Climate Change and Global Warming – A Ticking Clock!
The life led by cavemen once is almost impossible to imagine today. If one is offered to live that life one would wonder where to start from. The advent of technology has brought life to a dramatically different place; now we have industrialization, progress in terms of science and society, in fact globalization. We have cures now for many of the ailments which were previously uniformly fatal.
But are we at liberty to say that there is no check to our modern way of life? Will it be okay to presume that there is no baggage attached to all this prosperity? The increasing trend of obesity and related illness have already surfaced, what else awaits us?
This era of 21st century has brought a more physically inactive lifestyle, problems like obesity, cardiovascular diseases, depression and a rising trend of suicide (1). The biological environment includes everything in this world that has life. We are now more globally connected with people of the whole world than ever. Everything is now in the palm of our hands. Our increasing industrialization has led to an increasing utilization of the worldly resources.
Consumption of these resources has led to exploitation of them, and this has quickened our pace towards global warming. But how much about it do we really know, or bother to investigate? This increasing trend of newer and newer technology daily is so dear to us that we have blinded ourselves to other problems that are surfacing slowly and slowly, only to mercilessly dawn at us later.
In his article on Medscape entitled ‘Is global warming a greater threat to health than nuclear war?’, Dr George Lundberg writes about rising rate of global warming and the negligent attitude of the concerned authorities in preventing it (2). He opines that medical professionals are only talking about the bigger subjects and have turned a deaf ear to this rising but concealed calamity.
The anticipated effects of global warming include warming global temperatures, rising sea levels, changing precipitation, and expansion of deserts in the subtropics. This is associated with the continuing retreat of glaciers, permafrost and sea ice, raising sea levels. Other likely changes include more frequent extreme weather events including heat waves, droughts, heavy rainfall with floods and heavy snowfall, ocean acidification and species extinctions due to shifting temperature regimes (3).
We all have witnessed multiple catastrophes in previous years all over the world. Earthquakes, tsunamis, drought and other natural calamities have surfaced here and there. The rate of these calamities seems to be on a rise. With time there is also risk of endangerment of animal species. The famine stricken countries are facing more and more drought.
In 2014, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) concluded that “It is extremely likely that human influence has been the dominant cause of the observed warming since the mid-20th century.’’ (4) But what has our role been in slowing its pace?
Even our youngest generation today is familiar with terms like nuclear energy, nuclear war etc, but are clueless towards global warming or its effects, to say nothing of actually understanding its prevailing consequences. As Dr George Lundberg pointed out in his aforementioned article, it really seems that we have devoted all of our energy towards other ‘major’ issues.
Today global warming is considered an important issue of the current world but it is not aired as much as it should be. The layman has no idea about how he is contributing towards it and what his role should be. There may be other urgent dilemmas which we are pre-occupied in addressing, but leaving global warming unchecked or not paying heed to its impact, may prove to be a serious catastrophe in the future.
1. American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. https://afsp.org/about-suicide/suicide-statistics/
2. George D. Lundberg. Medscape. Is Global Warming a Greater Threat to Health Than Nuclear War? January 26th, 2017.http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/874535?nlid=112381_3243&src=WNL_mdplsfeat_170131_mscpedit_imed&uac=224369AT&spon=18&impID=1281949&faf=1
3. Wikipedia. Global Warming. 19th March 2017. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Global_warming
4. IPCC, Climate Change 2013: The Physical Science Basis – Summary for Policymakers, Observed Changes in the Climate System, p. 15, in IPCC AR5 WG1 2013
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