Climate change is no longer a fear for the future; we are in the midst of an environmental crisis!
When a friend reported from Germany that they were “sweating buckets” in June, and another friend from France shared an advisory issued by his Business School on precautions to be taken for an expected three-day intense heat wave, a horrible realization sunk in. Climate change and global warming are no longer future fears. We are already in the middle of the environmental crisis.
The signs are all around us, but humans are adept at sidestepping real issues by finding technological solutions, and then expecting science to do the rest to save us from extinction. So, we crank up our air conditioners, plant a tree or two, and look towards China’s success with cloud seeding, or marvel at the new rain clouds generator developed by Nasa, which Amitabh Bachchan (a famous Indian actor) lauded with a tweet!
And we carry on in the belief that we can overcome one day. But things are not that simple. If you pay attention, we are actually witnessing the scary change in our lifetime. And very soon we will have reached the point of no return. Europe 28 years ago, in June, one needed warm clothing to keep cozy. This year now, Europeans are sizzling in temperatures touching 31 degrees celsius!
Don’t get me started on the melting glaciers, the recent fire at amazon rain-forest and deforestation across the globe!
Back in India, scientist N H Ravindranath who is preparing the country’s first study of impact of climate change recently warned that India is unprepared in terms of data and planning. Extreme weather events like cyclones, unprecedented heat waves, floods, droughts and erratic rainfall or delayed monsoons are all indications of climate change. Cyclone Fani and Cyclone Vayu are just two examples of such events.
Experts warn repeatedly that we are pushing the ecological boundaries and heading towards destabilization of the planet. This month environmentalists reported the second highest ever carbon dioxide annual increase in the atmosphere in the past six decades. Two big risks are the loss of biodiversity through extinction of plants or animal species, and ecological collapse. Reportedly 83% of the world’s mammal life and half the plants are already things of the past. Is it possible then that we may already have reached, or even crossed, the tipping point?
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While analysts are gathering data and scientists are on the job, truth is we all need to actively step up and not just do our ‘bit’ (that time is long past), but to take environment-saving measures on a war footing. What can we do?
Stay Updated: Staying informed will help you keep the conversation going and sensitizing others too.
Spread the word: Talk about environmental concerns and help sensitize people to it. Next time your domestic help keeps the tap running explain to him/her why it is important to save water.
Eat Responsibly: Decreasing your meat diet in favour of a plant-based diet lowers our impact on the environment. Meat is responsible for 10 to 40 times more greenhouse emissions than other foods. Also, a third of all food produced in the world is wasted. Think, how can you help reduce that loss?
Eschew Plastic & Recycle what you can! Do not buy anything you do not need; do not throw away anything you can re-use. Become conscious of the waste you create, which fills landfills.
Save Energy: Switch off devices that are not in use. Also remember to unplug them. Switch to Led lights. Keep temperature settings at a comfortable level rather than too cold or too hot.
Save Water: Avoid running tap at full flow. Turn it off while brushing your teeth. Run a washing machine or dishwasher only for a full load, prefer a bucket to a shower, and so on.
Travel Responsibly: Walk, cycle, use car pools or public transport when possible.
If you get it right in principle, you can yourself think of many other ways to help save energy and resources, and to reduce our impact on the environment, allowing Nature to maintain her resilience and keep life going in a manner we would like it to continue…
Care to share some ideas?
Feel free to ask any follow-up questions or share your ideas in the comment section below. Alternately, I’d really appreciate for you to share this content on your social media platform if you found it useful so that others can benefit from it too. If you have any doubts or want a personal clarification, send me an email on firstname.lastname@example.org. For more inspiration, fun, and smiles, follow me on Instagram
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