Friday, July 9, 2010

If not now, then when?

Yes, that's the question boggling the mind of many environmentalists and researchers who understand exactly what's up with mother nature. We never faced a threat more severe than what we are up against now, "Global Warming". It is not only some social or economical threat rather it threatens the very "existence" of human survival on Earth. Isn't that grave enough?? Looking at the actions taken by our administrators, to mitigate this threat, it doesn't seem so. They are busy playing blame games against each other. India, China and other developing countries say US and European countries are responsible for Climate Change, hence they must take the responsibility of cutting down the carbon emissions (root cause of Global Warming). US and European countries on the other hand, hold the recent high growth in demand of fossil fuels in the developing nations responsible for the surge in Global Warming and wants them to cut down their use of carbon emitting substances drastically.

The average temperature of the globe has augmented more than 1 degree Fahrenheit since 1900 and the speed of warming has been almost three folds the century long average since 1970. All studies suggest that human actions, mainly discharge of green house gases from manufacturing units, vehicles and burning forests, are perhaps the leading factors contributing to global warming. Without action to reduce these emissions, the global average temperature is likely to rise a further 1.8-4.0 degree Celsius this century and by up to 6.4 degree Celsius in the worst case scenario, the IPCC projects. Even the lower end of this range would take the temperature to a threshold beyond which many scientists believe irreversible and possibly catastrophic changes would become more likely.

So the big question is, What steps are being taken by our administrators to avoid this catastrophe? And if we make an effort to find an answer, we'll see many promises being made by the Obamas and the Jintaos and the Sarkozys but nothing concrete has been achieved yet. Kyoto protocol, which is considered to be the first most comprehensive step towards arresting the quantity of green house gases emitted in the atmosphere, is a miserable failure. First of all, having an emission reduction treaty without USA cannot succeed. It is not only bias for developing nation who have just learnt the meaning of growth but also envious for developed European nation. They can't compromise their growth to control global warming when the biggest polluter in the world, cares least about it. Secondly, there are differences in the treaty regarding the levels of emission cut by individual nations. Some developing countries are allowed to pollute more. Moreover, on the technical front, scientists and researchers argue that the protocol was misconceived from the start because it was based on previous international treaties to protect the ozone layer, to stop acid rain and to control the proliferation of nuclear weapons. This borrowing simply failed to accommodate the complexity of the "climate-change" issue.
Then the whole world watched what happened at the Copenhagen Summit in December, 2009. The Copenhagen accord was drafted by the US, India, China, Brazil and South Africa. It was sought as a successful agreement by the Obama administration, but all the nations didn't take it likewise. It wasn't adopted in the debate of all participating countries. The document does not force nations to make any legally binding commitments for reducing carbon dioxide emissions, it leaves the decision on the social welfare will of the nations.

Is this our approach towards fighting this issue? Is this what we expect from our administrators? Aren't they aware of the rising number of instances of floods, storms and other natural calamities? I am a big Obama fan, but disappointingly, he has failed to deliver on this front, though this was one of his most promised agenda. The world, specifically our leaders need to wake up and address this issue with utmost priority and diligence before it's too late. Environmentalists should have a greater say and authority in policy making, because they know exactly what needs to be done. Agreements and deadline on Climate Change should be strictly met, in fact a severe penalty should be levied on the countries not meeting the proposed carbon cuts. A sense of "peer pressure" be built among economically similar nations to impose the reduction in emissions. And most importantly, people need to be taught and made aware of the ill-effects of carbon dioxide emission in to our atmosphere. A concerted effort is needed to arrest and control global warming. Be it the underdeveloped Africa or the developing Asia or the developed America and Europe, all need to come forward to fight for "human existence".

Read the previous article here Microfinance .


  1. I think environmental protection laws, scientific research on alternative energy resources and nature conservation have reached new hieghts through social media.Even though the Copenhagen summit remains a blotch on the Global community's efforts towards reaching a mutual consensus towards emission cuts, I personally feel that each country, due to their varied demographics, have to take a unique perspective on climate change and implement policies that are suited to each country's environment, in order to act as a catalyst in thwarting disasters that are the direct consequences of global warming, environmental degradation and pollution.While it would be easy to assert these, it would be equally imperative to bear in mind that the concept of sustainable development must be harmonised with any controls/measures the govt's of each country wishes to implement to fight the effects of climate change.

  2. very well said Andrea, but is every country aware of its responsibilities. Let's be practical. Nowadays most governments care about is enhancing their nuclear power and invest a lot of money and other resources in their defence sector. No doubt they talk plenty about global warming and its repercussions, I have seen both your prime minister and my president appealing the world to come together and fight climate change, but the result comes out to be null everytime. And i am damn sure, that no country will take suitable measures to curb emissions unless a strict agreement is signed which if they fail to fulfill , will have to bear a severe penalty.
    The rise in the temperatures in the recent years have been alarming and this issue now can't be resolved by appealing to the people to contribute, rather they should be legally forced to do so. Andres, we don't have much time,before mother nature turns into a monster.