Sorry for being almost completely absent on WordPress these past 2 weeks. However, the coming 4 days would be a respite from the semester examinations, thanks to Diwali, so I am thrilled to do to my favorite extra-currciculum, blogging, for a certain period each day!
We’re all aware that no matter how much some people make life look easy, it’s not. It’s tough, probably more for them. Not to mention it turns almost perilous when we commit a huge mistake having life-changing consequences. That which affects us and all whom we love. So how to rectify that? Do you attempt to correct that irreversible mistake over and over again, or accept the reality and move on, being careful not to repeat it in the future?
Maybe an example or two might help.
The First Story: Singur Controversy in West Bengal
The present state government and the previous ruling party of West Bengal have caused several blunders not unknown to anyone living in India. One of them was the Singur controversy. The forceful acquisition of fertile land from farmers by the Left Government at that time to give to the TATA company for making the underpriced NANO cars, except that many of those weren’t forceful. Some were expecting the glorious days of industrialization to happen, so they gave away their land willingly, in the hopes of a brighter and finanially secure future. But it was a huge mistake. Fertile lands were irreversibly damaged, according to some people. They shouldn’t have been used for making cars in the first place. There were plenty other areas available for that, ain’t it?
A decade later, now, the Trinamool Government has kept their word and given back those lands. Lands which are now cemented upon, ruined and unfit for cultivation or doing anything else. Sure they have rectified that mistake of acquisition, but at the price of what? Now that dream some farmers had of a brighter future, has all gone into the dust. They think that everything is back to the way it was, but it isn’t. Now it’s a burden to bear.
Was there a point in returning the land? Maybe, from a political persepective. The main agenda and the reason why the Trinamool came to power, has now been fulfilled. Yay for them! And I’m not throwing blame, because they did what they promised, even though it took long enough. But you can’t just expect things to revert back to its original state. Farmers cannot start tilling their land; they are still waiting at their homes, whiling away the days for further land inspections which might declare the status of land fertility. They’re like, Now what if it all goes south? If only they would’ve brought another industry i.e. truly moved forward instead of a possibly futile re-do, everyone could’ve benefited.
VERDICT: They should have moved on.
The Second Story: Great Barrier Reef faces mortal extinction, says goodbye
Climate change and ocean acidification have bleached & nearly killed off one of the most spectacular features on the planet. Give a read the above link…it’s heart-wrenching. On outsideonline.com| Rowan Jacobsen.
This was a dream destination for many of us travelers. Imagine the shock when it was trending on Facebook on 14th October, which followed the links to an array of websites, all displaying the same heading, that the GBR is dead. It’s lost to the sands of time, to the intangible changing cycle of climate, to humankind’s merciless abuses over decades. I don’t even know whether to label it a mistake. It would be lying if I did, according to some. But starting 50-60 years ago, environment was not a factor to be considered yet, let alone brought into legislative policies. Industrialization, the unearthing of non-renewable natural resources were more important than some pretty looking coral reef. Doesn’t matter if it’s the largest living thing on Earth, seen from space. GBR was only in our way.
“The whole northern section is trashed,” Veron told Australia’s Saturday Paper. “It looks like a war zone. It’s heartbreaking.”
With no force on earth capable of preventing the oceans from continuing to warm and acidify for centuries to come, he had no illusions about the future. “I used to have the best job in the world. Now it’s turned sour… I’m 71 years old now, and I think I may outlive the reef.”
Veron, who’s famed 2009 speech to London’s Royal Society titled “Is the Great Barrier Reef on Death Row?” spread like wildfire and rang alarms, speaks in growing concern.
Now, bleached coral does not equal dead coral, but very stressed out coral. The coral animals that build reefs rely on algae (called zooxanthellae) for energy. The algae live inside coral tissues, giving color to the otherwise transparent animals, and combine nutrients from their hosts with abundant sunlight to make food for them both. The algae can’t survive long without its coral host and raw materials. Coral can’t survive long without the algae’s food— almost 80% of its total intake. Everything is interdependent.
Unfortunately, when water gets too warm, the algal partners stop functioning, churn out toxins, and begin to die. When that happens, the coral enters survival mode and kicks these malfunctioning partners out. This is what we observe as bleaching. The coral then waits patiently for conditions to improve so that new, healthy algal partners can find them. So at the present, they are just waiting to be saved, it’s not GAME OVER yet.
In order to save them, we can focus right now on reducing all the other stress factors that are currently hurting them—fungal overgrowth, pollution and overfishing. The latter two can be reduced more immediately than climate change can be addressed. This could buy time while politicians get it together on the other stuff like sediment carried from ranches (which blocks light and reduces coral growth, with the nutrients encouraging seaweed to overgrow corals and cause population explosions of a major coral predator: crown-of-thorns starfish, which crawl across the reef slurping corals from their skeletal cups. A recent study found that these starfish’s consumption was responsible for nearly half of recent coral loss on the reef—compared with 10 percent from bleaching). Present on this list too: fertilizers & pesticides carried from sugarcane, banana and cotton farms.
The government plan suggests that farmers use less chemical fertilizers and that ranchers plant grasses and trees to hold soil in place. The problem is that these are mere suggestions; participation is voluntary. The authors recommend that government officials create incentives for ranchers, farmers, and other landowners to follow these recommendations—and as a result, to take better care of the Great Barrier Reef.
LEFT: The coral already bleached and dead, now sans the beneficial symbiotic algae which completed the beauty of the corals. RIGHT: Dead corals overgrown by useless fungi.
VERDICT: Correct this mistake, now!
I think it totally depends on the situation. We cannot avoid every mistake, but it also does not bode well to dwell on past things sometimes. Humans are perfectly capable of prioritizing each situation in its own context without considering their own gain or agenda. That is the solution. Things are complex, sure, but we can break them into several small simple procedures and achieve our desired results. If we want something very bad, we can go get it