Text By Anuska Joshi | Photo By Amit Khakurel
The connection that we have with nature is ever-present, everlasting and it is inherent. The first thing we do after stepping foot in this world is, we breathe. And we continue to do so until we die. Like many times we are not aware that we are breathing, we are not aware that we are constantly connected to nature too. The air that we breathe is always there, the sky and the clouds are there and can be seen from everywhere. Likewise, the majestic sun rise and the sun sets, starting and ending our day always.
For me, it is not about going on a green hike or to the rivers or to the beach to get connected with nature. For me, nature is me and I am nature. We all are creations that evolved from the small prokaryotes wading across the ocean on the earth to become the human we are today. We evolved more to be able to define nature itself, but this does not mean that we belong to nature; this means we are nature, and this is how I see the connection between myself and nature.
Since we started to roam the earth to the present day, we have been evolving on the lap of the earth together with billions of other floras and faunas. Earth has always been spectacular and beautiful, the mighty Himalayas, gushing rivers, oceans that stretch for miles, from tiny macro-organisms to the biggest of creations, nature is nothing but beauty. The most serene of lives we see in the mountains, where the sound of the rustling wind is broken only by the chirping of birds, animals, and people singing. Also, in the coastal areas, where people and oceans go hand in hand, where the people’s heartbeat and the rise and fall of waves is parallel. In the agricultural lands, where people spend all their lives plowing the earth, getting harvest for themselves and caring and revering for the nature that provides for us with immense resources. Even in the city areas, where the skyscrapers obstruct the sky but people look up to get that glimpse and enjoy the rain and the rainbow. All the tribal people had songs dedicated to nature, to marvel its beauty and thank her for the abundance and even in the present time, all the communities across the countries in the world have these songs.
During the hunter and gatherer time, we relied on the resources of the earth, and that has not changed even today. The thing that has actually changed is our number. When we first started using earth’s resources, it was not to harm her, it was to sustain ourselves, and same is the case today. But the fact, that in the past we were few and resources were abundant, unlike in the present times, when we are more in numbers and the resources are limited. If we evolved enough to be able to define nature, we also evolved enough to be able to see what is going on and how we are now at a stage where our actions harm our earth. So now, the only thing that stops us is our greed. A greed blind enough to not see the future full of disasters. The changing climate resulting from pollution has already put the world in danger. All over the world people are putting on efforts for the betterment of the situation of the earth and trying for the transition to clean energy solutions and a more sustainable way of life.
Now a few who are obstructing the process are the ones who profit from the nonrenewable sources. While the world is trying to shift to solar and wind energy, the fossil fuel enthusiasts are already hurt and reluctant about having to leave so much of possible energy sources on the ground. Because it is not only the energy source for them, it is money. But while they continue to dig up the ground for the oil, millions of other pay the price. According to the scientists, we need to let the remaining fuels remain underground for cleaner air and a lesser risky future. When we pay the fossil fuel industry, it is not just money. The cost of carbon is drought, famine, sea level rise, water scarcity, climate refugees, extreme events, dying corals, wildfire, retreating glaciers, species extinction, infrastructure loss, ecosystem and most of all, our way of life.
Right now, we all feel the connection with the earth. We all are working in our individual sectors, from individuals to government, and coming together for the solutions, which was also evidenced through the historic Paris agreement. But also, a few who still put profit above the earth, for instance, the me first attitude of US President Trump who pulled the US out of the agreement. But again, the majority came to fight back and share the allegiance with clean energy and better future. So like always, earth and human are evolving together, and how we put nature and sustainable development in our agendas will determine the course of our future and determine if the beautiful connection human and nature have will remain in the generations to come or be gone for good.
Anuska Joshi is a climate leader trained by Nobel Laureat Mr. Al Gore in India in 2015 and Philippines in 2016. She is passionate about nature conservation and travel and tries to bring the two together in her articles. She has been involved in many community projects and has worked for climate change advocacy. She is also the feature writer of Image Nepal.