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Climate shame

india Updated: Dec 10, 2009 22:50 IST
Preeti Singh

I remember a cartoon, in which a severely bloated (and perhaps dead) cow is being lifted into an ambulance. Two bovine belles, dressed in trendy nightwear tsk tsk over the fate of the poor creature having been forced to hold in her methane-emitting belches, in fear of the environment brigade. I can’t help but think of that poor cow now; may she rest in peace.

Perhaps it’s all these dire predictions of doomsday, or the overwhelming sense of déjà vu attached to the cacophony on climate change, that I have the irrepressible urge to spray on some CFCs and go roast a pig. Or, maybe I’m just miffed at not being at the Copenhagen Carnival, and feel like raining all over this ‘green’ parade.

You see, we in Real India are shameless climate changers. So what if there’s good news from Delhi — apparently our ‘carbon map’ doesn’t look as bad as London’s — it’s still wedding season here. In fact, right this moment, dancing Delhi baraats are leaving messy carbon footprints in their wake. So what if Prime Minster Manmohan Singh is busy packing his hip bandgalas for a potential signing gala in Denmark, Dilliwallahs are already out on the town in all their environment-altering splendour.

Take the green cover-murdering wedding invites couched in plastic and foul SUVs causing mean jams in green environs. Add to that the destruction of a gazillion hectares of rainforest for gigantic pandals and the callous tampering with flora and fauna for phool-covered walls. Throw in diesel-hungry generators and hungrier guests wolfing down shameful amounts of kebabs roasted on smoky coal pits, and the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change could easily recover Copenhagen’s costs by holding a carbon credits raffle outside each wedding venue.

Caught in a monster traffic jam outside a row of sparkling ‘farms’ last night, I couldn’t help but wonder if perhaps we should have asked all those environment wallahs to trade their air tickets for a truly enlightening ride about town instead. But then, climate change is too serious a matter to be debated in the choked streets of suburbia. So... Denmark, ahoy!