“This may be New Zealand’s darkest day,” said NZ PM John Key, after the powerful earthquake that ripped through Christchurch yesterday killing 65 people.
The opening decade of the 21st century was nothing short of being tumultuous – the cute named hurricanes lashing US shores, terrible rains flooding Mumbai,UK, and Australia, deadliest of all tsunamis hitting S.E Asia, devastating quakes in Haiti and Chile, this ripping quake in NZ,
Can we see the pattern? Now, can we listen to the message? How can we be so naive? It can happen – anytime to anyone.
At times like these, debate often goes out about the existence of God and as to why does he do this to poor people. That argument has well been laid to rest for most part as even the rich countries have been subjected to the wrath of God – so does it mean the end, the judgment day is nearing as claimed by the scriptures of the world? I don’t know. Probably not, but who are we to predict.
But I do know that by looking at the bloody pictures streaming into my computer, that when disasters strike – Haiti and Christchurch bear the same look! We call such events as ‘natural disasters’ – Is linking such catastrophes, to climate change, a valid premise? I even don’t have the answer to that. Debate is on, but if it helps spur governments, businesses and people to do something about it soon, then I’d like to think it so!
Neither do we want to turn to religion with its own set of beliefs nor do we want to look at what science offers, when both seem to be pointing towards the same end. Today we are fighting for land. Tomorrow we’ll have none. We’ve burnt enough fuel to put the entire world on a ticker. Let’s not pretend.
When we dig and suck the oil, when we go for our precious minerals deep into the quarries and mines; shake the very foundations of the plates below to fuel our rapacious consumption needs, our dear mother as we like to call her, hardly cribs.
When we go for the whales and the blue fins and all kinds of sea food, when we dive into the abyss, try to “possess” the ocean, call it yours and mine, demarcate the boundaries, and do horrifying mistakes spilling thousands of tones of oil and dumping loads of nuclear waste annihilating a wealth of flora-fauna, oceans hardly cribbed! And when it comes out every now and then to see what is happening above, or when our mother’s belly opens up a bit, to see how we humans are doing, we get scared! We get reminded us of our mere puny existence that seems to be screaming in our God forsaken logic, “Don’t mess with me!” Our love-hate relationship with our earth will come to an end if we don’t lower the earth’s thermostat soon enough.
And so we start talking of global warming and climate change and give fancy names to it – COP 15 and Cool Earth 50. Terms like Go Green, Organic, Eco suddenly look cool. Let’s hope it’s not just a passing fad or just another money spinner. Businesses are doing their ‘salvage act’ – as the cliché goes – something is better than nothing – but the question is – Is it fast enough? Do we have the time? Would we cross this century in one piece?
Some big players have openly flayed protocols while some wanna-be’s are being dragged into summits in Hokaido and Rio without even being a part of the big group. But let’s just get over with it. We’re in it together – it’s a collective problem and we got to stop the fingering and the blame game.
We are not fighting against a human enemy, but the forces of nature, which we have been ruthlessly plundering and pillaging all the while and just within the last 100 years of filling our tanks, the rumblings are being heard like a giant beast instigated to fight. But let’s understand that it’s not a fight at all…at least for our sake. For the first time, each one of us has the opportunity to make a difference to our planet. Low carbon emission figures look good on the paper, but how ingeniously I use my old newspaper is what matters to me. Bio-fuels are fine, but why can’t I cycle or walk if I can. Abundance is one thing, prudence is another.
We can’t reverse the damage or undo the natural outcomes of the earth, nor will our moral intentions and actions not bring further havocs but we can take a moment to pray to the guy up there or wherever you may wish for her or him to be to pay homage to those who gave up their lives and give courage to all those innocent fellow beings, friends and extended families who have been traumatized by this intense quake in New Zealand. It indeed is the darkest day in Christchurch. We don’t want any darker.