TODAY -

War with Climate

Olivia Gurumayum *



Greta Thunberg, 15 year old activist from Sweden and her movement "School strike for climate" spread the news globally. In her speech in COP24 Katowice she says "you say you love your children above all else and yet you are stealing their future in front of their eyes.

Until you start focusing on what needs to be done rather than politically possible there is no hope... we have not come here to beg leaders to care. You have ignored us in the past and you will ignore us again. You have run out of excuses and we have run out of time. We have come here to let you know change is coming whether you like it or not. The real power belongs to the people".

Climate change is not a new issue; it's getting worst day by day, globally. "The increase in Earth's average surface temperature due to rising levels of greenhouse gases" was given as a definition for global warming. And, for Climate Change it says "a long –term change in the Earth's climate or of a region on Earth". But both are commonly used interchangeably. However, whether it is Global Warming or Climate Change it has a catastrophic impact from poor to rich even leading to extinction of many species from planet.

Before the Earth changes its name to "Brown Planet" with dried up plants and trees and dusty sky, it's time to save it. It has become a threat to all organisms and their environment. The unpredictable change in the monsoon pattern, the rise of temperature, the experience of floods for the past few years paralysing many human activities and now the announcement of drought hit state are all the impact of climate change which cannot be taken lightly.

From kitchen to the transportation it is necessary to track any disturbances timely. We all know the root cause of this drastic change in the climate in Manipur. It is said that around 70 -80% of the population of Manipur is engaged in agriculture and is recognized as agricultural state as it produces large scale agricultural products and about 49% of the total workers are employed in agriculture.

So, the lack of monsoon rain directly hits the paddy field causing drought leading many unwanted incidents to the lives of the farmers, rise in price of agricultural products obviously impacting the economy of the state as well as public especially to the economically backward people. This means it is the backbone of the economy of the state. The reasons for these disastrous changes are widely known.

But, how do we tackle the issue? It is high time each individual should be educated and spread awareness of the impact of it, often, in both rural and urban areas. As it cannot be changed in overnight, a thorough understanding of the situation is needed – starting from the kitchen to the high tech electronics gadgets. The battle has to begin from self. Change should begin from us with proper introspection on our habits and the contribution towards our surroundings.

Taking initiatives right from our own family would be the right way to have a long-term solution. Wouldn't it be useful if parents spend at least half an hour with their children teaching them the benefits and the value of planting trees, the beauty of nature and its contribution to the planet and to human health?

Rather than focusing on supplying electronic gadgets be free from kid's tantrum it would be really helpful if we make them learn how to plant beautiful trees and plants, teaching them the importance of rain water harvesting instead of beating them up for playing in the rain and water. When we all know having favourite games on gadgets is not a productive thing, playing online by paying unnecessary amount on internet will not do much good to the environment.

Teaching them to be a responsible citizen and making them learn the importance of using eco-friendly things will help in contributing enough for the environment. A proper understanding of what benefits and contribution to human health and to the surrounding is all what we need. From complaining of sun-tanned skin and sun-stroke to the breathing issues from the pollution we keep playing the blame game of cutting trees, of using polythene bags, emission of greenhouse gases into the air by man etc.

In short the highest contribution to the climate change is the human themselves, inventing many things causing much affect to the climate? What do we say on this- What goes around comes around! KARMA! Habit of taking care of our surroundings is to be taught from the tender age. A person who has a habit of throwing food wrappers, bottles, or any wastes on the road or anywhere will take much time to learn how to throw litters in the bin.

Yes, I agree that it is 21st C so, using and learning high tech gadgets are in trend than learning the importance of nature, water, air and the land we live in. However, at the end of the day, we all have to bear and find shed to play with the gadgets to be away from the hot and frustrating sunny weather.

Complaints of not getting enough rain, seeing the farmers suffer for the lack of irrigation and low yield issues, questioning the high rise in the price of food, not planting enough trees to even distribute the air among us, etc. to whom do we have to blame for this chaotic climate - The Government or the Citizen?

Let's look into another show of Climate Change in Manipur, "The Flood Festival now a drought-hit fate". It is obvious that every monsoon season will have the flood issues. It is a problem of every state and every nook and corner of the world. But, Manipur isn't a big state. Yes! The Water Resources Department of Manipur checks the matter related to floods, irrigation projects, etc.

Proper Town Planning, the sewage treatment plant, the drainage system or the river system arrangement, implementing strict policies of reserve forests, checking on emissions and renewable energy use and efficiency, reducing of fossil fuel and deforestation, etc. can be done with much proper planning with the help of the respective departments. Government of India is implementing the National Action Plan on Climate Change that includes eight national missions on specific areas to achieve the goal.

Another policy is the implementing of National Adaptation Fund on vulnerable sectors across the country. Bamboo plantation in Manipur can be included in both combatting the climate and the economy of the state. It would be of much advantage if the government impose strict plans and policies, honestly. There are numerous discussions going on to fight against it; regionally, nationally and of course internationally.

The Paris Agreement, the Kyoto Protocol, the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change etc. are some of the organisations combating against the climate change. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change issued a report saying it would be easier to manage if the global average temperatures is not exceeding beyond 1.5 degree Celsius.

Signing treaties, policies and paperwork by the government cannot be seen much improvement and are not enough to fight the battle against climate. In spite of announcing the causes repeatedly it is time to make compulsion to be in forefront to fight the battle to save Manipur as well the planet.

It is important for every citizen including youth for active participation in battle with Climate Change. Rather than playing the blame game between the Government and the Citizens, both should work together to win the war if not now, at least for the generations to come.

If we have the sense of belongingness towards the state or the planet that we are surviving in, we would have never polluted it in the first place. In another speech Greta Thunberg suggested "panic as if your house is on fire". Who doesn't want to save their bungalows, their houses, or the hut from floods, the paddy fields from drought, and who will not want to protect themselves and their livestock from diseases affecting health by heat wave?


* Olivia Gurumayum wrote this article for e-pao.net
The writer can be reached at olivguru(AT)gmail(DOT)com
This article was webcasted on August 01 2019.



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