Hour Of Change

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You might have noticed that the last few blog weeks have been utilized in trying to highlight the importance of energy conservation. Let it be said that there is no coincidence at work in Earth Hour being around the corner and Jaago Re deciding to open you up to the possibility of power saving. Now, apart from saying that you feel no different, than you did 2 weeks back, as far as your electricity consumption pattern or lavishness of fossil fuel usage is concerned, you can say the second most troubling thing in 6 words 'What the hell is Earth Hour'?

If I say that Earth Hour is a 60 minute variety program where a green and blue planet tries to impress an audience of 7 billion for a planet-sized cheque, I'd be wrong. It's better if you read about it yourself.

It's all about energy conservation. Now why is energy conservation important?

Energy conservation brings about energy efficiency which ensures same level of usable energy using fewer fossil fuels. This is just another way of saying that your cute/compact economy car will still take you to office daily and family to the mall on weekends but will do so using petrol/diesel alternatives. Do you really care what your car gets fed as long as it's doing its job and are you up to making a few adjustments for a greater good?

Owing to the increasing demand and limited availability of fossil fuels, the importance of efficient energy usage has been realized world over. Last year's (2010-11) budget had announced India's commitment to efficient energy by announcing the National Clean Energy Fund. Domestic and imported coal is being taxed to acquire investment in renewable energy projects. The 2011-12 budget gone by in Feb 2011 earmarked Rs. 200 crore for protection of forests as finance minister Pranab Mukherjee underlined the need to reconcile environmental concerns with necessary developmental needs. Not only this, there are many other environmentally oriented programs the government seems set on implementing.

Energy efficiency and conservation address the same issue but need to be seen in a different light as they approach the fuel issue differently. Efficiency implies usage of latest technology to assure the same level of output produced using significantly less amount of energy in generation. Fluorescent bulbs can be seen as examples here. Energy conservation, on the other hand, stresses reducing the energy usage itself - by alternate means of accomplishing tasks or changes to the way of living. Together, these concepts add to the importance of energy.

Gravity of the climate situation makes itself apparent once you consider the scientific basis of the claims and then see such undertakings as the germinating desperations that they really are. All kinds of pollution are on a rise. Metropolitan cities in India are obviously the biggest contributors to climate deterioration but surprisingly the list of most polluted cities in India - Patna, Lucknow, Raipur, Faridabad and Ahmedabad, reads like a collection put together to not make only the cities look bad. Or maybe, pollution actually has become a truly national problem much like shopping malls.

Earth Hour (March 26, 8:30 pm) is the first truly global initiative towards affecting some measurable conservation of energy. Earth Hour means serious business even if all it comprises of is an electric light-free hour. In fact, especially because of the accessibility of the endeavor it gives everyone a chance to partake in what Earth Hour signifies - pledge to extend ourselves to a much needed earth change.

Parimal Tripathi is a volunteer content writer for Jaagore. To learn and speak about issues on street children, environmental pollution, garbage disposal, corruption, volunteering, volunteer work, community services, NGOs, Urban Issues, social and civic issues visit http://www.jaagore.com

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