Matter of Fuel

Fuel has been and still is a subject to fuel a lengthy debate. As we know Fuel is generally defined as something from which we can obtain energy. So, energy fuels were mainly classified into three — coal, oil and firewood. Wood can be termed as a renewable source of energy and that is described as its advantage comparing with coal and oil. As coal and oil cannot be renewed by human efforts, availability of these two energy sources is limited to the existing resources. Policymakers across the world have been worried about the dire consequences in the event of shortage of energy sources like oil and coal. At the same time environmentalists pointed out the horrifying pace of pollution and invited attention of the governments and people to this. Apart from atmosphere even oceans and waterways are polluted by coal and oil. All these compelled scientists and nations to explore for alternative energy sources. Obviously attention was focused on hydel power, solar power, atomic power, wind energy and garbage energy. Forests are included in the group of renewable source of energy as they regenerate naturally or can be regenerated by human efforts without much difficulty.


In this context biofuels also get a prominent place. They offer plant-based solutions to our growing energy problems. To put in simple words, any hydro carbon fuel which is produced from organic matter (living or once living material) in a short period of time is considered biofuel. As fossil fuels take millions of years to form, biofuels are considered as a good alternative source of energy and are gaining popularity.
But, experts warn that unless making fuel from crops like wheat, maize, sugarcane etc are not restricted, consequences would be disastrous. Growing the crops for biofuel, making fertilizers and pesticides for those crops and processing the plants into fuel consume a lot of energy.
Even though the aim and intention of biofuel policy is good, once the profit motive comes to play, everything will go beyond control. That may adversely affect the environment with far reaching consequences. Apart from that, when majority of the world population is starving, the righteousness of growing crops for fuel, would fuel another debate.

Riddle of Life

Certain news or incidents which we happen to come across make us really shocked. It may take some time to come out of the numbness caused by that. Such incidents make us to ponder the meaning or rather meaninglessness of life; The futility of egoism and pomposity. Oh! No, I am not at all trying to demoralize you or trying to subject you to a spiritual discourse.
As mentioned earlier, before coming out of the numbness caused by that shocking news this type of thoughts may come to anybody’s mind. It is not unnatural I presume. It is true that we hear, read or see daily many pathetic stories of people. But, this is somewhat different from all those.
Recently, during a conversation my friend informed me the predicament of our common friend. When my friend rang up that common friend as there was no news from him for a long time, he himself revealed the reason hesitantly. He was busy consulting with doctors — He is unable to lie down whether to take rest or to sleep, because of suffocation. Doctors diagnosed that the problem is with his heart. Two or three “blocks ” that are almost 100% in the blood vessels. But, the painful truth is that doctors ruled out the chance of surgery. They have prescribed medicines and advised him not to lie down. Imagining such a situation itself is horrible. But now he sleeps on an easy chair.
This is the background that made me to think about the human life and human behavior in a philosophical angle, if it can be termed like that. Think of the arrogance of some people who behave as if they are above everything just because of their wealth and power. Many forget that all material gains acquired in this world are perishable and nobody can take along with him/her even a pin when leaving this world. The moment a person can’t stand and walk erect everything will be upside down. It is not exaggeration that there are people who can buy anything they want with their money and power but unable to eat their favorite food items because of diseases and diet restrictions.
This reminds us the proverb “Health is Wealth”. One may be able to buy anything but health. Having good health and able to live peacefully and happily is a blessing.

Author : K Neeni

Sustained Growth and Environment

It is to be admitted that growth or development and protection of environment are contradictory by birth. Industrial growth and related activities make their own impact on environment. So attaining a judicious equilibrium among society, economy and environment will be the most pragmatic solution. In 1987 the United Nations Brundtland Report, which is also known as “Our Common Future ” defined sustainable development as a process that fulfils the need of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. (Gro Harlem Brundtland was appointed by Javier Perez de Cuellar, former Secretary General of the United Nations in December 1983, as a result of the realization that there was serious deterioration of environment and natural resources). It is undeniable that from the time when human beings started thinking and acting as they are supreme, devastation of environment became rapid.

