TODAY -

Political will to solve the climate crisis

Dr Debapriya Mukherjee *



The catastrophic bushfires raging across much of Australia that have swept large parts of Australia since October, leaving more than 20 people dead, destroying thousands of homes and devastating wildlife - are a further proof of global warming and a clear sign of unsustainable development. This type development in the name of progress of the society cannot meet the needs of the present.

Moreover it will simply destroy the basic requirement of future generations. As a result of climate change, hurricanes are becoming larger and more powerful than in the past. Floods cover vast regions, causing people to lose their homes. Droughts cause crops to die, which means people go hungry. The sea level is rising, and will one day swallow up entire countries.

For confronting this climate change problem in which the stakes are high and solutions can be blocked by collective action problems, leadership is essential. Leadership can only make a decisive difference by providing a model that encourages the others to follow. There is another serious aspect that leadership has the potential not only to unite, but also divide public opinion over this issue.

In absence of political consensus within countries, the implementation of policy to effectively address climate change is bound to be weakened. Influence of many political leaders in confronting this acute global problem is always contradictory to climate change activitists despite the humanity at stake.

Scientists strongly pointed out that the climate change caused a greater number of violent storms than usual, including 70 tropical cyclones in the northern hemisphere, compared with the long-term average of 53. Storms brought devastation to the Mariana Islands, the Philippines, Vietnam, the Korean peninsula and Tonga, while hurricanes Florence and Michael caused substantial damage in the US.

Wildfires also raged in Greece, Canada, California and other areas, while floods devastated Kerala in India and displaced more than 1.4 million people. Japan also experienced serious flooding, as did east Africa. The record-high heat waves, record-low Arctic sea ice, above average tropical cyclones and deadly wildfires are the resultant effect of climate change.

It is pertinent to mention that the African savannah, the Australian bush or the US conifer forests have evolved with fires over many thousands of years. But the plants and animals living in the Amazon do not have the traits needed to survive a big fire and regenerate after the blaze. This is because fires were not very common before humans settled in the area.

In addition to these, countries particularly island nations are most vulnerable to the consequences of climate change because of losing land on account of rising seas. Since the world has witnessed to more and more such devastation and thereby we are the last generation to be able to do something about it.

Unfortunately many political leaders contribute to distrust in climate science and other environmental sciences though we are in the midst of a climate crisis. The meteorological report spells out the worsening threat in startling clarity.

Despite this devastation fires in Australia, President Morrison practically ignored the linkage of this fire with the impact of climate change and told that the fires were nothing new for Australia though the blazes engulfing the country have now reached new dimensions.

Also he was not going to write off the jobs of thousands of Australians by walking away from traditional industries. The International Panel on Climate Change concluded more than a decade ago that human-caused global heating was “virtually certain” to increase the intensity and frequency of fires in Australia.

Average temperature rises in Australia were about 1.4C above pre-industrial levels before this season’s fires, showing a more rapid rate of heating than the global average of 1.1C.

he total area burned stands at more than 10.7m hectares as at 8 January. Smoke plumes posed a significant health threat even to those living miles away, as the wind carried heavily polluted air to Sydney and Canberra, and as far as New Zealand. Meanwhile, scientists fear that when rain does fall, it may taint drinking supplies in cities and kill even more wildlife by washing charred debris into rivers.

With reference to the Amazon forest fires, it is pertinent to mention that deforestation to make room for crops and cattle grazing have contributed to this year’s devastating fires in the Amazon. The trees in the Amazon have relatively thin bark, so during a fire, the heat can seriously damage the cells inside the tree, which eventually kills it.

Previous research in the Amazon has found that more than 40% of trees die up to three years after a fire. This means that the carbon stored in their trunks, branches and leaves is released into the atmosphere, either while the fire is burning, or later as the dead trees decompose. The habitat of the endangered southern brown bandicoot has been obliterated by fire on Kangaroo Island.

It is one of many Australian species whose survival has been further threatened by this summer’s bushfires. The full effects of these fires will not be felt for months or years to come, but it will certainly cause the extinction for some of Australia’s most iconic, fragile and beautiful inhabitants on account habitat loss and non availability of food. This piquant situation arises because the new Brazilian government does not intend to honor commitment made in Paris agreement.

Similarly the US president, Donald Trump say in willful ignorance that all this science is wrong and that nothing needs to change – indeed forests must be felled and fossil fuels be further subsidized and promoted as “clean coal”.

In 2017, Trump administration began pulling the U.S. ( one of the world’s leading carbon editor) out of the landmark Paris agreement of 2015 with a comment that Paris accord is an unfair burden economic burden to U.S. economy .

However he has realized the necessity of clean water and clean air. For this he emphasized on massive tree plantation in America but this approach can not be the alternative to the forest both in structural and functional system.

