The environment we warm, the globe we endanger

Mankind has generated enough heat to melt its own ambitions. The planet is on the precipice.

Man meets his match

Global warming, climate change, greenhouse gases emission, biodiversity destruction, depleting ozone layer and environmental degradation are terms that can cool the enthusiasm of the most determined champion of capitalism or industrial production today. 

2015 was declared to be the hottest year on planet earth. 2016 has proven to be hotter than 2015, and earned the distinction of the hottest year on record! Does that mean every succeeding year would be worse than the previous year? The answer is most likely a yes, if we do not react at a speed much faster than we are accustomed to. The globe is tipping into a danger zone of irreversible nature, and action is needed now.

Now a simple, inconvenient truth -
Climate change is created by the world’s wealthiest, and disproportionately suffered by the world’s poorest. The world’s seven wealthiest countries alone—topped by the US—had burnt up 63% of the fossil fuels responsible for today’s global warming.

Climate change is definitely playing a role in amplifying the magnitude of many disasters - speaking of India, we can cite some like (a) the Siachen avalanche 2016, (b) forest fires in Uttarakhand and Himachal, (c) tropical cyclone Vardah (Chennai), (d) abnormal and highest-ever temperatures in  northern Phalodi, Rajasthan, (51 degrees Celsius)!

[Read this Bodhi in Hindi, here]

Bodhi Booster, General Knowledge, Current Affairs, GKCA, IAS, Civils, MBA, IIM CAT, Climate, Global warming, Temperatures, Coastal flooding

If one were to explain it to a layman, the simple cause and effect may look like this -

Excessive material consumption needs production  Greenhouse gas emissions Global warming Ice caps melting Flooding of coastal regions worldwide Large scale destruction

Not me, not me!

To the innocent question as to who is responsible for the present state of affairs, we get an equally innocent answer – ourselves. Do we want to justify that development means destruction? Our answer will be obviously in the negative. But that is what we have done for the past 100 years, pursuing better material lives. We have left no stone unturned, knowingly or unknowingly, to destroy Mother Nature. Various reports show that the developed world – a prolific consumer of energy – has been responsible for the maximum emission of greenhouse gases, and consequent harm.

Bodhi Booster, General Knowledge, Current Affairs, GKCA, IAS, Civils, MBA, IIM CAT, Climate, Global warming, Temperatures, Coastal flooding

Warnings are being issued continually that the glaciers and ice caps are melting at a higher than normal rate, and that the Arctic and Antarctic regions are fast shrinking resulting in rapid rise of sea levels. The American National Academy of Science has in a recent study projected the impact of global warming on important coastal cities of the world. They have included global temperature rise in a band of 2 to 4 degrees. It projects that if global temperatures continue to rise by 2 degrees, Mumbai’s Gateway of India will be drowned.  For a rise of 4 degrees, half of our Mumbai would be a part of the Arabian Sea. Almost all coastal cities will lose their prime position due to flooding.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) issued the “2016 Arctic Report Card” – highlighting some horrible truths – (1) Arctic had the warmest year in 2016, (2) Since 1900, it has warmed by 3.5 C, twice the global average, (3) Loss of ice is prominent, (4) Record low snow-cover visible, (5) Record low sea ice.

Norwegian scientists reported – we saw much thinner ice forming (only 3-4 ft thick) and it breaks easily – Similar loss of ice happening on the Antarctica. These are definite proofs that climate-change is happening.

[इस बोधि को हिंदी में पढ़ें, यहाँ]

Paris Summit may get trumped

The Paris Summit 2015 first agreed to limit global warming to 2 C above pre-industrial levels and then decided to try to keep it below 1.5 C. This limit was set as it offered the planet a better chance of staving off catastrophes such as the melting of polar ice, which would no longer be able to deflect solar radiation and allow even greater global warming. Nations agreed to reduce their emissions, by a quantum to be decided nationally - the Nationally Determined Contributions NDCs. The 
Paris Agreement was signed by 195 nations in April 2016 to limit oil/coal/gas burning to keep global warming below 2 C. Trump may simply refuse to abide by US commitments (or tear up the Agreement, or ask others for more, etc.).

The 43rd Session of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) held in April 2016 agreed that the AR6 Synthesis Report would be finalized in 2022 in time for the first UNFCCC global stocktaking exercise.

Success of Donald Trump in American elections prompted serious fears. Reasons are many.

  • He publicly had stated "Climate change is not real, but a bogey created by the Chinese to hold back American manufacturing!" Should he stick to his guns, the global warming debate and action plans may get a rude shock. 
  • His team, so far, is made up of climate-change deniers, and of corporate bosses who relish fossil fuel. Mr.Scott Pruitt will head the EPA (Environment Protection Agency) which he sued early 2016 on climate-change issues (methane emissions), and Mr.Rex Tillerson (CEO Exxon Mobil) who couldn’t drill oil with Russians in the Arctic, Siberia and Black Sea due to US sanctions post-Crimea! This spooks green enthusiasts.
  • Not for nothing did a media columnist called Trump – “The first demagogue of the Anthropocene!”,,

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    •  COP, UNFCCC, IPCC - a complex nomenclature simplified 
      • The COP stands for the “Conference of the Parties.” It is the supreme decision-making body of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), opened for signature in 1992 during the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro and later entered into force in 1994. After its entry into force in 1994, the UNFCCC Secretariat was established in Geneva. It was then relocated to Bonn in 1995 following the “First Conference of the Parties” (COP1) in Berlin. Since then, there have been twenty-two COPs, with the famous one organized in Paris in December 2015. COP22 took  place in Marrakech, Morocco from November 7-18, 2016. The COP was created and put in place in order to structure the efforts of the Parties to the Convention as they address climate change. The COP meets annually to review and assess the implementation of the UNFCCC and any other legal instruments the body adopts with the goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions and fighting climate change. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) was created in 1988 by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP). The IPCC is recognized as a body of scientific support to the Secretariat of the Convention. Since 1990 the group has produced an Assessment Report every 5 years, bringing together leading scientific experts on climate. Our planet’s ecosystem is threatened. Several scientific studies prove it. The natural mechanisms that sustain the earth’s climate, and thus all living species, are in disorder. The Meet in 2005 was COP 11 or CMP 1, as it was the first Meeting of the Parties (CMP 1) to the Kyoto Protocol since their initial meeting in Kyoto in 1997. Hence, the 2015 Meet was the COP 21 or the CMP 11. For 2016, it was COP 22 / CMP 12 / CMA 1. COP 23 is scheduled at Bonn, Germany. 

Should our lack of pace not be a cause for alarm? We are losing precious time bickering over the finer aspects. We have set ourselves on the course to near total destruction of our ecosystem and the biodiversity. There has to be a joint and rapid action globally. Let us all be a part of the mission ‘Save the Earth’.

Time and tide wait for none. This time, it’s the tide we should save ourselves from.

[Solve Bodhi Prashn ##question-circle##]

This Bodhi will be regularly updatedKeep visiting. And do share your thoughts in the Comments thread.

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    • Bodhi Links (for deeper study; Caution: some may be external links, some large PDFs)
      •  ##chevron-right## Global warming continues unabated here ##chevron-right## India ratifies Paris Agreement here ##chevron-right## Government of India - Action Plan on Climate Change (Hindi) pdf here ##chevron-right## COP22 Marrakech - Plan of action here ##chevron-right## Government of India - Action Plan on Climate Change (English) pdf here


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Bodhi Booster: The environment we warm, the globe we endanger
The environment we warm, the globe we endanger
Mankind has generated enough heat to melt its own ambitions. The planet is on the precipice.
Bodhi Booster
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