Now, nations and people all over the world came to understand that turning a blind eye to these mindless activities would be suicidal. Elder people remind us of a practice prevalent till not very long ago – that if someone has to fell a tree for the construction of his house or for some unavoidable reason, he prays to the tree itself for pardon. Then he requests for permission from the birds and other living creatures dwelling on that tree and finally begs for pardon to Mother Earth because, the tree falls on her. Before flatly rejecting this as meaningless ritual we should try to understand the message it gives. This is the sign of compassion and reveals the importance of peaceful coexistence.

This makes it clear that we, humans are a mere ring in the chain of the ecosystem and we are bound to protect and preserve the earth for future generations. If this becomes our motto, sustained growth with minimum environmental damage will be not so difficult.

Author : K Neeni

Don’t Play Down Play

In the highly competitive present-day world we often hear elders lament that children of today are without childhood. Totally denying that statement would be difficult when we get into the matter. Even before breastfeeding is stopped kids are admitted to schools. “No teaching, just playful activities” and so on, are the justifications for sending kids to such institutions. In this age of nuclear families, parents have no other way except to depend on those schools to look after their children. Since both husband and wife have to go for work and no elders are with them in the home, they have no other choice. Sad thing is some people capitalize this situation and make money by starting “playschool” of sorts. The plight of small kids who cannot even express their feelings in words, and the nature of torture they have to undergo are beyond words. This doesn’t at all mean that all, or majority of play schools are like that.

As the school years (of course primary) start, many kids are busy with homework. Their plays and games are confined to video games and cellphone games. Most of these games are of destructive nature. This hamper their creativity and will have negative influence on them.

The fact that till recently people used to make toys with locally available things like paper, cardboard boxes, discarded containers, coconut palm leaf, stem of papaya leaf may be unbelievable to present-day children. They are accustomed to ‘set games’ and ready made toys. While making toys or something like that themselves, children were indirectly learning the lessons of visualization, procurement of items, execution of project etc. Games such as football, volleyball, basketball and cricket help inculcate discipline, team work, dedication etc.

Nowadays majority of families have one or two kids. Parents even go beyond their limits to fulfill the needs and demands of their kids. The underlying reason is that they want their children to grow without facing the sufferings they had to undergo. At the same time, as the aim of education is reduced to scoring high marks in examinations, “study, study” is what children hear from parents every now and then. Children are made to believe that low marks in examinations are the end of everything. Scoring low marks or failing in a subject will be unthinkable to them.

The advice of a psychologist is worth mentioning in this context. He tells parents to make sure that their kids are participating in games and plays. Not for the sake of physical fitness or something like that. But just to make them understand that there are failures also in life and they can overcome that situation and come off with flying colors.

Author : K Neeni

Money And Harmony

In the present day world one need not be an environmentalist to understand the importance of environment protection. Most of the people are aware that extreme changes in climate is related with deforestation, river pollution, sand mining etc. Terms such as ozone layer depletion, green gas emission have become familiar words. This shows the increased level of awareness about environment among people. But this awareness level is not at all consolatory when considering the severity and gravity of the issue. As another “World Environment Day” passed by on June 5, countries and people should make an introspection about their role in deteriorating the situation and find out possible remedial measures. U S President Donald Trump’s statement to abandon Paris Agreement on climate change cast a shadow on this year’s World Environment Day. Being a hard-won agreement to make the world safer, the consequences of U S President’s decision will be far reaching and affecting future generations. Nobody expected such an action. The objective of this landmark agreement adopted by 195 countries on December 12, 2015, is to prevent an increase in the global average temperature and keep it below 2 degree C. Paris Agreement which replaced Kyoto Protocol was ratified last November. As far as the financial side is concerned, developing countries need huge funds to adapt and mitigate climate changes effected by global warming. Green Climate Fund (GCF) is the U N Fund for developed countries to route funds to developing countries for this purpose. The crucial factor is that United State’s decision to exit from the agreement would impede global initiatives to curb global warming. Reports point out that U S is responsible for 21% of the current carbon stock in the atmosphere.

