NOBEL LAUREATE ADAM FENECH ON BATTLING CLIMATE CHANGE: WE NEED TO CHANGE THE WAY WE THINK
While planning a city, always listen to the climatologist. Doesn’t it sound like dentist?’ Students burst into laughter as eminent climatologist and Nobel Laureate Adam Fenech sat discussing climate change. Fenech has worked extensively on climate change since 1988. He took us back to his journey, telling us about his forming years in Toronto when his father felt guilty to raise him in a polluted world.
“Dad used to take us to north where I used to catch frogs, play in the lake and savour carefree days of childhood. Those days left a strong impression on my mind and who knew I’d spend a lifetime working on climate change?” said Fenech. Fenech highlighted startling facts about climatic change in Ahmedabad: In 40 years (1975 to 2014), Mean Annual Temperature of the city has risen up by 0.9 degree Celsius.
Also the number of extreme hot days (>38 degree Celsius) has gone up to 104 days in 2014 as compared to 75 days in 1975. He said, “I was surprised to see the dramatic increase in temperature here. This can lead to lead to more extreme and haphazard weather patterns. One should start preparing now for the future impact of climate change, NOW.” When asked what can be done to make the situation less severe, he said, “A paradigm shift.
We have been thinking in a certain way and now we need to change it. Be it the case of Delhi choking in bad air or any other city, the solution is to promote public transport, vehicles made by electricity, renewable energy instead of fossil fuel, applying progressive tax and using ‘Odd-Even’ traffic rule can also lead to quick results.” With this, Ananya Oli, a 10th grade student intervened asking what can be done by students in this matter. To this, he answered, “The whole world has its eye on India as has the youngest population.
Ever small step matters. It counts if kids like you decide to come to school strictly by bus, instead of asking your dad to drop you by the car. Another thing is, planting trees. You can never go wrong with it.” In the next five years, the situation is going to get worse. Fenech takes a small pause and continues, “In bringing a change, the only thing that limits us is our mind. But no matter what, I still have faith in humanity and the way we think.”