Sunday, September 16, 2007

Global Warming and so called severe effects on our life style

I wrote following article for Collegiate Times, Virginia Tech. The articles was published in its edited form and the online version was not published either. Following is the original letter.

It has been amusing to see how Collegiate Times chooses its article and letters. I wrote one article for Collegiate Times on “Global Warming and Scientific Uncertainty,” which talked about how a familiar term in scientific literature is constantly being abused by people who want to negate the concept of global warming. I wrote another article about how Oil and Gas companies are using the Global Warming in their benefit by starting to drill in pristine Arctic. Later, I published both of them in my blog. Collegiate Times didn’t find both of them worthy enough to publish, but they definitely found the article by Tim Edison “Global Warming doesn’t tell the whole truth.” I am not expecting this article to publish in Collegiate Time either, but it might be worth a try.

There are several holes in Tim’s article, but I want to discuss the most ridiculous statement by Tim Edison “..before enacting policies which will inexorably alter our way of life and damage our economy.” I cannot understand how anything you do to reduce global warming can affect your life style and American economy. I am trying to list some changes which I did in my life and want you as a reader to analyze if it can affect anybody negatively. I am listing their positive effects except their effect in reducing global warning.

1. Recycle: I recycle most of the waste generated in house and office, (although feel bad that there is not good way to recycle biologically decomposable waste in Blacksburg). By recycling I feel happier for needing lesser space in land fills, lower number of cut trees, and reduced pollution.

2. Reduced Wastage: I have called the companies to stop sending me mail marketing offers and catalogs. That saves some trees, my time, space and wastage.

3. Using less electricity: By switching off devices when they are not required, using low power bulbs, increasing AC temperature by couple of degrees, making my apartment complex to replace my windows with double pane glasses, I save something on electricity. I feel good for lower electricity bills, lower coal usage, cleaner air and lower pollution. I hope it will result in future generations with lower breath related problems and other side effects.

4. Reusable grocery bags: I got them from Kroger, and feel very great to use less petroleum based grocery bags. Again they are product of petroleum and we all know its story. In last month, I think I avoided about 100 grocery bags by using reusable canvas bags.
5. Higher mileage car and maintaining it properly Lower gas bills, cleaner air, reduced dependence on non-renewable energy source and I hope not another war for oil (Hold your breath for Iran and Arctic area).

These and several other small things, I and some of my friends practice and I don’t think these are affecting our life style severely. These changes in life style will definitely give positive feeling and help you solve several global problems. Reducing wastage is the key to survive. These adjustments in your life style can at least save you some money, and in the time where every American is born with a debt of $8000, I think it is wise to save a little bit of money. Not changing the life style will only affect the economy of those companies who do not want their consumers to get intelligent and want them to consume and waste as much as they can.


Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Story of Bhasmasur

In Hindu scriptures, there is a story of a person who became demon named Bhasmasur.That person did a lot of praying to “Lord Shiva” (a Hindu God) for long time.Lord Shiva became happy and asked him what he wished for. The person requested for a power to destroy (Bhasma) anybody he wished for, just like we want to have more and more arms and weapons. Lord Shiva fulfilled his wish and said he can destroy anybody by putting his hand over their head, and that person’s name became “Bhasmasur” (Bhasma = Destroy, Asur = Demon). Just like we can aim and shoot anybody whom we like using guns, airplanes, may be satellites.

Since Bhasmasur had power to destroy anybody he grew stronger and stronger and in the lust for more power he planned to destroy Lord Shiva himself to become more powerful. Just like when we arm another country or group who comes back to us after some years. Anyways, Lord Shiva got scared and ran to another God “Lord Vishnu” and requested his help. Lord Vishnu said Bhasmasur has become very strong and now he can be killed with his own power only. So Lord Vishnu made a plan and disguised himself as a beautiful seducing woman and went to Bhasmasur.

As soon as Bhasmasur saw this woman he proposed her. The woman (Lord Vishnu) said that for her to accept his invitation, he will have to dance with her. Bhasmasur accepted and started dancing with the woman. While dancing, the woman kept her hand over head, Bhasmasur - lost in the intoxication of extreme power and lust, in an attempt to copy her, kept his hand over his own head and destroys himself.

I have heard this story from my parents a few times since childhood, and it’s interesting to see so many of its live practical examples everywhere. We can relate it to the amount of weapons on Earth which can destroy all life on earth multiple times, we can relate it to arming the groups or countries who come back to us, we can relate it to a concept of arming each and every person with a handgun, or rifle as a measure to protect human life (we forget that the soldiers in Iraq are far more equipped, still close to 4000 of them have died and many after Iraq lost the war), we can relate it to the amount of pollution human being has created to destroy Earth’s natural processes (and not accept it) and so forth.

The story has been repeated since human civilization for ages and being repeated again. One of the latest example is the "mistaken" flight of nuclear bomb all over the US in B52 bomber. Although, the science and knowledge has improved a lot since human being appeared on this earth - our dressing style has changed, we use internet, we fly airplanes, but have we become really civilized since then? I wrote an article in Collegiate Times long back and said that may be it’s a right time to watch an old movie called “Gandhi,”I think it will always be right to time watch it once more.