World Forest Day '22: How Technologies have Risen to Rescue our Planet
At present, climate change is the most unprecedented challenge for the world. It has threatened the well-being of people and nature. The alarming call is for immediate action to develop innovative and creative solutions that lead the world on a pathway to peace and prosperity on a healthy planet. For the International Day of Forests, 2022, Collaborative Partnership on Forests (CPF) gave the theme - “Forests and sustainable production and consumption.”
Every year, March 21st is observed as the International Day of Forests. The aim of the day is to raise awareness regarding the importance of all types of forests. The day was established by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) in 2012. The United Nations General Assembly had declared March 21st as the International Day of Forests in 2012 to celebrate the significance of all types of forests. All countries are encouraged to involve in local, national, and international activities consisting of forests and trees, such as tree-planting campaigns to celebrate World Forestry Day.
“If you are doing the right thing for the earth, she's giving you great company.”
- Vandana Shiva
Well, the relationship between human beings and forests has always been the root for the development of society. It depends on forests' various productive, ecological, social, and cultural functions. Given the historical overview, the cultural bonds between people and forests, including the spiritual and symbolic role of the forests, are crucial for sustainable development. To emphasize the fact, people need to be aware of one of nature's most undervalued resources – Soli.
Save Soil: A global movement
Save Soil is a global movement launched by Sadhguru, Indian spiritualist and yoga guru, to address the soil crisis by bringing together people from all over the world to step up for Soil Health and supporting leaders of all nations to institute national policies and actions toward enriching the organic content in cultivable Soil. He is going aboard a 100-day motorbike journey from London to India for the #SaveSoil campaign.
As per the UN’s campaign against desertification, one-third of soil globally is ruined, and more than 90% could become despoiled by 2050. It can take 1,000 years to create a few centimeters of soil. “I’m not a scientist, I’m not an environmentalist. I belong to the land, not to the lab, but I know there’s a soil crisis so I’m talking to as many heads of state, politicians, leaders, top scientists and influencers [as possible],” said Sadhguru.
He further said “We can’t address climate change without addressing soil health”. “Without citizens making a big statement, no government is going to make long-term investments, so from 21 March for 100 days, we want the whole world to talk about soil.” (Source- The Guardian)
The solution to the soil crisis is to bring back at least 3-6% organic content in the soil. It can be possible if every nation makes some policies supporting soil health. And the policies need people’s support, and people would help only if they are aware of the crisis.
Technologies to save the planet
Indeed, humans are the reason for both causing and contending deforestation, climbing temperatures, and ocean acidification, including our less-than-benign legacies. And the planet is in danger. Even though innovation of technologies is one of the reasons for the jeopardy, the technologies are still the way to save the planet. It's also worth considering that some of these technologies come with risks.
Artificial Intelligence: Microsoft's AI for Earth program is one effort underway to tie together the capacity of AI for the beneficiary of the planet. The program has given more than 200 research grants to teams using AI technologies to planetary health in one of four segments: biodiversity, climate, water, and agriculture.
AI is impacting agricultural practices and will soon transform the process of farming in industrialized nations, reducing our reliance on pesticides and hugely lowering water consumption. AI will make autonomous vehicles navigate more competently, lowering air pollution. Material scientists are deploying AI to develop biodegradable replacements for plastics and develop strategies to clean our oceans, which get some eight million metric tons of plastics annually.
Carbon capture: The emission of too much carbon dioxide in the air warms our planet. The idea of Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) is that capture technologies permit carbon dioxide separation from gases produced in electricity generation and industrial procedures. One of three methods can make it possible: pre-combustion capture, post-combustion capture, and oxyfuel combustion. The carbon is moved by pipeline and stored in rock formations far below ground.
Startups in the US and Canada have formed their carbon capture plants. At scale, the technology could assist reverse one of the most alarming environmental trends of our time.
Kinetic Pavements: Kinetic pavements possess pretty simple ideas. The pavements are invented to produce electricity every time someone walks over them.
The kinetic energy carried when someone walks over the pavements is converted to electric energy and can then be used to power nearby lampposts, traffic lights, or public charging ports.
There are a few kinetic pavements around the world, but most of these are experimental or more of a novelty. However, these kinetic pavements could turn the norm for city sidewalks in the upcoming days to decrease reliance on fossil fuels for energy production.
Electric Vehicles: EVs are already being used by thousands of people worldwide. Ola Electric, Tata Motors, Simple Energy, Okinawa, Ather Energy, Hero Electric, Bajaj Auto, and TVS are some of the Indian companies that are facilitating the switch from ICE vehicles to electric cars and electric two-wheelers in India. However, EV is not very far from the norm. The hope is that EVs will become more affordable over time.
Eco-Homes: Homes consume a lot of electricity, such as heating, electricity, cooking, air conditioning. They all require energy to function. This, of course, put into climate change, given that the majority of widely-used electricity is sourced from fossil fuels.
An eco-home is effectively a house that has a minimal environmental impact. An eco-home includes maximum insulation, triple-glazed windows, and responsibly sourced construction materials. It would be fit with solar panels that use rainwater harvesting for water supply. They could also have deep overhangs to deal with overheating and the installation of vegetable patches for home-grown produce.
If considerable work continues to be invested in eco-friendly technologies, our world could become much greenery and eco-friendly place to live. While many technologies may seem a little avant-garde, you'd be surprised at how close we may be to normalizing them in our society by taking care of the planet.