Eng. (Prof.), Int. PEng (SL), C. Eng, FIE(SL), FIAE(SL) BSc Eng (Hons) (Moratuwa), M Eng (AIT), D Eng (Tokyo) Editor, ‘ENGINEER’, Journal of The Institution of Engineers. Head of the Department & Professor in Civil Engineering, The Open University of Sri Lanka.
In earlier days ‘going green’ meant being envious, jealous and other related negative aspects of human nature. Though the older meaning still lingers, when referring to ‘going green’, what automatically comes to the mind today is to be friendly to the environment. Today, the ‘green’ concept is the popular culture as well as the politically correct approach, which quite appropriately should be, since without an environment conducive to life, nothing else would be worthwhile. Though countries, organizations and individuals increasingly get on to the bandwagon, there is clear lack of commitment in all parties in conserving the environment as portrayed by the global trends in consumption, or rather, over consumption. Apart from the radiated energy from the sun, our planet hardly gets anything from outside, but coupled with steadily increasing human population we have increased our individual demands on resources in multiples, stressing the delicate balances of climate and ecology to breaking point. This trend can not and should not continue, it is time that our old maxims on austerity and simple life be reminded to all and glorification of decadent consumerism be condemned. In fact it is easy to find true happiness in life without over indulging in everything if we go by the fundamentals of any great religion of our times. Also, we can get the spirit of our cultural heritage of living with, not hurting and respecting the environment and apply it to our lives, enriching the present and projecting hope for the future generations.