Global warming, Carbon footprints, the Greenhouse Effect, and Climate Crisis are all abstract ideas.

But Global warming will affect (and is involving) plants and animals, but overall, the planet will keep going long after people are gone. We are no longer talking about climate change but a climate crisis here and now. So if we want life here to be comfortable, we must do something serious about the climate crisis.

Some of the actions are easy, some a little harder, but think of it as a collective challenge like the “Tug of war” we used to play during childhood. In this game, we, the polluters, need to play against our collective behaviours and win the game.

Reducing our global carbon footprint will take a concerted effort from governments, companies, colleges/schools and individuals across the planet. And the best way to get started is in our backyard, New Delhi - plus in and around our homes.

The message around an abstract idea like carbon footprint and climate crisis can be communicated to common folks is simple:

Delhi has an air pollution problem all year round. It becomes most visible during winters when climactic conditions fuse with cultural imperatives like Diwali fireworks and agricultural traditions like crop stubble burning. Other round-the-year contributing factors include increased vehicular pollution and growing public works such as construction.

There is already so much news and noise around air pollution. People are generally aware of the issue. But “how to” mobilise ourselves and the community in the fight to improve air quality seems missing and deficient. A path needs to be carved out.