Thursday, November 19, 2009

Climate Change: Progress vs Humanity?

Irregular ,sporadic and unseasonal rainfalls (thanks to our doing: Climate Change) destroyed nearly two lakh acres of crop land in Western Maharashtra. How does that affect us? Well sugar that used to, a week back, cost Rs 10/kilo is today, priced at Rs40 for the same. Pulses or Dal that were priced at (already exorbitant rates) Rs80/kilo have recently struck their maiden centuries. Isn't this good enough a highlight to show the practical problems rooted to Climate Change?

Devil's advocacy. The naysayers of the Climate-change saga hail the whole deal (of Climate change, Global warming) to be a myth. To be a hype. OK
Some people (for example the unpopular former prez., Mr. Bush) believe that the Earth has been warming since the beginning of the century. Its a natural development. OK
Economy is much more precious than something which isn't truly, fully understood (ie the entire climate-change dilemma) OK
And so on... (this is in fact the power of reasoning. There are logical counter-points to even the most simple truths.)

Angel's advocacy :). Firstly, the human race prides itself (more than anything) in its advances in science. And it is that same science that has observed irregularities in the occurrence of naturally occurring events. On one hand, we hail science to be a cult, we follow it as nothing less than a religion. On the other, we indirectly point a finger at it saying that it is a cook of myths and hypes?  (For those who would point: 'everything has flaws'. When many observations are made, and the same conclusions reached, over a period of time. Odds are, that the particular observations aren't flawed)
To people falling under the umbrella of Mr. Bush. Granted- scientifically -that the Earth has been warming by itself since centuries. Does that mean we should continue ravaging It? Continue depleting natural resources at alarming rates? Continue polluting our surroundings so as to cause sufferings to ourselves and our fellow earthlings? We, as a race, wouldn't be the root cause of the Global heating phenomena... but we're surely playing the role of a catalyst, an over-enthusiastic catalyst.
Addressing the economists who presume priority of the economy. Rising prices are like a cancer. Here, as mentioned in the intro., isn't inflation the most troublesome economic ill (to the majority, common-man, human population) a result of the poor use of our environment? Another point that deserves mention. Many industrial lobbyists argue that a transformation to green-lifestyles will have a drastic impact on society. People will lose jobs. People won't be able to accustom to the change. Basically, economic cataclysm. Its only the people on top (these industrialists) who will lose grip over power. Who will lose out on money-making opportunities. The non-conventional energy industry, if harnessed, will produce more jobs than are at present. Human nature is such that is highly adaptable to change. After all, why did America vote for Obama? :)

Lets put it this way. The many problems humanity faces are in many ways correlated. The population outburst resulted in spiked demands for food, housing that led to deforestation and urbanization which further led to industrialization that has become a prime contributor to the whole Climate-Change emergence. 

In fact, the latest blockbuster release 2012 is a splendid effort by the entertainment industry to raise awareness (of course, tagged along with a vested commercial interest) among people. Who need the kind of masala and unrealistic fiction portrayed, to wake them out of their stubborn sleep. As otherwise shown, the planet won't necessarily come to such an end.  But, who says the human race can't be wiped off by nature? Weren't we taught the 'Tit-for-tat' ideology during our very early years? If thats what the principles of our life are built on... Why wouldn't it be applicable for our disrespect to nature? Newton's third law would act as the scientific logic here. 

With droughts becoming common, sea-level rising, resources depleting (at the same time, the demand continuously rising), diseases spreading (as if it were the Happy-hour in the bacterium clans) ,floods increasing (in both frequency and magnitude). With the lack of clean water, clean air, to the so ons. We're in a mess. Perhaps, again as shown in the movie, only the rich and powerful would be able to hedge themselves out of catastrophe. 

On a more positive note... There still is hope. Provided we act in unison. There is tremendous potential in the green industry. Which is limitless and commercially, if utilized to that extent, much more beneficial. For those who think that only fossil-fuel obtained energy will drive economic growth, are either ignoring green-power or are too scared to lose their monopolies in the non-renewable energy markets. Yes, there is a great deal of research required before we can efficiently harness naturally abundant renewable energy. But with the way we have progressed in science, there is nothing that should deflate our hopes. Its a safe-bet. 

At this current hour. We, in many ways, are aware of the problems at hand. Be it Obama meeting Hu Jintao. Or Miliband tweeting. Or Manmohan meeting Obama. Or the APEC meeting conducted in Singapore. Climate-Change is a buzzword in the policy-makers' circles. But we as such, don't have a practical reason to be a part of the war against the blatant mismanagement of our precious Home. Unless driven by incentives (practical reasons), not many of us will come out of our cozy nests to fight against the menaces of Climate-Change.

If Copenhagen is to succeed where its predecessor, Kyoto, fell short – to become Hopenhagen, as some have said – then world leaders must walk away on December 18 with a signed plan in their back pockets that does more than tick a few token boxes. 

(This is perhaps a cliche of an addition to the pile of articles suggesting the problems we face, and that why the leaders should come up with concrete agreements. We forget, that we are as much as at fault as are our leaders. If the industry sells fossil-fuels fueled products, thereby polluting Mother Earth, who buys those products? After all, we too want the luxury of flats in high-rise buildings, of lavish cars, of enough water that could cater to entire villages, of air-conditioned rooms, of the so ons. We too need to make a difference, at the very grass-roots before we can point fingers at or expect leaders to work out resolutions.)


  1. Very thotfully written. The punch at the scientific angle is good.

  2. Dude...
    First of all, the whole thing that climate change is truly happening isn't really a 'simple truth'. It is a hugely complex, very difficult to understand, and completely unprovable phenomenon.
    Another really big question is whether we can do anything at all about Global warming, as such. There are certain studies that say that if eavh and every human managed to reduce his carbon footprint to make it negligible, we would make a change of a degree celsius in, maybe, a millenium. If that is true, there isn't any point shouting, is there?
    Of course, this doesn't mean that we aren't being killed by our own pollutants, in a much more direct, much less impressive way. And that green energy sources aren't a good thing. But global warming? Quite definitely still grey.

  3. Vipluv: but thats thinking multi- fold. What anand's written is SIMPLE fold.

    Anand: good job :)