The Russian president, Vladimir Putin, and Saudi Arabia’s crown prince Mohammed bin Salman, do not deny the science but coldly calculate how much they would lose and try to water down commitments. Chilli has committed to 30% reduction in CHG emission below what they were in 2007. But between 1990 and 2016, Chille’s emission increased by 115% which shows the country has a poor history of tackling climate change.

India is the 4th largest emitter of greenhouse gases behind China, the US, and the EU. In 2018, carbon emissions rose worldwide, primarily due to increased coal consumption in China and India. Although both countries signed the 2015 Paris Agreement, they continue to rely on coal as an important source of energy. This poses a problem for climate change.

Sadly climate issues in the Indian elections were not prominent though citizens are demanding climate action. If this is true, we should expect that political parties talking prominently about their climate policies compared to the issues related to NRC and CCA. However the good news is that governments both in center and states has started talk about climate issues.

But what India thinks about climate change is not adequate considering its extreme vulnerability with reference to in changed monsoon patterns, higher incidents of heat waves, drought, migration, and so on.

These examples show that political leaders in many countries are not taking climate change seriously . Many countries are also not doing enough. Unfortunately corporate influence of the climate change debate and policy process has at many levels been cited as a key reason for the relatively slow progress of both the UN COP process and national-level climate legislation.

The lesson here is very simple – climate change must be our number one priority because regular occurrence of floods, fires, drought, heat stress, species loss, sea level rise, ecological change and many more . Our great satisfaction is that these effects could the shake the people all over the world and even normal people are discussing it. Perhaps that is the silver lining in all this.

It can be strongly recommended that people who can vote in elections should consider voting for parties that promise strong action on climate change. Another option is to support global movements organized by many climate activists.. By turning up to rallies and showing support for groups , we can send a strong message to politicians that you care about the planet and all the life on it.

Also a legal challenge can make politicians understand the extent of the passions running through people. If we send these messages to politicians, there’s a chance to make them do better and stop climate change, before the worst effects of global warming become a reality.

Now there is emergent need to tackle the human-induced climate crisis. If not now, when?.


* Dr Debapriya Mukherjee wrote this article for The Sangai Express
The writer is former Senior Scientist, Central Pollution Control Board from Kolkata and can be reached at dpmcpcb(AT)yahoo(DOT)com
This article was webcasted on February 08 2020.



* Comments posted by users in this discussion thread and other parts of this site are opinions of the individuals posting them (whose user ID is displayed alongside) and not the views of e-pao.net. We strongly recommend that users exercise responsibility, sensitivity and caution over language while writing your opinions which will be seen and read by other users. Please read a complete Guideline on using comments on this website.