As we know this year’s theme of World Environment Day is “Connecting People to Nature – in city and on the land,  from the poles to the equator “.  U N designated June 5 as World Environment Day and started celebrating this day since 1974. This year’s theme inspires us to go out and see nature around us. Just relax and ponder on the position of human beings in the nature. With the scientific advancement and resultant achievements it seems people started to forget the fact that they are just another inhabitants of earth. The disrespect and destruction of environment by the so-called civilized and highly advanced people are disgraceful to total humanity. The avarice of man is the main reason for the pathetic situation of this planet. In a world where money rule the roost, expecting otherwise would be ridiculous.

There is every reason to assume that our past generations were more considerate towards environment. In our quest to conquer every thing and amass wealth we forget the truth that this life is mere transitory. Instead of respecting Mother Nature for her bounty, we are destructing environment without any considerations by our deeds. Irrational activities in the name of development make irrecoverable losses to environment and would make the life of our children and grandchildren unbearable. In this context, words such as renewable energy, sustainable development, eco-friendly attitude etc, become more meaningful. But we are forgetting the simple truth that we are indebted to environment and it is our duty to preserve nature and pass on to next generation conducive for happy and healthy life. Trying to measure this effort in terms of money is illogical. With all humility we have to accept that certain things are beyond that limit. How can we redeem nature’s gift like clean air and natural water or rather how can we fix the price of such gifts. It is our duty to use them cautiously and preserve them. As Secretary General of U N Antonio Guterres said “we all have a role to play in protecting our only home. We can use less plastics, drive less, waste less food and teach each other to care”. Let us play our role seriously and responsibly.

Author : K Neeni

Taste of Hunger

Wasting of anything is not at all a good habit. Wasting food is a heinous crime against human race in a world where people die without food. Thanks to the efforts of global organizations and agencies, food waste and food loss are being discussed widely to find out solutions. Food loss and food waste are to be tackled at different levels. More concerted and coordinated efforts are inevitable to prevent food loss. This may happen at the time of harvest, during transportation and so on. There are limitations for the individual to curb food loss. But at the same time individuals can play a great role to realize the goal of prevention of food waste. Majority of people are not aware of the tragic consequences of food waste. Worldwide scenario of food loss and food waste is alarming. Rough estimate shows that one in three persons is not getting enough food. Forget about the nationwide or global actions to prevent food loss. Every individual can contribute to a great extent to stop food waste that can be termed as diabolical crime against humanity.

Just think of the effort to produce a spike of corn, a tuberous root, pulses, legumes, any fruit or for that matter, any edible. At the same time, the share of other factors including resources like water, time required to get yield, adverse circumstances during this period, natural calamities etc. should not be forgotten. Wasting food simply means disrespect and disgrace to the toil and vigil endured by the people concerned to produce those crops. Leave alone the case of resources etc. Hypocrisy and false prestige contribute greatly to food waste. Many are hesitant to order items in low quantity especially at hotels and such public places. It seems some are under the impression that this will belittle them among others. The argument “we are paying for it” is totally absurd, to put it mildly.

Forgetting the total effort, time and related hardships to cultivate the ingredients of the food item you ordered cannot be justified. One has to bear in mind that it was not produced exclusively according to his/her order. Understanding the full effort to produce those ingredients as a whole provides an entirely different picture.

A story in circulation is worth sharing in this context. A teacher casually asks his students which food is tastier. Students gave the names of food items that relish them. Teacher turns his attention to a student who comes from a very poor family and contributing his little mite to help his parents. He hesitantly stood up and said: “Hunger. Hunger makes any eatable tasty’’. That answer really is an eye opener to all those who waste food.

 

Author : K Neeni

Equilibrium of Development

Development is a keyword used very often nowadays. All — nation, state, region, locality, society, institutions, organizations — are in pursuit of development. At the same time, it is not at all an exaggeration to tell that occasions are not less when this word itself becomes a riddle.

