Tuesday, March 2, 2021
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Why ‘climate activists’ criticize PM Modi for everything else, other than what he is doing for the climate

“We are not doing enough” is an oft-repeated argument of “climate activists”. Prime Minister Modi has himself acknowledged that the world is not doing enough and we must step up our efforts. He is doing everything he can to step up.

“Climate activist” seems to be the new buzzword in the industry today. And invariably all those classified as “climate activists” are very loud in their criticism of Prime Minister Modi and that too for reasons outside of climate change! I couldn’t help but wonder though – is it because “climate activists” have nothing to criticize Narendra Modi on this topic?  

Because under Narendra Modi’s leadership, India has already provided clean cooking gas for nearly 15 crore families in the country, under the Ujjwala scheme. The scheme continues to expand and will cover more families in the years to come. 

Because under Narendra Modi’s leadership, under the Ujala scheme India has already distributed and installed a whopping 36,70,00,000 LED bulbs saving nearly 48,000 million kWh of energy per year and nearly 19,000 crores (till date). If you are in India and are travelling on its roads, you can see this change for yourself.

Because under Narendra Modi’s leadership, India is progressing fast in implementing the Jal Jeevan Mission – to provide clean drinking water to every household in the country by 2022. When PM Modi will announce the completion of the scheme on the occasion of India’s 75th year of Independence, I would really like to see the reactions of these alleged “climate activists”. 

Because under Narendra Modi’s leadership, India has taken the world’s largest cleanliness program under Swacch Bharat. Many “climate activists” are seen posing for photographs while cleaning out garbage that is thrown out on our streets and roads. For every such alleged activist, there were at least 10 selfless volunteers who took it upon themselves to make their surroundings clean and ensure they remain clean too. 

Because under Narendra Modi’s leadership, India built nearly 10 crore toilets for its citizens. I think I don’t have to explain the positive impact to the environment when crores of citizens don’t have to openly defecate. Studies have also indicated that lakhs of lives have also been saved because of the lesser spread of diseases. 

Because under Narendra Modi’s leadership, India has ‘voluntarily committed itself’ to meet targets that are unprecedented for a developing country. We have targeted to reduce emissions by 33-35% by the year 2030, as compared to 2005 (2030 is not too far away, dear “climate activist”). In the words of MEA, this “means that for every additional dollar of GDP India will be using progressively and a significantly lesser amount of energy.” What role are all of our “climate activists” playing in achieving this unprecedented target? Chances are that we will never know! 

Because under Narendra Modi’s leadership, India has spearheaded the formation of the International Solar Alliance, a coalition of nearly 120 countries that lie between the Tropics of Cancer and Capricorn, thereby committing to lead a global effort to make the best use of the sunlight these countries receive. Prime Minister Modi’s stress on using more Solar energy as a major source of renewable energy is nothing new. He has been implementing this right from his Chief Ministerial days too.

Because under Narendra Modi’s leadership, India’s Solar power capacity has increased by more than 11 times in the last five years. Recently, India achieved 5th global position in solar power deployment by surpassing Italy. You can look around for yourself and see how rooftop solar panels are becoming popular by the day. You can visit villages and see how solar energy-based generators are being installed. You can see for yourself the vast number of solar parks being opened – we are not just well on our way to meet our targets for 2030 but also beat them!

Because under Narendra Modi’s leadership, a clarion call was made from the ramparts of the Red Fort on August 15th, 2019, to end the use of single-use plastic. Because under Narendra Modi’s leadership, India is the first to leapfrog from Euro IV-equivalent emission standards directly to Euro VI-equivalent standards. Because under Narendra Modi’s leadership, India has increased its forest cover by ~1.4% in just 4 years. 

If these “climate activists” think all of this is not good enough, then why can’t they write in detail about better solutions? Instead of constantly whining about topics outside of climate, why cannot these alleged activists conduct debates on what is further needed for “climate change”? Amusingly enough, in a 2019 article published in The Hindu, one of the suggestions that the author gave for mitigating climate change in Agriculture was that “It is high time we restrict these” (Minimum Support Price etc). Don’t believe me, see for yourself. 

“Climate change” cannot be achieved by a magic wand. It will take long years of behavioural change, sustainable policies, and strong implementation to achieve the stringent targets. “We are not doing enough” is an oft-repeated argument of “climate activists”. Prime Minister Modi has himself acknowledged that the world is not doing enough and we must step up our efforts. He is doing everything he can to step up. It is time for “climate activists” to participate rather than whine. 

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S. Sudhir Kumar
Obsessive eater, Compulsive sleeper, Repulsive Writer

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