1 Like = 1 Apocalypse Averted


1 Like = 1 Apocalypse Averted

Illustration: Palak Bansal/Arré

There are few ways to tell if you’re one of them cool kids: You enjoy everything ironically, you routinely drink something that looks like it’s been regurgitated by a lizard, and you share articles about climate change with all your friends. Only the last one is a problem.

Scientists are now releasing doomsday warnings like they’re Golmaal sequels. Two days ago 1,500 of them got together and penned a letter to humanity. Their message was clear: “Time is running out.” Now if only hashtags could capture greenhouse gases, the response that followed would have resolved the climate-change crisis. As usual, the outrage that followed relied more on reacting to this news with cross-eyed emojis and dangling participles (“Horrifying!”) than actually addressing any personal or lifestyle changes.

Climate change unfortunately picked the worst era to threaten the world. It’s come at a time when most young people are comfortable sharing intimate moments about their first poop on social media — but that’s pretty much it. So the smog in Delhi is basically serving as fodder for Instagram followers, the dirt all along the Yamuna in Delhi is an opportunity to draw outraged engagement on Twitter, and the scientists’ latest threat is an opportunity to use the “Wow” emoji on Facebook.

I know this is yet another opportunity to inform everyone about how millennials are fucking up the world, but the real problem is that we don’t know the first thing about taking even a small step toward helping resolve the crisis. We are so unaware about how these large questions boil down to individual choices, that the only option we have is to take the moral high ground until the point our convenience is threatened.

"It’s easy to get distracted when there’s a 100 million hours of content on Netflix to run in the background while you play a game on your phone."

It’s almost universally accepted that releasing a whole bunch of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere is not helping matters, but who wants to risk a fungal infection and take public transport? Or keep track of your garbage when you know the guy who takes it away is just going to dump it in the same landfill in the hope that we can send it to Jupiter one day. Here’s a typical graph of how a person goes from woke environmentalist millennial to normal woke millennial in a few sentences:

“Don’t set fire to everything this Diwali.”

“Sure. I’m woke”.

“Don’t drive a giant diesel car.”

“I won’t… until I can afford one.”

“Take shorter showers.”

“Yeah, yeah. But what is the government doing about GST?”

To be honest it’s hard to be conscious of the environment when you live in an urban Indian city like Delhi or Mumbai. We’ve grown up with a higher chance of coming face to face with a rat king (NSFL) outside our houses than a tree. It’s also extremely easy to get distracted when there’s a 100 million hours of content on Netflix to run in the background while you play a game on your phone.

But it’s these little things that really count the most for the people who are not currently building a machine to remove smog from Delhi. There’s no point outraging online if you aren’t willing to risk death on the streets by cycling around a little bit. Spare the hashtag, save the world.