August 19, 2016

Apocalypse is Just Around the Corner

When we were young children, we were scared that the world would come to an end when seven suns appeared in the skies, because people commit sins. Those were the bedtime stories or fables intended to scare the young children not to commit petty sins, such as telling lies, stealing or killing small insects. We had believed and were  worried that would really happen. I remember this many times. I used to look up early in the mornings to see how many suns there were in the skies and was relieved when I saw only one. As we grew up those worries disappeared, as we came to realize they were just threats to make us behave.
However, though there are not seven, but only one sun, our world is getting warmer and is gradually heading towards destruction. I am not a doomsday cultist, but just a person who is obsessed with the adverse consequences of the climate change. The scientists and environmentalists had been trying to advocate the importance of maintaining the temperature rise at less than 2°C above the pre-industralization average temperature. In my opinion, they are losing the battle as the temperature rise is nearing 3°C by some estimates. The ice glaciers at the polar regions and elsewhere are melting and vanishing at alarming rates. These melted ice would cause drastic rises in the water levels in the oceans and seas, which would inundate low-lying areas. The land masses would decrease, shrinking the habitable spaces for human and animals alike. These conditions would drive the people out of their homes and eventually out of their countries and force them to migrate en-masse to other places.
Even now, the consequences of the climate change had caused massive migrations almost everywhere in the world. Because of the severe climate changes, the El Nino and the La Nina conditions are becoming stronger and affecting the agricultural and the fishery industries very badly. They have grave impacts on the economy, especially the macroeconomic sectors. The epidemic diseases, such as malaria and dengue haemorrhagic fevers are on the rise. They are also giving rise to social issues and unrests. The most significant is the mass migrations due to starvations, lack of habitable space and arable land for livelihoods in their own countries that are hardest hit by the effects of the climate change. In some places, rivers and streams had disappeared and the lush green pastures where livestocks once roamed had turned into deserts, while some places are flooded. Thus the livestocks are dwindling due to lack of enough animal feed and the agriculture is on the decline because of the lack of arable land and the extreme temperature. These situations lead to starvations, causing people to migrate to greener pastures.
According to the experts, if the temperature rise could not be maintained below the 2°C limit and if it should reach above 3°C, the situations would spiral out of control. Should the temperature rise continue and reach 4°C, there wouldn’t be any ice at the poles or anywhere else and the rain forests would turn into deserts. The oceans would reach far into the continents. As the land masses shrunk and the arable lands become scarce due to the flooding and the desertification, people would struggle to settle on whatever habitable land left. The summers would be too hot to grow anything. There wouldn’t be anything to buy, as there would be nothing to sell. Such situations could lead to unrests and conflicts and eventually into wars everywhere. The worst case scenarios would be the wars, plus the starvations and the epidemic diseases, which could become rampant with looting and plundering that would plunge the world into uncontrollable chaos and turmoil.
The soaring temperatures could also give rise to increased level of Methane (CH4) gas, produced from the ocean and sea beds. The Methane gas is one of the greenhouse gases and it is 20 times more potent than the Carbon Dioxide (CO2) gas. The Methane explosions, caused by the slightest thunder strike coming into contact with the burst of Methane Hydrate escaping with force from the ocean beds and shooting out high above the water surface could be more devastating than a nuclear bomb. If that should happen, a 5°C rise in temperature would be unavoidable. Underwater volcanic eruptions in the oceans would also occur producing the Hydrogen Sulphide (H2S) gases, which would endanger the marine lives. By then most of the life forms would have vanished. A further one degree rise above that would wipeout every life form from the face of the earth. Thus the apocalypse is just around the corner, waiting to happen if we couldn’t put a stop to the rising temperature and bring it down below the 2°C level.
To avoid such situations, each and everyone of us should contribute to the reduction of the greenhouse gases, which are the main causes of the global warming that led to the climate change. What we should do is: do every imaginable that would reduce Carbon emission and reduce the global warming.
I would like to suggest some ways and means that could reduce Carbon emissions. Growing more trees is the easiest and every able persons can do it. The trees absorb the CO2 and sequester it to release the Oxygen back into the atmosphere. Recycle every recyclable things so that it would reduce productions and contribute to the reduction of Carbon emissions. Replace light bulbs with power saving bulbs, such as LEDs, that would cut down Carbon emissions. Eat more vegetables instead of meat, especially beef, as the production of meat involves Carbon emissions. Reduce the use of water as the waste water treatments increase the Carbon emissions. Substitute the fossilized fuels with clean or renewable energy. Reduce the number of motor vehicles that run on fossilized fuels, as much as possible. Avoid the use of firewoods and char coals for cooking purposes. Stop slash and burn agricultural practices.
It is the responsibility of all the people to fight the climate change and the temperature rise, as they are the worst enemies for all living things. We must keep our fingers crossed and hope that a viable solution could emerge from the COP21 convening in Paris. Those who do not abide by the resolution passed by that conference should  be held responsible and if necessary this issue should be taken to the United Nations Security Council or a tribunal no less than a war tribunal, as they are no better than the war criminals or may be even worse. These perpetrators are not only endangering the lives of all living things, but they are also destroying our planet.


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