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  • Writer's pictureMayuri & Hrishikesh

SOS - A Distress Call !!!

We are amidst a Pandemic! The COVID-19 pandemic is the defining global health crisis and an ordeal of enormous threat in recent times. This is the juncture wherein we need to test existence of humanity in near distant future. This is not just another pandemic soon to be obliterated. It is the time to rethink Humanity and Co-existence in the world. It is the time to envisage the world as a sustainable and self-contained planet. We need to mark this crisis as a turning point towards amelioration of life on Earth. When we look back on this impasse, in next few years, it should be remembered as an inception of a new world.

As we see, our response to COVID-19 is global, science-based, collaborative and holistic. It is extremely imperative that we also focus on creating a world that is also able to efficiently and effectively tackle a very serious issue – “CLIMATE EMERGENCY” Massive programmes of green public investment would be the most cost-effective way both to revive virus-hit economies and strike a decisive blow against climate change, top U.S. and British economists said in a study published on Tuesday.

· With co-authors including Nobel laureate Joseph Stiglitz from Columbia University and prominent British climate expert Lord Nicholas Stern, the findings are likely to fuel calls for “Green recoveries” gathering momentum around the world. 

· German Chancellor Angela Merkel and International Monetary Fund Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva called for green recoveries last week, and the concept has emerged as a political fault line from the United States to India and South Korea.

"The COVID-19-initiated emissions reduction could be short-lived,” said Cameron Hepburn, lead author and director of the Smith School of Enterprise and Environment at the University of Oxford.“But this report shows we can choose to build back better, keeping many of the recent improvements we’ve seen in cleaner air, returning nature and reduced greenhouse gas emissions.”

India’s energy future could top the scales of global climate change, but the extreme weather is already here. Severe climate changes have already started engulfing India.

Studies have shown formations and occurrence of cyclones increased considerably in India, in 2018 North Indian Ocean cyclone season was the most active cyclone season since 1992, with the formation of fourteen depressions and seven cyclones. Whereas, in 2019 North Indian Ocean cyclone season recorded 11 deep depressions, 8 cyclonic storms, 6 severe cyclonic storms, 6 very severe cyclonic storms, 3 extremely severe cyclonic storms, and 1 super cyclonic storm, Kyarr, the first since Cyclone Gonu in 2007. The 2019 North Indian Ocean cyclone season was also the second-costliest season recorded causing nearly ≥$11.5 billion damage and 173 deaths.

India has also seen acute rise in incidence of floods across the country. The 2018 Kerala floods displaced more than 36000 people across the state and led to death of approximately 445 people. The 2019 Indian floods were a series of floods that affected over thirteen states in late July and early August 2019, due to incessant rains. About a million people were displaced and approximately 1000 deaths were reported in the country.

2019 also witnessed the formation of toxic foam on the river Yamuna in New Delhi, due to extreme Air and Water pollution.

About 42% of India’s land area is facing drought, according to data for the week ending March 26, 2019, from the Drought Early Warning System (DEWS), a real-time drought monitoring platform. This was due to a combination of monsoon failure in the second half of 2018, a sustained heat wave between May and June and low rainfall in the first half of 2019.

Dried wells and lowering water tables are a clear indication of the future water scarcity in the country. Lately, since past five years India has experienced humongous agricultural and economical damage due to untimely rains, delayed winters and extreme summers.

Global warming’s made India’s economy 31 per cent smaller than it would otherwise have been according to a new Stanford study. The World Bank calculates climate change will shave nearly 3 per cent off India’s GDP and depress living standards of nearly half its population by 2050. The UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction estimates India’s suffered $79.5 billion in economic losses in 19 years due to climate-change disasters.

“Climate change is not of our making, It is the result of global warming that came from the prosperity and progress of an industrial age powered by fossil fuel. But we in India face its consequences today. We see it in the risks of our farmers, the changes in weather patterns, and the intensity of natural disasters.” 

- Prime Minister Narendra Modi said at the United Nations’ 2015 climate change talks in Paris.

Unlike other nations, it wasn’t possible for India to cap emissions. Instead Modi pledged to bulk up on renewable power and reduce emissions relative to GDP by roughly a third from 2005’s emissions by 2030.The question of the hour is, are we really working towards it?

A 4th Industrial Revolution is building up, characterized by a fusion of technologies that is blurring the lines between the physical, digital, and biological spheres. Which will also profoundly impact the environment, further deteriorate natural habitats and fuel worsening of climatic changes.

There is a need to re think, innovate and promulgate the outlook of co-existence and sustenance of life in the world. It’s time to adapt new techniques and policies which will in turn help us to save nature from degradation and replenish it.

We need to act for a Greener, Healthier and Sustainable world and act really quick!


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