Monday, August 17, 2015

Data & information - the boom and blame

           The life on earth had evolved from stone age to modern age. The development history of mankind during this evolution is amazing. The current age is termed as information age in which development is at a lighting speed.
           In ancient days there was little importance for keeping an information in written form. In India only a few people who were regarded as higher caste were able to read and write. Others were denied the right for studying ! Hence the data they received from their ancestors were transferred to their successors in a traditional way among the high caste only.
         When human progressed he began to think himself. When his thoughts became restless he began to search for information. These searches lead him to the scripts kept in the houses of high cast people. Once he received those data he began to think for a safe custody of the same. Some people even thought about a storage that every one can access. Thus there came the idea of internet storage of data and information.
         The data and information had significally changed the life of ordinary people. Once upon a time people were totally unaware of the forthcoming natural calamities like storm , earth quake etc. Even birds and animals knew about them in advance while intelligent human didn’t. Hence after such a calamity the life loss was tolling to 1000s. On the other hand now , the weather data can be collected by satellites and processed at satellite centres. These information can be broadcast to people likely to be affected. So they can be moved to a safe place in advance.
          Eventhough technology had developed, man had became time less. The duration of a day in stone age was 24 hours! Still it is 24 hours ! But in the run for life we feel days are splashing behind curtains. Now he had no time to visit even his blood relatives including parents. So it ends in a phone call , message or a mail. The job is not confined to his or her office only but can be carried out at any place. The work time is not fixed, any time round the clock he can work. Banking and shopping not need his physical presence at that place , but can be carried out through internet. How is all these possible? Just one answer – all the information to carry out these transaction are already stored.

          My state Kerala is going to step to a new era of information flow. Through the introduction of e-governance project common people will get a lot of services that he needed , through internet. He himself can get all those services from the respective authorities within some clicks. Surely this online activities will reduce corruption. Also as all actions are electronically recorded there will not be any time delay. Even he is able to check the status of his service request. So the life of people will get a lot of convenience if he utilizes these services effectively.
           In spite of all these information overflow , the curse of third world countries poverty and pollution are still growing. Eventhough people in developed countries knows that the food that he wastes everyday is enough to feed a starving family, the technology has not developed to that level of distributing them to the needy. Eventhough some organizations are acting in this field the speedy transfer from place to place is always a barrier. So I don’t think data and information will rescue people from poverty.
          The million dollar question is still remaining – will all data and information add to the health of the planet ? My answer is definitely it will add. In ancient days in my country India  the information were stored in palm leaves by inscribing on it. Cutting of the leaves resulted in destroying a lot of palm trees.

Palm leave manuscripts

 Later there came the paper storing method. But the papers were also made from bamboo. Finally there came the  storage of data and information in internet. So the use of papers were reduced to a larger extent which helped to save trees and there by to protect the greenery of earth. At the same time the threat of e-wastes has been increased due to the thoughtless usage of e-gadgets.

         The data and information had given a boost to human progress. But its by products had given a boost to the ill health of the earth. So it is the responsibility of every human being to use the technological developments wisely. Let us keep an eye on earth.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Seven Billion Dreams. One Planet. Consume with Care

Mother earth has  4.54 billion years of age. Almost same is the age of most of the natural resources in this earth. The existence of human beings in this earth started about 200000 years ago. It means mankind has 200000 years of history to deliver. The ever and prime story that the he proudly narrate will be the invention of fire. Since then he began to eat meat after cooking. For cooking he used log collected from forests. There we started the consumption of natural resources and it still continues.

The natural resources that the mankind use include coal, water, petroleum and above said log. Out of these coal and petroleum are called fossil fuels. They are formed inside earth after a series of transformation of dead bodies of all living beings. Thousands of years are needed for this. If we look into the past history of countries having rich deposit of fossil fuels , at least one natural calamity like storm  , earthquake or flood aging back to more than thousand years can be spotted. So it is obvious that the coal or petroleum that are dig today is the energy of our grand grand parents ! A humour says that fossil fuels will not be produced in earth in future as humans and animals are rescued from calamities in advance ! So resource shortage will be the challenge that the next generation going to face soon.

The shortage of natural resources will affect not only the producing countries, but all the consumer countries across the globe. The first effect will be on the economy of the country which will lead to many emergency situations. The first shot of financial problems will be toward employment. Youth being dominating in the planet , no doubt, immediate steps is to be initiated by the youth itself.

Regarding my country India the youth population may cross 2 billions by this year. The new generation is crazy towards vehicles. In my state Kerala (otherwise called God’s own country) nowadays there is no house without a single motor vehicle. All these vehicles are using fossil fuels like petrol, diesel. LPG etc. In addition to consumption of natural resources they pollute this earth in many ways. It is estimated that , if current rate of consumption and production pattern continues and population rise, one earth will not be enough to sustain , instead three planets will be required! So the first step to start is from each individual itself. Youth has to rethink on their lifestyles. They have to control the use of natural resources. They have to use it judiciously.

Some may call us alarmists as we talk on the threats rather than the charming future. But it is real. Once upon a time it was believed that food supply will not end or starvation will not be there in this earth. But now most of the African countries are under the curse of starvation. At the same time 1/3rd of global food production is wasted. During the theme study of World Environment Day 2013 (Think Eat Save) it was observed that 1.3 billion tons of food is wasted all over the world which is more than enough to feed the hungry across the world! So the lifestyle of youth is to be changed.

So for a better quality of life to all the wasteful consumption pattern of people especially the youth below 25 ,who are going to dominate more than 50% of world population should change. They should be tuned towards sustainable development. I remember the great Indian leader Mahatma Gandhi’s words “The world has enough for everyone's need, but not enough for everyone's greed” . So consume with care as there is one and only one planet earth which at present bears 7 billion dreams to bloom.

Seven Billion Dreams. One Planet. Consume with Care