New Delhi: There is no climate change but only "our tolerance and habits" have changed, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Friday while advocating that "struggle" with nature should be avoided and asked children to imbibe practices to save energy.
"Climate has not changed. We have changed. Our habits have changed. Our habits have got spoiled. Due to that, we have destroyed our entire environment," he said while addressing students and replying to their questions through video conferencing in the first-ever initiative.
His assertion about no climate change comes despite global concerns over rising temperature, an issue that is being debated at various multilateral fora.
To buttress his argument, Modi said each year, elders complain in winter that the chill is more than the previous year. "Actually the chill is not more. Due to their age, their tolerance has become less. That is why they feel more cold," he said.
Contending that nature has the special feature of restoring the balance, he said, "If we change, it (nature) is already ready to change. Humans should not struggle with environment. Humans should love environment. Be it water, air, plants."
Noting that the entire world is facing energy crisis, Modi said one has to move towards saving power.
"The entire world is facing energy crisis. Coal, gas and petroleum have their limits. So where will one produce electricity from? Sometime or the other, we have to move towards the direction of saving electricity.
"Saving electricity is the best way of providing it to those to whom it has not reached and that too with minimal cost. Power production cost is very high. But saving electricity is very cheap," he said.
Asking children whether they had witnessed sunrise, sunset or full moon night, Modi said, "These habits have gone. We have forgotten to live with the nature. We have to learn to live with it."
The Prime Minister said he was informed by Nagpur Mayor that the electricity cost has come down after they have adopted a process of switching off street lights on full moon nights, which they have done two or three times.
Modi said he had suggested to the Nagpur Mayor to start a competition in each locality during full moon night.
"I suggested a competition of putting thread into a needle during full moon night. Everybody would enjoy and participate. Will you do it? Will you write to me after doing it. Do I trust that the children of the entire country would do this?
"On a full moon night, if street lights are put off for two-three hours, will it not be service to the environment? Won't you enjoy the full moon night? Won't the love for environment grow? Won't you love the nature?. We can do these small things without doing anything very big," he said.
The PM also told children as how they can save electricity by switching off fans and lights by those who comes out last from their classrooms and, switching off appliances when not in their room, when among their friends. They can save water by turning the taps off while brushing.
Modi reminded that the children that in 'Shastras', plants are called 'God' and rivers as 'mothers' and said "the moment one forgot this, the Ganga became polluted."
He also cited an example of families teaching their children to apologise mother Earth for causing her pain before putting their feet on the ground when they wake up in the morning.
Mothers teach children that Moon is ones mother while Sun is ones grandfather, he added.
"We consider the entire universe as our family. We are being taught from childhood. These environmental education were there in our day to day life but suddenly changes came," he said.