India has engaged millions of citizens in an effort to push their country toward a green future. Ring of Fire’s Josh Gay discusses in this video.
Transcript of above video:
With all of the uproar about President Trump backing out of the Paris Agreement and his appointees like Scott Pruitt essentially saying that science isn’t real – it is nice to see some good news on the climate change front.
On Sunday, over 66 million trees were planted in India in the span of just 12 hours. The previous record was 50 million trees planted in 24 hours last year… also in India.
Over 1.5 million people participated in Central India – adding to other events in the country that are making similar pushes to take tangible steps to improve the environment in India. Last month, another area of India planted 10 million trees – with yet another state pledging to plant 40 million more.
You see, as part of India’s initiative to be more environmentally friendly, the country pledged a the Paris Climate Change Conference to reforest 235 million acres of land by 2030. The government has put over $6 billion into the effort.
India is indeed one of the worst offenders of the environment. Nearly 80% of India’s urban waste ends up in the Ganges and 13 of the 20 most polluted cities in the world are in India, including Delhi, which is considered the most polluted in the world – air pollution is the number five cause of death in the country. And Because of rapid urban growth – “concretization” has become rampant in the county.
But, the country is at least acting on it. I know they aren’t perfect and India has a LONG way to go to clean up their act. Even as these trees are being planted, hundreds of millions of Indian citizens are living with terrible air quality.
However, understanding that pollution is a public health problem and taking steps to reduce it are key. Including the public in these actions is even more crucial. Those 1.5 million people that took their time to plant trees on Sunday are sure to at least take more personal responsibility for the environment. The children in those households will hopefully grow up to be the leaders in India that continue to push for more green initiatives.
We have all done a lot of damage. The United States under Trump will certainly do more than our fair share of harm to the environment. However, it is nice to know that people are taking action. Even the worst offenders can be pushed to do the right thing. If India can turn things around, so can we.