Trend casting is an essential New Year Game, and so here it is. The green trend for 2012 will be an intensification of the 2011 trend.
The poor and the marginal will fight back against any plans to capture their natural resources. The close dependence on natural resources by a large number of Indians will result in much more intense resource wars-of the POSCO kind. And in fact, the environment will become a much more fraught concept, with notions embraced by the middle classes being contested by the poor.
Many well-to-do urbanites will learn switching off the lights when they are not being used, are just not enough. The repercussions of climate change will force them to acknowledge that. That might not substantially change how most people live, but it might result in the willingness to re-consider.
Hard problem, soft ground
Starting last year, we are in the Decade of Biodiversity, from 2011 to 2020? Retrospectively, the last year-the first in this designated decade- was alarming, with only a thin silver lining. One trend is how urbanization across India is eating up essential habitat.
In Bharatpur, Rajasthan, just a few minutes from the National Park, a pair of Painted Snipes lives at the edge of a disused sewage pipe, amidst trash, as urban water bodies are filled up. In other cities, Gray Hornbills perch off air-conditioners and short trees because their favoured tall trees have been cut. And few people anymore report seeing jewel red velvet mites or Indian Robins in gardens- we have paved open spaces. Clearly, built up land is the least productive environmentally. If you plan building a property, ensure it is as unpaved as possible. Instead of manicured lawns, seek tall grasses, shrubs and design around existing trees.
Also, map green features in your city and share the information so more people join you. As citizens of the planet, we have to battle–both our inner consumerist selves and the external systems at work-to keep other species intact.