The writing on the wall is rather clear: act or perish. Climate change worries are no longer an issue for debate.
The writing on the wall is rather clear: act or perish. Climate change worries are no longer an issue for debate. The routine flooding of Chennai and Mumbai, the Kerala deluge, the seasonal paralysing of Uttarakhand and Assam, the intermittent cyclonic battering of Odisha, the drought in Karnataka, Maharashtra and elsewhere…these are mere curtain-raisers. What may follow could be far more devastating, like an intense heat wave by 2050.
Is there something that still can be done? Something that will save us from barrenness, agricultural disaster, parched earth and throats, all amid large-scale poverty? Yes, keeping carbon emissions under check. An aggressive shift to solar power of 100 GW, cutting down on fossil fuel, prioritising non-polluting public transport, afforestation and water conservation, a new national agriculture policy. All these may still offer us some immunity from an impending catastrophe and gradual extinction. Make no mistake. Global warming is upon us, there’s little scope of gaslighting anymore.
The report by UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has not only synthesised the findings of scientists to ring the alarm bells, it also declares that the world needs to change its energy consumption patterns or perish. The report has identified China, India and Pakistan as especially vulnerable zones where the impact of climate change is tangible. India has time till 2030 to get its act together. Just another 0.5oC increase is all it needs for the situation to become irretrievable.
Come elections, voters, especially the discerning ones, must start demanding from political parties what they plan to do on this crucial issue. Hopefully, India and the rest of the world would do more than meet the target set by the Paris Agreement of keeping global temperatures within a 1.5oC increase, and listen to the “deafening…smoke alarm” that has been sounded. Particularly, we hope it would pierce the ears of the current US dispensation. It’s a struggle the world needs to win together. Pay heed to the scientists, and abide by a stricter threshold.