I stepped into my home garden to admire the flowers that were in full bloom. Sad to say they lacked the fragrance. They reminded me that I didn’t see the bees and butterflies for some time as earlier… what was the cause? Could it be the chemical fertilizers that I used?
Modern technology has reached its peak bestowing manifold gifts to humans. At the same time, a tragic drama unfolds, exposing the detrimental effects on the environment and on the entire human race,mainly because people have abused technology for their selfish gains. Since ecology and the environment are closely connected, ‘integral ecology’ has to be studied by responsible people. Discussions, dialogues, educating people and change of life styles are necessary for this imperative task.
Our soil, water, air and food are highly polluted.There is a challenge and a threat to the healthy survival of humanity.
For centuries Sri Lanka was blessed with a rich fertile soil for our agriculture. Since 1980, we have started using ‘agro chemicals’ for cultivation promoted by ‘Transnational Chemical Companies’ – TNCs. They duped the 3rd world countries saying that they can yield bigger harvest. True it produced attractive huge fruits and vegetables. They also supplied weedicides, herbicides and pesticides which became helpful to the farmers to a certain extent. But what happened? The fertility of the rich soil began to deteriorate.The cultivators have to repeat using “agrochemicals” at an expensive price from the TNCs who hold the patent rights. Recent scientific investigations have shown the fortified rice produced by TNCs contain upto 80% sugar. These facts were revealed by Ranjith Seneviratne, an Organic Agriculture Scientist who worked for a long period for the United Nations, Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) at a recent public meeting. Within the last 35 years, we witnessed our dear people becoming sick in a big way, they became victims of diabetes, heart ailments and kidney diseases etc., It was a very sad state to hear that our own farmers who supplied our staple food were dying of kidney failure, about 1000 deaths within a year. More than 40,000 are affected mainly in the North Central Province.
According to scientists, global warming is another serious threat to humanity. Use of nuclear weapons, emission of carbon dioxide to the environment pollutes the air we breathe. If the present situation of global warming continues high temperature will cause ocean levels, to rise by 3 – 6 ft within the next 20 years. Most of the houses around the coastal area may be submerged. Hundreds of marine species would perish. Further this brings about climate changes, which leads to acute poverty, post migration etc. inability of the poor to withstand the climate changes in their financial constraints. Deforestation is another vital factor which contributes towards this end.
Use of polythene and plastics which is injurious to health goes on regardless. Rivers and sea water are polluted by dumping these articles carelessly. Hotels also release their waste water and residue to the sea and rivers thus contaminating bathing and drinking water which some people use. In agricultural locations where ‘agro chemicals’ are used, the water sources are harmful. They can get easily poisoned. Therefore the question arises How unclean is the water that we drink?
Certain development projects which were initiated without proper environmental assessment have proved harmful to the residents in those areas. The Nuraichcholai Coal Power station is one such project. Early warnings and people’s protests fell on deaf ears. As a result, it’s a threat to the lives of residents.
We all are stewards of this beautiful environment. Therefore we have no right to abuse it for selfish gains. Nature’s resources are free gifts to human beings regardless of race, creed or social status. What we inherited from our ancestors have to be protected and cherished. It is our prime duty to hand it over in its ‘Sacred Beautiful state’ to the future generations.