CHENNAI: Not so long ago, scientists had predicted that climate change will make monsoons unpredictable. As a result, rain-fed food grain cultivation in South Asia will suffer and the total cereal production will go down. Unfortunately, that prediction is becoming true today as many parts of India are now battling severe drought while others are fighting rain fury.
There is no doubt that the water crisis in drought-affected areas is because of monsoon failure, yet one cannot deny the fact that this situation is because of man’s deeds. The situation across the globe is becoming so bad that there is only one thought that comes to mind — Is there nothing we can do against nature’s fury? But, does this question need an answer? Despite the scientific achievements that mankind has witnessed, we have never been able to question the invincibility of nature. While the textbooks are filled with lessons on natural calamities, there is still no breakthrough on any natural calamity prediction mechanism. In such a scenario, the best bet for any country to deal with such an event is to be prepared for the worst while hoping for the best.
A recent scientific study on climate change has concluded that almost all of the summer sea ice in the Arctic Ocean is likely to disappear late this century because of global warming. Such an eventuality is inevitable because of the unstoppable momentum of global warming, which is being caused by the emission of greenhouse gases by automobiles and industrial activity. In India, another study has said that by the middle of this century, the sea level will increase by 24.1 cm, causing coastal floods, and there will be more cyclones in the Bay of Bengal, while the average temperature in New Delhi and Mumbai will increase by 30 to 40 Celsius.
It has taken many scientists to accept the fact that the world’s climate is changing because of human activity. The burgeoning human population, increasing industrial activity, deforestation and the rampant exploitation of the earth’s natural resources have altered our ecosystem irreversibly. The devastating consequences of this are now becoming apparent. However, in spite of all these, experts are unwilling to look at the bigger picture and instead, offer local phenomena as the explanation. But the Earth’s climate is changing...for the worse. Nature, which has helped man live on this planet for thousands of years, providing sunshine, food and water, is turning harsher.
UAE receiving snowfall, the occurrence of tsunamis — all these manifestations of nature’s fury cannot be mere anomalies. It is increasingly becoming clear that they are the result of the damage done to the environment by human beings. But we are still ignoring these warning signs in our pre-occupation with achieving economic growth. Instead of learning from our mistakes, we are trying to outsmart nature. However, we forget that no amount of technology or money can save us from nature’s wrath. This year’s drought may have been nature’s warning bells for us. Hence, we need to understand that it’s not too late...there is time to change our course towards more sustainable, nature-friendly practices. It only requires a change in our mindset — from that of acquisition and consumption to one of sharing and caring.