“Nature is angry - and we fool ourselves if we think we can fool nature because nature always strikes back and around the world; nature is striking back with fury.” These are some interesting lines, I have extracted from the speech of the UNO Secretary-General Antonio Guterres.
Since decades, much has been written and discussed the global climate change. This issue lies at the heart of the world’s multiple problems. It is becoming a significant source of concern for the entire world community over time. Scientific researches in different parts of the world bear testimony to the fact that the world is on the verge of collapse through deforestation, floods, searing heat waves, droughts and diseases due to change in earth’s temperature. Since 1970 till to date, the world has been ravished by pollution, poverty, and rising temperature of the globe fuelled by greenhouse gases.
Unfortunately, the governments in different countries have not paid any heed towards this gruesome issue that poses existential threats to human civilization. It is pertinent to mention here that Pakistan is also not immune from the side effects of climate change. It is ranked 7th most vulnerable country to climate change according to the data compiled by Germanwatch in its latest Global Climate Risk Index 2018.
There are many factors which are thought to be the main contributors to climate change. One of them is greenhouse gases. These gases are very efficient in trapping heat into the atmosphere. Every country depends on fossil fuels such as oil, coal and natural gas for the fulfilment of its energy needs. With the industrial revolution, the emission of greenhouse gases has increased dramatically, mostly from the burning of fossil fuels for energy, agriculture, industrial process and transportation. Global carbon emissions from fossil fuels are 9.795 gigatonnes which constitute 72% of the emitted greenhouse gases. Technological advancement, in many parts of the world, has given rise to environmental degradation. We have seen severe depletion of the ozone layer over Antarctica because of chemical conditions that exist there. On account of climate change, Pakistan has seen environmental disaster leads to melting glacier flows into the river and lakes. In June 2015, approximately 1200 people died of heat-related illness in Karachi. Pakistan’s 2nd largest city, Lahore, has been plagued by a heavy blanket of smog in recent years.
Secondly, the growing population with the depletion of human resources, deforestation and burning of forests, industrial and human waste are also among the major causes of global warming. All this does not bode well for the human survival life on this planet. We are on the brink of mass extinction due to the rise in earth’s temperature. This is the time for us to realize that this issue is not a myth as President Trump said in various of his statements. Climate change is not only a threat to world peace and integrity but also a good worry. Collective efforts by the world community are needed to address this issue. We must begin with the following measures to combat this problem with a vision to make our earth great.
1.The focus should be shifted from traditional energy resources to renewable energy means. Wind power is the fastest-growing energy resource in the world. According to the US department of energy, the usage of wind turbines cut water consumption in the power sector by 36.5 billion gallons in 2013 alone. Installation of wind power projects in Pakistan can save our water. Pakistan is facing an alarming situation due to water shortage. It could run dry by 2025 if it fails to build water reservoirs. Planting a tree is a lifelong investment. Trees reduce erosion and pollution in our waterways and may reduce the effects of flooding. The incumbent environment-friendly government of Pakistan has successfully implemented a billion tree tsunami project to mitigate climate change. A lot needs to be done in this regard.
2 The 2015 Paris agreement on climate change, aimed at strengthening the global response to the threats of climate change by keeping global temperatures rise below 2 degrees Celsius, must be respected and implemented worldwide. Despite all differences between the world leaders, they must join hands together to combat global warming.
3. There are at least 6.6 billion people on this planet, a number that is predicted by the United Nations to grow to at least 9 billion by mid-century. Continuing such population growth seems unsustainable. The states around the world must aware their masses, through a media campaign, about family planning. The government imposed limits on the numbers of children a couple can have, may help reduce or reverse population explosion.
Now it’s time to do justice with the earth and our future generation. We should create a love for nature, and in return, it will love us.