LATEST IN E-PAO.NET
  • Students @ Class XII Exam #2 : Gallery
  • School Phagathanshi : No-dearth-of-fund
  • Conference on Material Science at Tripura Univ
  • 495 jobs at National Informatics Centre (NIC)
  • AMP organizes National Convention
  • Save ocean environments for humanity
  • 4th Guwahati International Music Festival
  • Imphal-Mandalay bus service
  • Restructuring the Attitude
  • Lui-ngai-ni, Naga festival @Ukhrul #2 : Gallery
  • Gender equity & human rights pivotal for SDGs
  • RK Alex: Painter who just got his biggest break
  • Fresco of Void :: Poem
  • More options @ food technology
  • Defunct irrigation facilities & farmers' income
  • The dilemma in parliamentary reporting
  • GoI, WC on threshold of signing Naga solution
  • Ongoing Class X, Class XII exams
  • Mukna Kangjei -Indigenous game : Gallery
  • Sangai Festival [Nov 28] #1 : Gallery
  • The Sunshine :: Poem
  • Development of new laboratory tests
  • Warmth of selfless heart
  • Shopping List - Shivaratri #1 : Gallery
  • CRT TV - Our Travelling Companion
  • A Morsel of Food :: Peom
  • Naga Political Settlement
  • Cannabis in epilepsy
  • 2019 Review: Ministry of Social Justice
  • Judicious journalism for good governance
  • Bangladeshki Sana Tampha #1 :: eRang
  • Lannganba, Shangrina, Changpombi: eMing
  • Beauty in the Dark :: Poem
  • Naga Peace Process :: News Timeline
  • Speaker Sir SC is divided on defections
  • Northeast Music Conference at Guwahati
  • Ways to use garlic for long, lustrous locks
  • Outcome of 'taken note of' camps
  • Committing crime against nature
  • Students @ Class XII Exam #1 : Gallery
  • 13th Mega Marathon Manipur #1 : Gallery
  • Maha Shivratri - Brahma Kumaris concept
  • Understanding dementia #2
  • Once in a billion
  • Are provisions of CAA, 2019 discriminatory ?
  • Leaking question papers of Class XI
  • Coronavirus: no case reported from Myanmar
  • Lui-ngai-ni, Naga festival @Ukhrul #1 : Gallery
  • Exploring horticultural avenues of Manipur
  • GPS : For Real Time Geo-location
  • Birds at Dusk :: Poem
  • Small banks: Operational soundness a must
  • Addressing traffic congestion in Imphal
  • Conversion of diesel engine with electrified..
  • Mizoram: Highest HIV/AIDS prevalence rate
  • Manipur Legislative Assembly Building : Gallery
  • 71st Indian Republic Day #6 : Gallery
  • Rohan Philem : Cycle ride at Delhi
  • Career in food technology
  • Women Entrepreneurs from North east India
  • Workshop: High Energy Physics, IIT Guwahati
  • Nambul, Kongba in the list of infamous 60
  • Limitation of freedom sometime required
  • A remarkable journey of a Thang-Ta exponent
  • Day 4 : Sangai Fest #3 : Gallery
  • Education & Teachers in Manipur
  • Its all about learning
  • Manipur- 6 medals at NSG Fencing at Gujarat
  • Coronavirus - A grave threat
  • Class X examination has started !
  • Modi's romance with NE states
  • NE has 60 most polluted river stretches
  • Eepan Thaba -birth ceremony : Gallery
  • Flood Light at Khuman Lampak : Gallery
  • List of nominees : Manipur Film Awards 2020
  • Extending ILP to Manipur Needs A Review
  • The great cosmic discovery - IX
  • 36th Central Conference of ICI at Jiribam
  • Festival with a significant message
  • Sirarakhong Hathei Phanit #2 : Gallery
  • Eyek Tamba :: Learn Manipuri script
  • Understanding dementia #1
  • The Old Man in the Afternoon :: Poem
  • Nurturing Peace
  • Historic Bodo Accord: Beginning of an era
  • Atrial Flutter treated with Radio Frequency
  • Condolence & prayer meeting held
  • Is accepting gift by newsperson unethical
  • Fashion Show @ Sangai Fest #2 : Gallery
  • 71st Indian Republic Day #5 : Gallery
  • Lui-Ngai-Ni - Naga Seed Sowing Fest
  • Revelation for the new decade
  • Beneath our hearts :: Poem
  • Makhol : Discussing Arts
  • Online for Inner Line Permit
  • Redefining mob violence
  • Wakching Thagi Sanarei #1 :: eRang
  • For the Love of Valentine
  • Inner Line Permit (ILP) Demand : Timeline
  • Teach a Topic : Online Competition
  • Valentine's Day beauty tips
  • Street Vendor Restriction: Violation of Art 21
  • Community Radio Awareness Workshop - NE
  • School Fagathansi Mission: on Govt school
  • Re-thinking of the serious wrong
  • Amur Falcon Fest @Tamenglong #1 : Gallery
  • Wetlands & biodiversity: Promote actions..
  • Sexual & reproductive health key to SDGs
  • Maddening power of Dili
  • Nagaland BJP leaders joined NPF
  • 2019 review: Ministry of Renewable Energy #2
  • Enacting a farce, MPP style: Comical caricature
  • The silence breaks
  • Dzukou Valley Landscape #2 : Gallery
  • Day 4 : Sangai Fest #2 : Gallery
  • Can we dream of achieving Vision-2020 ?
  • The Ant :: Poem
  • Pulok Mukherjee take charge as Director IBSD
  • The Bodo Accord and after
  • Reqts at Birla Emporiums, Khurai
  • Third time in office for the AAP
  • Govt should stop harassing media
  • Thang Ta at JNMDA #1 : Gallery
  • pNTOgi peraH :: Seireng
