By Mayank Jain:Â
21 long years have passed since I took birth but my mom still remembers the day vividly. The torrential rains in Delhi in the month of October which brought with itself, diseases and biting cold can’t be forgotten. Events like these keep happening and we rubbish them off thinking these are outliers. Not anymore.
We are witnessing a period of turmoil in terms of climate change and our apathetic attitude towards global warming and phenomenon like acid rain isn’t helping.
In school we all studied about all these phenomenon, wrote essays on what causes global temperatures to rise and how are we wreaking havoc on the essential Ozone layer but all we now care about is the AC temperature in our car and room, full petrol tank when we go out to travel and dropping off all kinds of waste near trees or green areas where it can be easily camouflaged.
I was in Haridwar when the whole Uttarakhand was struggling with rains and floods and when I finally managed to get out of the mess safely, it made me wonder if this is really some God punishing us for our bad deeds or just the bad treatment we meted out to environment coming back to us.
The answer wasn’t surprising. In a matter of few months, Phailin happenedÂ and took away many lives as well as livelihood from critical areas of our country. The management for the disaster was better than what we had in past but it was nowhere anticipatory and there is still no initiative anywhere trying to take lessons from it.
As I write this, Andhra Pradesh has not even recovered from another cyclone ‘Helen’. There were massive losses in terms of crops and electricity lines across parts of Andhra Pradesh. A week didn’t go by before the cyclone subsided and another one had already hit the state and added to the damage. This cyclone called ‘Leher’ started forming within days of ‘Helen’ and turned out lesser hazardous but destructive, nonetheless. We have already dealt with ‘Helen’, ‘Leher’, ‘Nilam’ and ‘Laila’ in the past and there are others in the making but the question remains the same: Are we even ready? Have we learnt from our past experiences? This is unfortunate that we get hit by such disasters but more unfortunate is our preparations and readiness for them. The authorities as well as general population should be cognizant about this.
All wet regions from India have been wiped out in the past two decades and now all we have are drought prone areas with high intensity. The carbon we push into the atmosphere warms the air and thus the water in the seas expands. It starts taking up more space and hence sea levels have been rising continuously. Same happens when the ice sheets start melting with rise in temperatures and they merge with water bodies to drown low lying areas completely.
All that I have elaborated above is partly due to our fault and even if we don’t subscribe to the theory that the events aren’t related to human activities or over utilization of resources, then taking some steps will only help in securing a safer future for ourselves. It is about time we drop our habit of exploiting a resource and running to the next one and for once, we should stand there and help clean the mess we have been creating for all these years.
There are disasters waiting to happen across land, waters and skies in the coming years and the writing on the wall is pretty clear: Either we mend our ways and start planning for the climate change or we get wiped off the face of the Earth.