By: Qurat ul Ain Aman
How to tackle the most daunting challenge of our time
Global warming is the most pressing issue confronting the humanity at present. Our earth is becoming warmer with each passing day. Followed by the rising temperature of the earth, rising sea level, extinction of species and destruction of crops and land are the worst outcomes of global warming. If the rise in temperature continues, existence of life on this planet will become impossible. It is a sad reality that we do not bother to take proper measures until crisis starts knocking at our door. Despite knowing its hazardous impacts, we continued doing things that played a key role in aggravating the issue of global warming.
Realistically thinking, global warming is not a new phenomenon; it has been hurting the globe for the last many decades. The issue is getting further aggravated because of our carelessness and an inexplicable urge to use harmful chemicals to run heavy machines in order to enhance industrial production. Although the Industrial Revolution brought a number of positive changes to our lives, it also exposed man to harmful chemicals and gases. It won’t be wrong to say that this revolution was the beginning of the destruction of our beautiful globe.
Moreover, it is also a sad reality that though everyone likes to sit under the shade of a tree, no one bothers to plant and grow one. Because of the Industrial Revolution, many people migrated to the cities in search of better incomes and wages. Owing to this urbanization, the population of cities eventually exceeded than that of rural areas. This led to the cutting of forests to build new structures for accommodating the growing urban population. Now, it has become like a never-ending saga as it is quite difficult to find greenery in big cities while huge and tall buildings are omnipresent. Besides, our overdependence on fossil fuels and nonrenewable energy sources has also been a key factor behind the rising temperature of the earth.
Among a host of reasons of global warming, manmade primary reasons are the most conspicuous as they are severely affecting the environment. We are excessively using harmful chemicals in our industries while taking no proper measures to manage the industrial waste. Such factors contribute to not only air pollution but also land pollution. Moreover, the chlorofluorocarbons released from industrial gases and vehicles react with CO2 and, as a result, generate gases that further increase the temperature of the earth and make it warmer. Ozone layer, which stops harmful rays from entering the atmosphere, is also depleting because of these harmful gases. Chlorofluorocarbons break up O3 bond, forming CO2, etc. All these factors increase the temperature of our earth.
It is also to be noted here that such factors cause not only social but also economic issues.
Read More: Climate Change
High temperature of the earth raises the sea level that can cause destruction, and even annihilation, of humans and other species. Followed by heavy floods, destruction of land and the spread of infectious diseases are the major impacts that are caused due to global warming. Besides, water crisis has become another global issue. Rising temperature of the earth is contributing to the melting of glaciers. In many countries of the world, no proper measures are being adopted to store water in the reservoirs. As a result, water is wasted in a large quantity. Such factors decrease per-capita availability of water. Moreover, amid such a situation, mismanagement leads to floods, with disastrous consequences.
When we talk about adverse consequences of global warming on economy, we find that agriculture sector is the most affected in this regard. It changes not only weather patterns but also rain patterns. Floods destroy crops, causing droughts which could lead to further destruction of agricultural land.
The most pressing need of the time is to take proper measures, both at national and international level, to control global warming. The environmental policies of every country must be in line with the changing environmental patterns. It is the responsibility of all of us to grow as much trees as we can, to save our planet. All the machines used at home must be environment-friendly. The use of renewable energy resources reduces not only the economic costs but also maintains global temperature at a proper level. It is predicted that the temperature of the earth would rise by 1.4 to 5.8 degrees and sea level by 20cm to 88cm by the year 2100. We will have to take prudent measures before it is too late. Everyone will have to put in all-out efforts in this regard. We should, at least, plant more and more trees. Many agreements have been made to keep the global rise in the temperature of the earth at a maximum of 2 degrees. The role of all the climate agreements is important to strengthen the global response to the threat of climate change. It is a shocking fact that world leaders have signed many agreements in the past 50 years and still this problem is haunting us all.
Another issue is that many treaties are signed but a number of important countries have failed to get them ratified from their governments. Moreover, many countries prefer their national economic interests to complying with the objectives of environment-related treaties. For instance, US President Donald Trump decided to withdraw from the Paris Climate Accord as, according to him, it was not in line with national economic interests of the United States.
It must be understood by all that climate change and global warming is not the issue of any one country; it is a global issue that must be resolved with concerted efforts, cooperation and coordination. Though global warming has become one of the most serious issues of the world, it can be mitigated with adherence to the objectives of climate agreements. We need to realize this fact to ensure a better future.