Make Policies to Tackle Air Pollution in Kolkata and Declare War Against Climate Crisis.

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In 2018, During the time of Diwali, Kolkata surpassed Delhi in becoming the most polluted metropolitan city in India. Here, I do not want to talk about just Kolkata and Air Pollution. We are in the midst of sixth mass extinction, a mass extinction caused by human activity. Erosion of fertile topsoil, deforestation of our great forests, toxic air pollution, loss of insects and wildlife, the acidification of our oceans. These are all disastrous trends being accelerated by our way of life which we are unaware of but it is HAPPENING.

The Earth is dying and Nobody is Talking About It. I want you to act as if your House was on fire- Greta Thunberg.

Greta Thunberg is a Swedish schoolgirl who, at age 15, began protesting about the need for immediate action to combat climate change outside the Swedish parliament and also is a catalyst for the FridaysForFuture student strike.

Here is the link for FridaysForFuture, it is school strike organized by school students around the world on regular Fridays to pressure Government and Corporations to take Climate Action. The headcount is over millions in the strike which takes part all over the world. It also took place here in Kolkata by several school students of Kolkata.

I want to give some suggestions to tackle Air Pollution and the Climate Crises in our city, Kolkata

1. Make Public Transit smarter: Electric vehicles are on rising, see for example, what Tesla is doing. Autos are one of the major vehicles in our city, Electric Totos(a kind of vehicle) are already using electric to run and has zero emissions. Many startups have already started making autos fully electric. The government should start focusing on the shift of its Public transport (like autos) to electric vehicles and that should be done fast.

BUSES are already made ELECTRIC in the part of New Town and I appreciate the change, but more buses should be in the streets around the city.

And also the network of Metro Transit should be developed much faster than the current rate so that people are less dependent on cars.

I want Kolkata to be the first city to roll out electric vehicles all around the city so that other cities and nations will follow. And with the present Climate Crisis, this should be made fast!

UPDATE: Mahindra has already rolled out its electric autorickshaw models in the starting of the year 2018, and our government is still clinging on to the autos run by fossil fuels.

And also TATA has already started phasing out electric buses, they just need to accelerate their production rate.

2. Plant more trees around the city: We want more trees, not more buildings. More trees where there is more traffic so that the trees can take in the carbon dioxide released by the vehicles. We want trees and those trees should be protected. And we don't want any more false promises of turning our city like London. First Save Us from the Toxic Air In The City.

UPDATE: 3. We need lots of spaces for cycling and walking: Kolkata can be a very dangerous place for walking, let alone be cycling. We need the Bengal government to make the roads more friendly to people who love to cycle and walk regularly. Not just cars and bikes! If there can be separate pathways for bicycling and walking, people won't be dependent on cars or bikes. Will update more ideas on this. 

4. Industries which violates the pollution limits, into our air and waterways should be heavily penalised and be accountable for.

5. Private cab companies like Ola and Uber should slowly start considering shifting from fossil fuels into electric vehicles, which has zero emissions. I'm calling out them because they have the resources to start this shift.

Also, I have noticed that Ola doesn't let you take share rides between 11 pm to 6 am around the city. This clearly violates their ideology of a greener tomorrow, and I think carpooling/ sharing is a great initiative for the environment. I don't know about Uber, though.

6. Collaborate with other Nation/ City Leaders to learn how they are Tackling Climate Change and Air Pollution: Our government could learn from China how strongly they have reacted to air pollution affecting their city and how they are responding to Climate Change by innovation and through determination. Our government, if they have the will, can collaborate with these countries/ cities and work together to reduce the carbon footprint around the world.

For example, the city Copenhagen for its 2025 Climate Plan, lays out the path for the City to become the first carbon-neutral capital city by 2025.

Sorry, this was a long one but trust me, the only way to save your children's generation or yours(if you are in school) is to ACT or make the Government or the Big Corporations to act, who are the real decision makers. 

In the year 2030, eleven years from now we will be in a position where we set off an
irreversible chain reaction beyond human control that would most likely lead to
the end of our civilization as we know it, that is unless, in that time, permanent and unprecedented changes in all aspects of society have taken place including a reduction of our CO2 emissions by at least 50%.

Note: Inventions that are supposed to clear the atmosphere of the astronomical amounts of carbon dioxide have not been yet discovered and what is there we can do little with it. The only way is to stop using fossil fuels. They are left to be buried inside the Earth to save us from this unprecedented future.

In the year 2078, I will celebrate my 75th birthday and if I have children maybe they will spend that day with me, maybe they will ask me about you, maybe they will ask why you didn't do anything while there still was time to act. You say you love your children above all else and yet you're stealing their future in front of their very eyes- Greta Thunberg

PS- This is not just for Kolkata, I want every city and every world leaders and big corporations around the world to take note, collaborate with each other and ACT!!! IT IS ALREADY TOO LATE. DON'T MAKE YOUR CHILDREN SUFFER FOR YOUR ACTIONS.