American and Chinese rovers seek life on Mars. The Indian Mangalyaan, built by ISRO, is also in orbit around Mars. ISRO is also considering sending a Shukrayan to Venus. but why? What is India, each country has its own problems. Somewhere there is more violence, somewhere there is poverty. And for now, no corner of the world is spared by Corona. In such a situation, what is the point of finding life on other planets instead of concentrating so much resources, budget, technology and human resources on Earth? On World Environment Day, Navbharat Times Online tried to find answers to these questions. (Special report: Shatakshi Asthana)
Earth was once as frozen as Mars
Dr Ram Karan Sharma, scientist at Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah University of Science and Technology, who has been researching pollution issues for 15 years, says our land has not always been like it is today. There was a time when there was no sign of life here. When we look at our companions like Mars or Venus, we can see them as a mirror of both our past and our future. Going back 4.6 billion years, everyone will see the same story. All were born from the same gas and the same dust and began to revolve around the same sun. The difference appeared here that after the climatic tragedies, only the land had water and the rest remained deserted. Venus began to boil and Mars began to freeze.
There was a time when the Earth was probably as icy as Mars in the Ice Age, and if we didn’t improve in time, would we ever know that greenhouse gases would warm us like Venus. In this way, by learning about the conditions of other planets, their history, their atmospheres, their chemistry underground, we can understand the future of our own atmosphere, environment and climate. After all, the same principles of physics govern all of these planets. Data from these planets have taught us that climate persistence is by no means to be taken lightly. Do we know that we too have to face an invisible danger wandering in space.
not to be like them
Studying the other planets in the universe, or at least our own solar system, is like turning the pages of history or looking to the future. It gives us the opportunity to understand what may be the challenges that the earth faces to save its existence and how to face them.
Despite this, what will we do if the earth cannot be saved from catastrophic tragedy or the process of life? Will life end with the developments and civilizations that have existed so far? Dr Gaurav Kumar, assistant professor and environmental scientist at the University of Delhi, says we get everything from the Earth’s ecosystem. Many scientists and researchers believe that when you consider the American standard, the earth is capable of supporting the burden of only one-fifth of the population today. Therefore, in order to save life on earth, it is very important to save the ecosystem first.
No waste, investment in the future
If the growing population can be divided, the weight of the earth will be less and therefore exploring the possibility of life on other planets may be a long term need. Dr Ram Karan also warns that with the search for life on other planets, we will quickly have to not only save threatened biodiversity, but also change our state of mind, due to which we today face this problem. . Due to changes in the food chain, the balance of the ecosystem rapidly deteriorates and humans do not take it seriously. Therefore, it becomes necessary to explore other options. Not only that, to avoid a catastrophic event like the fall of an asteroid, we must also keep an eye on space so that we can be warned of impending danger.
Dr Ram Karan says that today, while space exploration may seem like an unnecessary expense to us, the bigger problems can only be solved by keeping the results in mind at a later date. Improving society comes through hard work, research, development and its fruits are understood after years, decades and generations. Dr Gaurav believes that the search for life on other planets is necessary, but it depends on the economy and infrastructure of a country, on the scale of its investments. Of course, with the search for life, it is very important to preserve the life that is there now.
focus on the environment with space
According to Dr Ram Karan, India possesses such intelligence which has played an important role in many space missions of the world. India itself has taken many milestones in space, defense, aeronautics and satellites. The Indian Space Research Organization of India ISRO is one of the top 6 government space agencies in the world, which has set many records in 50 years. In the budget for the year 2020-21, the Indian government gave 13,949 crore rupees to the Ministry of Space. After all, every need from agriculture to communication, from the military to the bank depends on the satellite system.
On the other hand, Rs 3,100 crore was remitted to the Ministry of the Environment in 2020-2021. This includes many roles in public health, sanitation, agriculture, disease prevention in animals, water and land. Dr Ram Karan says the budget for the environment is much lower. It is necessary to create a framework for future actions and to provide more funding to institutes for environmental protection, monitoring and research. He says scientific and technical innovation as well as research are important to save the environment and reduce global warming. Thanks to this, it will help to cope with climate change, eradicate pollution and take care of your health.
Science has people’s backing
Both Dr Gaurav and Dr Ram Karan agree that apart from government and scientists, the responsibility for saving the earth lies with ordinary people who are the biggest link in this ecosystem. In addition to worries and questions, everyone will have to play their part, make changes in their way of life and only then the earth and its ecosystem can be saved. Only specialized researchers and scientists work for space research, but to save the environment, common man can start with steps like not using harmful plastics or chemicals in his home.
If governments stop cutting trees, people should keep planting more trees together. If people find ways to avoid chemical fertilizers for scientific agriculture, then people are showing awareness and choosing better options. Governments and scientists can make deals like Paris together, but by reducing electricity use, using less coal, carpooling instead of burning gasoline and diesel in vehicles, and in such small ways , people can save the earth’s environment. . If ordinary people start to play their role with understanding, then instead of looking for alternatives to earth for life, scientists will be able to make life on this blue planet more enjoyable.