Last week I received a mail from an undergraduate student from Mumbai who, with his friends, is preparing a report on global warming. They wanted my views on a few questions and wanted to use the same in their report. I would like to share these questions and their respective answers with you all.
1. What is the single most reason of global warming?
I feel that the single most reason for global warming is negligence and over exploitation of resources. It’s not like we never knew that Earth was being a victim of Global Warming. But the effects could have been lessened if we would have taken action at the right time. It’s just the prevalent mentality that ‘we’ll cross the bridge when it comes’. But we fail to realise that this bridge will be the end, and there will be no turning back. We all fail to realize that we are over-exploiting the resources that have geen given to us. It is sheer negligence.
2. How is economy and global warming related? Which should be given more preference? Do you approve of India’s stance?
There are two types of effects of global warming on the economy. Firstly, failing to curb the impact of climate change could damage the global economy on the scale of the Great Depression or the world wars by spawning environmental devastation that could cost a good percent of the world’s annual gross domestic product. Secondly, talking about India, recently enough it was published in a national daily that since 2005, the year the Kyoto Protocol came into effect, India’s carbon market has shot from 0 to $5 billion (Rs 23,500 crore) annually, an increase of many hundreds of times. The closest comparison is the telecommunications market, which grew by 1,000 per cent, or 10 times, over the same period. India has registered 456 CDM projects with the United Nations, more than any other country except China. The projects are expected to generate 233 million tonnes of carbon reductions by 2012, according to carbon ratings agency IDEAcarbon.
India’s carbon market includes major players like the Delhi Metro, which cuts carbon dioxide from the air by reducing the amount of fossil fuels burned by cars, to small-scale initiatives like the introduction of more efficient stoves in rural households.
So there are two types of effects that global warming will cast on the world economy.
3. What effects at the individual or local level are we expected to see in the future course of time due to global warming? How will it impact our lives?
The effects of global warming at a local level will be huge. Recently, the Pushkar lake dried up. The lake was a source of water needs to many people. Agriculture will be facing problems due to lack of monsoon rains and will lead to less of produce and further leading to less or no income for the people dependent on earning from crops. Rainforest depletion will cause extinction of various species of plants and animals. Melting of glacier and the ever growing vulneablilty to earthquakes, storms and floods will render millions homeless. There will be water crisis, which will affect us at a very personal level and will force us to fight for water. The effects are bound to increase in the coming years. And if we do not realize now, then it will be too late.
4. What is our responsibility as college students towards the environment?
Thinking about small things like switching off lights and fans and other such things are not enough. It is our combined effort which will help. Sensitizing students about the issue, involving them with ourselves. Motivating them to spread the word in an effective manner. Starting mass movements or joining one.
The youth has tremendous power and ability to create a change. We cannot sit idle and let things happen. We must act intelligently at an indivdual level. It is on us to start now and be the desireable change. Start projects on climate change or publish reports like the students of Veermata Jijabai Technological Institute are doing. Small small things when combined together can certainly lead to a bigger and better solution.
5. What programmes does your organisation undertake to spread an awareness about global warming?
Youth Ki Awaaz has been able to sensitize thousands of youngsters to act against global warming. Our platform is for the youth to express themselves on various issues. I remember, the day when I published my first ever article on global warming at www.youthkiawaaz.com, I received about a 100 comments asking as to how we could reduce the effects. The next article I did was about the same. It was an answer to their questions. And this article turned around 60% of the youngsters who had commented, into regular contributors with columns dedicated to global warming and climate change. And these individuals, at a personal level, are changing the mindset of others they meet. This is a chain effect we have created and plan to make it big in the coming years.
6. Is it global warming which is going to make human race extinct?
Global warming could very much be a reason for the extinction of the human race. In fact, it could be the main reason. Almost every other calamity or disaster, in one way or the other, is related to global warming.
I would love to know what you feel about these questions and would also like to receive your views or additions to the above.
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