TODAY -

No time for debate, but action
- The People's Chronicle Editorial :: November 10, 2022 -



As more than 100 world leaders and many more delegates from around the globe descended at Sharm el-Sheikh in Egypt for the latest United Nations climate change summit, also known as COP27, which is going on from November 6 to 18; the debate over who should pay for damages caused by increasingly extreme weather events as a result of unregulated release of harmful greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, has once again come to the fore.

This has been an issue that had exposed splits between rich and poor nations since the very beginning, with climate deniers denouncing any discussion and concern on climate change and global warming as a monumental hoax, while those who believe in the evidence of human-induced climate change accusing the sceptics of being industry-funded hacks.

But regardless of who is saying what, one thing that all of us need to understand at this point is that the tell-tale signs and impacts of climate change are becoming more dramatic than ever before with extreme heatwaves, drought and devastating flood being witnessed in different parts of the globe.

Just months ago, deadly floods submerged one-third of our neighbouring country, Pakistan; and droughts plunged millions of people into food insecurity in East Africa.

India is also said to have seen a localised climate disaster nearly every day in the first nine months of 2022, as per an analysis of data from the India Meteorological Department and the disaster management division of the Union home ministry.

Moreover, a report released ahead of the United Nations climate summit in Sharm El Sheikh corroborated that India experienced extreme weather events on 241 of 273 days till October 1, which claimed 2,755 lives, affected 1.8 million hectares of crop area, destroyed 416,667 houses and killed 69,007 livestock.

Back home, hard-working farmers in our state Manipur are looking at a bleak future with their crops failed due to shortage of rain this year.

Amid this gloom, a report of World Meteorological Organization's provisional State of the Global Climate in 2022 said that the rate of sea level rise has doubled since 1993, and it has risen by nearly 10 mm since January 2020 to a new record high this year.

This means that the past two and a half years alone accounted for 10 percent of the overall rise in sea level since satellite measurements started nearly 30 years ago.

It is also said that the global mean temperature in 2022 is currently estimated to be about 1.15 degree Celsius above the 1850-1900 pre-in-dustrial average and a rare triple-dip cooling La Nina would easily make 2022 the "only" fifth or sixth warmest year on record in the human civilisation.

In other words, climate change is happening even more faster than one could have ever imagined and we are feeling its impact in every sphere.

So, it is no time for lingering on the debate of whether climate change is a hoax or not, but for urgent action, and political strong will, as there is no two arguments on climate change becoming the defining crisis of our time and there is no part of the globe today which is immune to its devastating consequences.



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