Unseasonal rains, floods in many regions of Asia. hurricanes in America, major drought in Australia, severe heat wave in central Asia and so on. These are the happenings which indicate the climate change which is the result of global warming (earth getting warmer due to increase in human activity and increased amount of carbon dioxide emission into the atmosphere).Also, there is evidence of the attic ice sheets melting which may lead to rise in sea levels. So. climate change is real and we are the prime cause.
Man’s growing needs, increased use of coal and petroleum are the main reasons for increase in Carbon Dioxide (CO2) emissions. We have crossed 380 PPM (parts per million) of CO2 and are adding 2 PPM every year-heating up the earth than ever before. The limit or safe level of concentration of Carbon Dioxide in atmosphere is 400 PPM according to scientists. Another major reason for climate change is de-forestation in the name of development.
Most of the developing countries like China and India along with developed nations are major carbon dioxide emitters. USA, China, Russia, India, Japan. Germany and Canada are listed growing 3 times as fast as that of the world.
The World Health Organization estimated that 150,000 additional deaths took place and 5.5 million life years were lost in 2003 because of climate change affecting health. More disasters are yet to happen if we go on the same path of thoughtless development. It also estimates that Amazon rain forest could turn into a desert, life forms could get lost, and loss of lives and livelihoods. famines and conflict between people may become a part of life as result of climate change. The very thought of it is scary and the world seems to be heading towards a dangerous situation.
India and world at large must definitely take it seriously and make efforts-coal and petroleum has to be used very less. Infact, experts say coal has to remain in ground if we have to avoid climate catastrophe. We have to lick’ the coal habit. India and all the other counties must follow a’ low carbon path’ which is sustainable. We must switch over to ‘low carbon’ emission technologies. Encourage production and use of renewable source of energy to meet the growing energy demands. We must, especially India must improve our public transport system and deter private transport. We must stop blaming each other for this environmental crisis. We must (the society and government) create awareness among the people and educate them as to how to improve the situation.
United Nations’ secretary general, Ban Ki-Moon says- “Handled correctly, our fight against global warming could, set stage for an eco-friendly transformation of global economy”. Brazil has shown way and become on of the biggest player in ‘green economics’ drawing some 44%of its energy needs from renewable fuels. China too has planned to invest more in renewable energy this year It has become a world leader in solar and wind power and pledged to reduce emissions by 20% in another ten years. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) lays out practical ways, from tougher standards for air conditioners and refrigerators to improve efficiency in industry, technology and transport. Environment friendly technology industry can create more jobs and also meet the energy needs. So. measures can be taken and implemented at a lesser cost than most of us imagine.
World leaders, UN and WHO, all are worried and they met at Bali in December 2007 for a summit on climate change. Nearly all countries broadly agree that [ action need to be taken to halt climate change which scientists warn could put millions of people at risk by century’s end. A global framework to coordinate the efforts is must and a treaty or agreement is being discussed which will be ready by 2009 end. UN secretary general. Ban-Id-Moon asserted that climate change effects “have become so severe that only urgent, global action will do”. So, need of the hour is action, that too quickly.
As responsible citizens we too can make some little changes-plant more trees, use cars or vehicles when most needed, use less electricity, switch-off bulbs/ light(once in a month for the whole night) stop use of incandescent bulbs, use solar cookers and solar water heaters… small changes to stop worst climate change.