“IT SHALL BE THE DUTY OF EVERY CITIZEN OF INDIA TO PROTECT AND IMPROVE THE NATURAL ENVIRONMENT INCLUDING FORESTS, LAKES, WILDLIFE, RESOURCES, AND RIVERS TO HAVE COMPASSION FOR LIVING CREATURES”. – ARTICLE 51-A, DIRECTIVE PRINCIPLES OF STATE POLICY. An Environment is everything that is around us, including both Living and non- Living things such as SOIL, WATER, ANIMALS, and PLANTS which adapt themselves to their surroundings. The Environment plays an important role in the existence of life on the planet EARTH! It is nature’s gift that helps in nourishing life on the planet EARTH. Environment plays an important role in HEALTHY LIVING and EXISTENCE OF LIFE in on EARTH. But, “ARE WE REALLY LIVING HEALTHY”? “ARE OUR ENVIRONMENT BEING ENOUGH PROTECTED FOR NOURISHING LIFE ON EARTH”? Well, We all know the answer of it! The way we all are living our lives so selfishly, only focusing on our personal needs, by utilising all natural resources it won’t be wrong to make a statement that we have failed to be a RESPONSIBLE CITIZEN! “RESPONSIBILITY FOR THE PROTECTION OF OUR ENVIRONMENT”. “RESPONSIBILITY FOR THE PROTECTION OF OUR MOTHER NATURE”. Here, the question that arises is that what has happened around the world that has affected our ENVIRONMENT so badly? What has caused the AIR to be IMPURE? What is making SEA LEVEL rise more and more, leading to severe FLOODS, CYCLONES, across the whole world? INDEED, IT IS CLIMATE CHANGE. Today, CLIMATE CHANGE is an accepted fact unlike a decade ago, where scientists and governments were arguing about its existence! In simple terms,. It refers to the RISE IN AVERAGE SURFACE TEMPERATURES ON EARTH. CLIMATE CHANGE is a LONG-TERM SHIFT in WEATHER CONDITIONS identified by changes in TEMPERATURE, PRECIPITATION, WINDS and OTHER INDICATORS. IS CLIMATE CHANGE REAL? There is a broad based agreement within the scientific community that CLIMATE CHANGE IS REAL. An overwhelming scientific consensus maintains that CLIMATE CHANGE is due primarily to the human use of FOSSIL FUELS, which releases CARBON-DIOXIDE and other GREENHOUSE GASES into the air. The GASES trap heat within the ATMOSPHERE, which can have a range of effects on ECOSYSTEMS, including RISING SEA LEVELS, SEVERE WEATHER EVENTS AND DROUGHT THAT Render landscapes! The UNITED STATES ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY, THE NATIONAL AERONAUTICS AND SPACE ADMINISTRATION concur that CLIMATE CHANGE is indeed occuring and is almost certainly due to human activities. As, concentrations of Green House Gases have increased, the EARTH has warmed. Today’s INDUSTRIALISED COUNTRIES including, NEW ZEALAND have built their economies on BURNING FOSSIL FUELS to provide ELECTRICITY, TRANSPORT and to develop industries. Developing countries are now beginning to do the same!
Humans, Thus are increasingly influencing the CLIMATE and Earth’s temperature by burning FOSSIL FUELS, DEFORESTATION, USAGE OF FERTILIZERS and LIVESTOCK FARMING. Sixteen of the SEVENTEENTH WARMEST YEARS, on record have been in 21st century. Wikipedia says that though there have been previous periodics of climate change, since the Mid 20th century, humans have had an unprecedented impact on Earth’s CLIMATE CHANGE and caused change on Global change. The INTERGOVERNMENTAL PANEL ON CLIMATE CHANGE (IPCC), which includes more than 1300 scientists from the UNITED STATES, and other countries, forecasts a temperature rise of 2.5 to 10 degrees Fahrenheit over the next century. Global Climate change is projected to continue to change over this century and beyond. The magnitude of CLIMATE CHANGE beyond the next few decades depends primarily on the amount of heat trapping gases emitted globally and how sensitive the Earth’s climate is. HURRICANES WILL BECOME STRONGER, leading to CYCLONES like, TAUKTAE( the most recent one) another one, named AMPHAN and many more. ARCTIC LIKELY TO BECOME ICE- FREE, and many more.
Hence, Climate change is one of the most critical GLOBAL CHALLENGES of our times. Recent events have emphatically demonstrated our growing vulnerability to CLIMATE CHANGE. Climate change impacts will range from affecting agriculture further endangering FOOD SECURITY- to SEA LEVEL RISE, SPECIES EXTINCTIONS, and spread of VECTOR BORNE DISEASES AND DISEASES LIKE CORONAVIRUS (COVID-19) which has led to severe disruptions of our lifestyle. Hence, the issue is of immense importance for every global citizen. This is why IT REQUIRES GLOBAL INITIATIVES AGAINST IT.
THE WORLD IS ACTING NOW! MITIGATING CLIMATE CHANGE is about reducing the release of greenhouse gas emissions that are warming the planet. There have been many GLOBAL INITIATIVES to prevent CLIMATE CHANGE started by various sectors. THE UNITED NATIONS ENVIRONMENT PROGRAMME (UNEP) stimulates worldwide awareness of the Environment and enhances political attention and action through WORLD ENVIRONMENT DAY, commemorated each year on 5TH JUNE. UNEP is asking countries and governments to focus on their GREENHOUSE GAS EMISSIONS and how to Reduce them. It tries to raise voice AGAINST CLIMATE CHANGE. WORLD HEALTH ORGANISATION (WHO) is also initiating a campaign against CLIMATE CHANGE. Since 1998, ASEAN also has taken many initiatives and actions on the ground to address land and forest fires and haze pollution. To Conclude, it is now clear that initiatives to prevent CLIMATE CHANGE are started, but most importantly these initiatives must be continuous and sustainable. And every citizen will need to understand the importance of taking action on their own and contribute to prevent CLIMATE CHANGE. As LEONARDO DI CAPRIO well said: “The Argument is Over. Anyone that doesn’t believe that CLIMATE CHANGE is happening doesn’t believe in SCIENCE”.