The threats posed by grave issues like global warming and climate change have not been effectively addressed by the world nations so far with far-reaching consequences affecting all humans already starting to have effects in real time.
The issue of climate change deserves more attention. According to the latest reports, all the months of the year, except February and April, were the hottest in the history of the planet. The year 2015 is expected to set a record in average temperature. Most of the years in the last two decades are among the hottest. The average temperature of earth increased 0.74 degree Celsius in the past decade and according to the scientists, there could be a 2 to 4 degree Celsius rise in the 21st century. If the temperature rise goes beyond 2 degree Celsius, the consequences would be grave. The islands and the island nations would be under water and coastal areas would be increasingly hit by seawater every year displacing crores of people. Food and drinking water will become scarce, the quantity of rain will decrease and environmental damage will be acute. Natural calamities would tend to surge up. The possibilities of such catastrophes have been reported with most of them found to occur as a result of climate changes. The forest fire that spread in US and Greece and the cyclones that hit Japan and Taiwan in the past weeks were reportedly linked to global warming. The glacial shield of the planet is fast melting. In Cairo, Egypt 21 people died in a single day in August due to extreme heat.
But the fact that there is greater awareness about the matter is a huge relief. It’s now widely acknowledged that the main cause of global warming is the greenhouse gases that increasingly reach the atmosphere, the reason for which is our dependence on fuel which in turn causes pollution. While the former US president Bush tried to keep under wraps the factual truths about the dangerous affects of climate change that put the corporate giants under fire, the current president Obama announced a ‘Clean Power Plan’. The United States is one of the most polluting countries in the world. In the international Climate Change Conference to be held in Paris in December this year, every country is expected to decide their specific targets. Even though the nations had earlier decided on cutting down the carbon emissions, the political-corporate giants not comprehending the gravity of the problem delayed implementing the solution by posing unnecessary disputes. The global warming and climate change issues are more than evident at present and people are aware that wasting time on debates and disputes is suicidal. Utilizing Alternate energy sources are also beneficial. Cochin International airport using solar energy completely not only signals a good future but also pass on an effective message. The centre is set to implement a major project to make use of solar energy in different cities.
But implementing such steps alone would not help. The political decisions alone also are not sufficient to find a solution. The lifestyle of people needs a radical change. The religious heads who have the power to influence people should also contribute towards resolving the critical issue. A Parliament of the World’s Religions took place in 2009, a major step in the direction and was attended by different religious leaders. More similar steps have been taken by many religious heads this year. Pope Francis’s encyclical on the environment and climate change drew immense attention. A group of 17 Anglican bishops from all six continents met in South Africa in February and declared an urgent action on the “unprecedented climate crisis”. A ‘Hindu Declaration on Climate Change’ was released in the Parliament of the World’s Religions in 2009 which reiterated the relation between man and nature and urged to save the planet. Dalai Lama’s message to thousands was to take immediate action against climate change. Similar declarations have also been raised from the religious leaders of the Sikhs and Yahudis. The Islamic leaders from 20 countries issued a declaration on climate change at a summit in Istanbul. They called for taking up the global issue as a religious duty and phasing out the greenhouse gas emissions ‘as soon as possible’ saying that climate change crisis was akin to crucial ethical crisis. The planet could surely be saved if all the religious political and scientific heads could fix the matter by setting up a target and effectively implement it.