Nepal | August 12, 2020

Making a difference


Samridha Man Shrestha
Share Now:

When I was eleven, I was out buying some groceries with my family. My brother decidedly told the cashier that he did not want a plastic bag as it was harmful to the environment. But, my parents told him that it made no difference if a single plastic bag was used.

This is what our children grow up to be. Our education system prides itself on teaching our children about climate change, pollution and biodiversity loss from a very young age. But it fails to show how the kids as individuals could play a more pragmatic role in fighting these looming problems today. It’s more important in schools if you can list solutions for pollution in exams than if you actually recycle in your homes. It’s almost as if the adults are teaching the children that the school and the home were two separate worlds.

This lack of connection has led to an atmosphere of apathy among the youths.  However, the public is unaware of a
greater problem looming over the horizon, the sixth mass extinction.

This extinction is happening in the newest geological epoch, the Anthropocene. Scientists predict the sixth mass extinction will wipe out 60% of all living species on earth by the end of this century. And it is significant due to fact that it is a result of direct unprecedented human activities unlike previous mass extinction events which were a consequence of non-human natural activities.

Once an ecological hot spot, Kathmandu, ten decades ago, was very different from the maze of concrete and buildings it is today. The air was not thick with dust and smoke requiring people to wear a mask; the rivers were not dirty with black slime and there was a decent amount of greenery in the valley. Smog is ever present over cities during the winter months.  The drains that are directly empty on the rivers in the capital have wiped out the aquatic life in these rivers.

Effects of biodiversity loss through deforestation can be seen in mere years, not in hundreds of years or even decades today. Droughts and massive flooding have increased in duration and magnitude over the past decades.

It is unjust that our children might only see the Red Pandas and Bengal Tigers as illustrations on a screen or in a  book; they will only read that there once existed green forests whereas there is only compact human settlement and roads today. It is a death of a whole school of human thought. It is time to act.


A version of this article appears in print on May 22, 2017 of The Himalayan Times.

Follow The Himalayan Times on Twitter and Facebook

Recommended Stories:

More from The Himalayan Times:

CIAA Chief Commissioner tests positive for Covid-19

KATHMANDU: Chief Commissioner at Commission for Investigation for Abuse of Authority (CIAA) Navin Kumar Ghimire has contracted coronavirus infection. He had submitted his swab specimen for testing on Sunday, the results for which came out positive, a source confirmed.s Samples had been drawn f Read More...

Worldwide coronavirus cases cross 20.14 million, death toll over 735,000

At least 20,147,625 people have been reported to be infected by the novel coronavirus globally and 735,369 people have died, a Reuters tally showed.  Infections have been reported in more than 210 countries and territories since the first cases were identified in China in December 2019.  Read More...

Nepal sets world record conducting Everest (Chomolungma) clean-up drive

KATHMANDU: The Guinness World Records has announced that Nepal set a world record by successfully conducting an over a month-long cleaning campaign on the world’s highest mountain. According to Meera Acharya, spokesperson at the Department of Tourism under the Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Read More...

Himalayan Glacier provides relief to guides, porters

KATHMANDU: Himalayan Glacier Adventure and Travel Company has provided relief to 30 guides and porters who have been struggling hard to meet their ends due to COVID-19 pandemic. According to Sagar Pandey, company’s founder and chief executive officer, the fund was distributed amidst a function Read More...

COVID-19 Update: 638 new cases, 171 recoveries, four deaths recorded on Tuesday

KATHMANDU: Nepal’s Health Ministry, in its regular press briefing, shared the latest updates on coronavirus contagion from across the country, and government’s response to the health crisis. As of today, 462,698 tests through Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) method have been carried out wh Read More...

Russia becomes first country to approve a COVID-19 vaccine, says Putin

MOSCOW: President Vladimir Putin said on Tuesday that Russia had become the first country in the world to grant regulatory approval to a COVID-19 vaccine after less than two months of human testing, a move hailed by Moscow as evidence of its scientific prowess. The vaccine still has to complete f Read More...

Black Eyed Peas pay tribute to Indian action movies in latest video

KATHMANDU: American music group The Black Eyed Peas have showcased their love and appreciation for Bollywood with their latest video Action which features popular scenes from films including Rajinikanth's sci-fi actioner Robot and Ajay Devgn-starrer Singham . According to PTI, the 4.48-min Read More...