A glance into the dictionary gives the synonyms of development as evolution, growth, maturity, enlargement, expansion, progress, success etc. An event constituting a new stage in a changing situation is another explanation for development. Biologically, development is the process of growing maturity.

Depending upon the context, the explanations and indices may vary as in child development and human development. Let us leave all those statistical jargons and scholarly explanations to have a glance on development in a smaller angle, that is, in our surroundings.

Even the narrow lanes in villages have been concreted and roads are tarred. With superfast vehicles highways and railways make travelling less time consuming. Airports and flight services are becoming more popular.    Skyscrapers, Palatial buildings, shopping complexes, malls, star hotels, super specialty hospitals, high class educational institutions stand as milestones in the path of development.  As if to keep pace with the speed of development the shape and structure of houses and flats have undergone inexplicable metamorphosis.

Hills are vanishing within days and paddy fields are becoming plain lands.  Wet lands are also disappearing.  Excavators and such huge machines popularly known by the brand name J C B are not strange even in remote areas.  Stone crushing and sand mining are developing rapidly.

It is true that we must sacrifice so many things for development.  But the balanced state of ecology, environment and development should not be broken.  Any type of destruction exceeding the limit affecting the environment    will be with disastrous consequences not only for the present generation but also for the generations yet to come.

The fact is that most of the advanced facilities including hospitals are inaccessible   to layman.  Another pertinent point is that multiplying number of hospitals does not reflect the health of the society.  Food, shelter, healthcare and education at affordable price and employment opportunities to the deserving may be a true index of development and a sign of healthy and happy society.

 

Author: K Neeni

Is your Region Affecting your Success ?

Many people think regions affect successful persons. What is your opinion about native regions
and accomplished person influence on the regions they belong to.

Even though there are many individuals who made history despite the region they belong to, for most of the individuals the regions they belong to usually influence their success. When we compare different countries of various regions we can see that they have different meanings of success and the most successful person meant to be a person who made his mark in the history in a good way.

Let us consider the western region of the world. We can see more people who made history in the field of technology and science, because those countries have resources for food and they are politically stable so the people can concentrate on the scientific experiments and technology advancements. On the other side of the world, the story is totally different as they are politically not stable and people are using their individual potential to fulfill their basic needs, so sadly, they are considered less successful.

When we measure the success in terms quality of life, we need to consider a few attributes of life which can be measured up with different regions. The attributes are social security, quality of food and clothing, quality of air and quality of shelter. When we measure these attributes, again we will get the results that success is actually according to the region where people live.
To sum up, in some regions people are advanced technically, to take the head count for their next trip to Mars and in the other regions, people are still fighting for their freedom and for the basic needs. This actually proves that behind every successful individual the region really plays an integral role.

Let us Talk About Tobacco

This topic is just like suggesting the people to use helmets while riding a bike. People know that wearing a helmet will keep them safe during accidents but people are reluctant to wear it. People started wearing it, when government started collecting fine from those who don’t wear helmet while riding. Just like that people know tobacco will kill them some day but they still use it. So I believe it is time for the government to take steps to stop it completely as it is killing our valuable citizens.

We have large displays of warning on the tobacco products with the pictures of the effects of the long-term use still we don’t see any decline in the usage of tobacco products. We can see the companies producing tobacco products are getting richer day by day. The government has taken steps to display gore pictures of the after-effects of the tobacco users along with health warnings but it has no effect at all. The government has also taken steps to increase the taxes on tobacco but has no effect on its sales.

It is time for the government to take steps to ban tobacco products. It is not giving any good thing to the world but it is destroying the future of young people thus destroying the future of a country. Tobacco products are causing cancer and other very serious deceases due to which people are losing their life and money. According to a research, people using tobacco are young generation who are from poor background and those people are supposed to be the life line for a family. So I would strongly recommend the government to take stern steps to ban them.