January 2015 By Life Positive Psst, don’t look now, but the lights are dimming. The fossil fuel that we use to run our world is rapidly diminishing. We have already exhausted half of what had taken nature 150 million years to form, in the last 150 years. Flabbergasting, isn’t it? What was a great revolution in the 19th century has become a bane in the 21st century. Not only have we turned our planet into a furnace, and polluted it with the toxic after remains of these fuels, but we are also on the verge of exhausting that very same fuel that we are now hopelessly dependent on. Can we imagine surviving without electricity today? DirtE Talks!Bill McKibben: Raising awareness of fossil fuel It was to awaken the public to the gravity of the situation that DirtE Talks was conceived. DirtE Talks are a series of talks designed to make us understand how dependence on fossil fuel is preventing us from achieving the real development we all dream of. Organised by noted environmental activist Bill McKibben’s organisation, ‘350.org’, the talks aim to introduce environmental empaths to concepts like energy equity, unsustainable growth parameters, and the economic impact of dependence on fossil fuel. Held in Mumbai, Delhi and Hyderabad in November 2014, the series is an attempt to provide a platform to people desirous of learning from and interacting with communities resisting dirty energy projects. In New Delhi, the talk was held in Chinmaya Mission, where noted grassroots activist from Konkan region, Vaishali Patil, and Kumi Naidu, Executive Director of Green Peace International, formed the panel with McKibben. Around 150 enthusiasts attended the talk in the capital and the overall attendance in all the three cities reached 650. “Dirty coal-based power plants are being promoted across our vulnerable coastlines, impacting the lives and livelihoods of millions of Indians. Alternatives to coal exist, and it’s time to begin a great energy transition in our country,” said Patil. Truly so, as a nation blessed with alternative sources of renewable energy, it is time to transit to a sustainable and just approach towards economic growth. “The reality is that we are running out of time to prevent catastrophic climate change which is already taking place, destroying infrastructure and impacting livelihoods. We desperately need India’s leadership at the global level so that we can secure our children and their children’s future,” Naidu added. Bill McKibben commented, “India will play a crucial role in global warming, so it is vital that it takes decisions about the fuel future with science in mind. With record floods, droughts, and storms, the choices for India are stark but real. Get off the dirty energy pathway and adopt a clean energy future.”
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