United Academy

Blue Sky

Usha Kiran Subba

September 05, 2022
KMC Lalitpur

When I was little, the sky used to be blue, we played under the blue sky and merry making.  I still remember my childhood leisure time spent lying on the uppermost roof of Haweli looking up at the blue sky and figuring out symbols and images in the form of creative brainstorming. There were absolutely no limits, no judgments and no consequences, where could your imagination take you? The sky's the limit. My favorites are country home, rustic life and the local dialect. There was serene, rustic simplicity, chirping of birds and the blue sky, villagers were totally dependent on sky to tell time, rains, sun-light, moon coolness, and it was also an alarm for storms, drought, and wild fire as reflection of the earth.

They used to be happy even if they saw the blue sky and it was said that today the work will be done well in the same way. I imagined the cool, clean air and this huge, perfect blue sky all around me but that blue sky is no longer. The sky inspires us in many ways. Besides holding ground for the heavens, the sky suggests optimism, dreaming, peace, strength, and a connection with the atmosphere and the universe at large.

It is our nature which has given us such beautiful colors and as a result, the sky looks blue, the environment looks green, etc. All these things look like a miracle but are part of science. Nowadays due to pollution, we cannot see the original beauty of color in our environment. It's our duty to protect our nature and earth.

Research in behavioral psychology suggests that tangible achievements can spur people on to greater success. Setting goals that offer visible, attainable results, even if incremental, can motivate people to aspire and achieve higher aims that are very difficult, and that can seem beyond reach.

This same kind of motivational thinking is surfacing in the effort to address climate change. An emerging theme in the efforts to ratchet up to the global ambition needed to meet the sheer magnitude of the goals of the Paris Agreement is taking aim at using another route: emphasizing what can be achieved by focusing on the demonstrable, local benefits of taking certain actions – which themselves also help turn climate mitigation targets into reality.

Here, Blue sky is taken metaphor for greater ambition and commitment to alleviate biopsychosocial suffering through culturally relevant prevention, care, and treatment of mental health problems; to promote and sustain the psychosocial health and wellbeing of individuals and communities around the world; and to effect systemic change in the accessibility, organization and delivery of mental health services.

Air pollution offers a prime example of the trend by capitalizing on “blue sky thinking”, both metaphorically and literally.

The first International Day of Clean Air for Blue Skies taking place on September 7th was organized by the United Nations Environment Program to raise public awareness about the need to improve air quality. This offered people a glimpse of what is possible if the world cleans up pollution sources.

Exposure to air pollution is the world’s largest environmental health risk. Reducing air pollution in a given area can contribute to improved public health, longer lives and improved well-being. The results are measurable – reduced medical expenditures – and visible – clear, blue skies.

Many actions that reduce air pollution also reduce greenhouse gases that contribute to climate change, meaning that these same measures can be leveraged to put greater ambition into the Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) that are the cornerstone of the Paris Agreement. The tangible benefits of cleaner air may thus incentivize actions that complement the motivation to be part of the worldwide mission to limit global temperature rise to “well below 2oC”. This is true for both lower- and middle-income countries whose contributions to global warming may be small but whose benefits from reduced pollution may be great, and for higher-income countries that are still contending with air pollution issues.

Whereas United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 13 urges that we take action to combat climate change and its impacts, and acknowledges there is overwhelming agreement among climate scientists that the earth is warming, due primarily to increased amounts of carbon-dioxide and other “greenhouse” gases being emitted into the atmosphere and that the increase in emissions is due to human activities;

Appreciating that all communities are impacted, and that marginalized and disadvantaged countries, communities and peoples disproportionately bear the negative impacts of climate change. Promote public awareness and literacy about how psychological science and application address the causes and consequences of human behavior relevant to SDGs 3, 10 and 13 along with attitude and behavior change; develop culturally relevant interventions, empower action, and promote long term well-being. Alliance psychology organizations will collaborate to advocate for and support international and cross-disciplinary collaboration to prioritize addressing SDGs 3, 10 and 13. SDG 3: Ensure healthy lives and promote wellbeing for all ages; SDG 10:  Reduce inequality within and amongst countries; SDG 13: Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts.

Further emphasizing that psychologists can also address climate change through developing tools to promote literacy on climate, health; and wellbeing; developing environmental education programs related to human wellbeing; providing tools to empower individuals, organizations and communities with cognitive, social, and emotional competencies for problem-solving; developing interventions to foster better interconnectivity and social cohesion within communities; developing interventions for individual and organizational behavior change for personal and social transition and adaptation; using psychological science data to support climate decision making and decision makers; and contributing to the design and implementation of public policies concerning climate, healthy environments, and resilient communities; bringing human factors to the design of environmentally friendly buildings and communities; contributing to the creation and uptake of green technologies; advocating for improved climate policies; and educating policy makers about risk assessment and behavioral change interventions.

At last not least, the Proclamation confirmed the commitment of GPA (GLOBALPSYCHOLGYALLIANCE) members to ongoing collaboration on the application of psychological science and practice to critical global issues where psychology could offer the most contribution, and to continue working collaboratively on key challenges where psychology could make a difference and add value. The Resolution outlined to members of the GPA, as well as the GPA overall, to put Proclamation into practice, Developing a road map for 2023-2025 which would address key critical issues and provide a basis for putting the Resolution into practice. I think, therefore, we would but take time to reflect upon our lives, one year, or even one moment, out of all those allotted to us might stand out as truly unique, a turning point where one part of life ends and another begins. People who prioritize the welfare of the environment over self-interest may develop favorable views toward nature, which could drive behaviors that preserve the environmental resources.  The human-caused environmental decline because of one's genuine desire to preserve nature and one’s willingness to act ecologically to preserve the environment. Whereas materialism decreases, pro-environmental actions increase. Then we can say hopefully, people see the Blue Sky again and enjoy their life as usual globally.

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