  • Bodo accord: A hope for peace and stability
  • Endangered Legal Systems #2
  • A Wintery Song :: Poem
  • Career options in textile industry
  • Weekly Mao Market at Imphal
  • Education should eradicates superstition
  • Sirarakhong Village, Ukhrul : Gallery
  • National Master Athletics : Gallery
  • Dramas in Higher Education
  • Has Govt overlooked Bipartite Settlement?
  • RIST Talk -43 : Nobel Prize in Physics 2019
  • Cannabis in Parkinson's disease
  • Heed appeal of Chairman of COHSEM
  • Accord after IM cadres return from Myanmar
  • Nongmadi : Synopsis of the Shumang Leela
  • 71st Indian Republic Day #4 : Gallery
  • Investment on research & development
  • From Dawn till Dusk :: Poem
  • National Lok Adalat at Lamphel Court
  • India unites on wrong issues
  • Gandhari -Dance Drama #3 : Gallery
  • TwaI na_AosuM :: Seireng
  • Political will to solve climate crisis
  • Product Validation & Quality Control Training
  • Changemakers in Bio-Pharma : Lecture
  • Honey for radiant skin
  • NE ignored for many years stand of PM
  • The changing face of RIMS
  • Phisakol - Film Scenes #1 :: eRang
  • World Tourism Day at Noney #6 : Gallery
  • Dr Ng Brajachand - Reminiscence ...
  • The Strange Boy :: Poem
  • Reqts at PR Enterprises, Khurai
  • Interior Designer at Hatil Furniture
  • Need to restrict cross border interactions
  • The mental equation
  • Hentak - Indigenous Food Fest #2 : Gallery
  • Business Correspondent Model :: Book
  • Endangered Legal Systems #1
  • The great cosmic discovery - VIII
  • The Kaleidoscopic prism
  • Living in the age of nCoV & Swine Flu
  • Bloody battle for greed
  • Agaki Waterfall @ Tamei : Gallery
  • 71st Indian Republic Day #3 : Gallery
  • Community Policing in Manipur
  • Knitwear design as career option
  • Budget & wealth creation in Manipur
  • Visions sans missions & North East India
  • Free Speech & Expression in a Debacle
  • Apple Farm @ Kumbi : Gallery
  • Day 4 : Sangai Fest #1 : Gallery
  • World Wetlands Day 2020
  • Thounaojam Niranjoy breaks 'world record'
  • Discipline and students
  • 2019 review: Ministry of Renewable Energy #1
  • Academic activities paralyse in College
  • Yoga Instructor Training by MIT
  • FIR against MPSC
  • Manipur's Theatre is facing a dark time
  • NE festival to promote culture in Thailand
  • Highest priority accorded to NE in Budget
  • Maibam Nabakishore : Play-wright :: Profle
  • Right to die for people, terminally ill
  • Communities along Barak River #3: Gallery
  • Suresh Huidrom: Natl Architecture Award
  • The Chirp of a Sparrow :: Poem
  • India's last Governor-General
  • Vanishing wetlands: Anthropogenic pressures
  • Coronavirus prevention @ Moreh : Gallery
  • Tribute Rock Concert for (L) Hegin #3 : Gallery
  • Degradation of wetlands in Manipur
  • Tansen plays at Darbar
  • Water scarcity & stress
  • Computational Thinking (CT): Education
  • People have every right to know...
  • Maibi Jagoi @ JNMDA : Gallery
  • Novel Coronavirus outbreak : WHO
  • February Calendar for Year 2020 : Tools
  • Manipur : Champion at Vovinam National
  • CAT rank predictor: for an MBA aspirant
  • Delhi Fashion Club launched in Mumbai
  • MSAB Literary Meet at Benguluru
  • Sports- Making it to news for right reason
  • Judiciary on the rescue Indian Constitution
  • Mr. Khadang #1 :: eRang
  • 71st Indian Republic Day #2 : Gallery
  • Soraisam Keshoram : Natyabhusan (Drama)
  • Chasing a wonderland :: Poem
  • Manipur champion at 16th Sr Natl Jump Rope
  • Admission- Public Health Foundation of India
  • The Killing Fields 2013-20 : News Timeline
  • Padma Vibhushan for Mary Kom
  • The Changing face of Imphal Times
  • Conservation initiatives of Hornbills #2
  • Day 6 : Sangai Fest #2 : Gallery
  • Call for Proposal- Biotechnology Ignition
  • A Picnic by the Pond :: Poem
  • Year review: Min of Rural Development #2
  • Mumbai International Film Festival 2020
  • Nail care tips
  • Coronavirus: How prepared is Manipur ?
  • CMHT needs to be reviewed
  • 71st Indian Republic Day #1 : Gallery
  • Khangminashi - VI: Gallery
  • Custodial Death
  • Golden opportunity for a Speaker
  • Khangminashi - VI, Talk Series :: Report
  • 1000 trained in Fish Processing
  • Supports agitation call by CAF & PD Labourers
  • Medical camp at Thenjang, Churachandpur
  • Peace pact signed with the NDFB
  • A better and inclusive alternative
  • Gaan-Ngai at Kakhulong #2 : Gallery
  • Tribute Rock Concert for (L) Hegin #2 : Gallery
  • Glass Painting by Khusbu: Gallery
  • Day 6 : Sangai Fest #1 : Gallery
  • Aerial- Imp to Tamenglong #2: Gallery
  • 28th Imphal Book Fair #2 : Gallery
  • Of our Responsibility and our Rights
  • Imoinu Erat Thouni #2: Gallery
  • Gaan-Ngai @Chingkham Kabui Khul: Gallery
  • Cultural @ Shirui Lily Fest #4 : Gallery
  • Thong Nambonbi broke apart: Gallery
  • New Year picnic @Singda Dam : Gallery
  • Featured Front Page Photo 2019 #6: Gallery
  • Tolloi, Ukhrul :: 360 Panorama View
  • SPONSORED ADS