will provide clean air to suffice the dream of having unpolluted air to breathe.

Today, for cleaning the air, we require an artificial air filtration system. Besides this, instead of vehicles running on fossil fuels, we need electric vehicles (EVs) and private and mass transit. The government expects to meet the target by 2030. The cost would be roughly between Rs 57,000 crore and Rs 60,000 crore. It is too big a cost for a government to have in hand a debt that is already not serviceable. The cost is almost the size of the state’s annual budget.

One who reads it will empathize with the State’s financial planners who are aware that the State treasury often closes because of fund shortages. Every government advocates modernization and new project initiatives for the better life of people. Of course, there are comprehensive development plans which cannot be put off. At the same time, what the government means by “growth of the country” is unclear. By the term “growth of the country” the government may mean better roads, a complete transformation of our living environment, etc. From the modern-day perspective, these are more crucial for comfortable human life.

But, are we living a good life? Can we ever breathe good air or eat healthy food and drink clean water? Are we getting a good life while destroying all the important factors in life? Aren’t these necessary for a happy life?

As we all know, we pollute the air. We are the only ones who have done this. We are aware of our mistakes. The only factor contributing to the rise in air pollution is the expansion of roads, and highways, the production of more automobiles, and chemical factories which cater to the needs of roads and automobiles, besides other products essential for the modern lifestyle.

Even if we are aware that every human and other life will perish with this action, we do not stop our activities. We set up more manufacturing places to cater to rising demands. The factories produce more vehicles as we buy more. On the other side, we contemplate new measures to control pollution and estimate the cost of the measures. As a measure, we set up more solar plants and explore other renewable sources of energy. But how well are these measures benefiting us in the long run? Today we believe that this may be one of the solutions for creating a better environment. Tomorrow, if we find these measures are likely to adversely impact human health, we will change our course. The cycle will continue to turn.

Money spent today may not make our life sustainably comfortable. Tomorrow there will be something else to show our prodigality. Problems never end because we never stop doing what is harmful to our nature. We will continue to take new measures and spend money to fix our deeds of poisoning the air. Only humans have the expertise to commit mistakes to correct the same the next moment.

Our pollution is self-created. We are not sure if the measures we take and the money we spend on correction will give us desirable results. Until we are conscious of the folly of our actions and voluntarily take a corrective course, we will repeat the recklessness of planning, re-planning, spending and wasting money and time. Perhaps, we may repeat this mistake more frequently in future. The next generation can inherit only the folly of our actions and the disaster we leave behind.