Eco-Warrior Profile: How a Devastating Heat Wave Launched Satyam Jha Into Sustainable Agriculture
When India had a heat spell that topped 51C (nearly 124F), the related deaths shocked Satyam Jha. The pre-monsoon heat wave of 2015 hit much of northern India, where temperatures exceeded 40C for weeks. Nearly 1,700 people died from heat-related causes in the states of Telangana and Andhra Pradesh.
“I graduated with my degree in Agriculture Engineering five years ago and immediately went to work for an organic farm in Delhi,” Satyam told The Oxygen Project. “Since then, I managed lots of organic farms, and now I have started my own start-up business.”
As someone who regularly participates in climate protests, we asked Satyam what he thought our biggest opportunity is to reverse climate change.
“ We can make a sustainable choice every time we need to go somewhere,” he said. “Choose a fuel-efficient vehicle when purchasing, take public transportation if it’s available, carpool to work, ride a bicycle or walk when possible. These are all ways to reduce the number of greenhouse gases entering the atmosphere and heating our planet.”
Satyam reminds us that there are carbon emissions embedded in all the things we use every day. So, when you buy fewer new things, you shrink your carbon footprint.
“People need to get aware of the environment, as there is no planet b,” says Satyam.
But it isn’t just personal choices that people need to change. There are aspects of climate change that just aren’t talked about as much as they need to be. “Climate change specifically affecting agricultural systems and crop productivity is just not spoken about enough.”
If Satyam had a million dollars to donate to a cause, what would it go toward? “I would donate it for tree plantation and to things which will be better for our environment,” he said. “Educating people about the environment” is high on his list.
“ Here in India, it (climate change) is ugly and the situation is getting worse day by day,” Satyam said. “Heat wave frequency and power are increasing because of climate change. It shocked me completely when I saw so many heat-related deaths, and it gave me the courage to change my entire intent.”
In early 2019, “I came across a couple of Instagram profiles of inspiring women who were following a sustainable lifestyle,” he told us. “This was the trigger for me to completely dedicate my work to fight for climate change and towards more sustainability in all industries.”