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Battling weather extremities

The bitter reality of Climate Change has hit home; yet, we remain unprepared to combat exigencies

Battling weather extremities

2018-19 has been a rollercoaster ride for India, owing to many reasons. While politics has dominated seasons, India's seasons themselves have witnessed many upheavals. Floods, droughts and devastating signifiers of Climate Change have wrecked states, leaving many homeless and many more lifeless. Yet, the world hasn't entirely awoken to the crisis of Climate Change. Often, the impacts are delayed and the intensity is realised for only as long as the tragedy persists. Before or after, there seems to be no preventive action or even remorse of failure.

Delhi, which has received immense flak for its polluted air that is at best 'hazardous', was turned into a wonderland after heavy rains and hailstorm lashed several parts of NCR on February 7, 2019. For most, it was a pleasant relief ahead of the scorching summers, an occasion to enjoy the cool breeze and click quick snaps of hail-laden roads. Not a natural phenomenon for the Capital, this was an aberration, albeit a pleasant one that also witnessed bettering of the air quality index.

2018 was a devastating year for Kerala which witnessed its worst flood in a century. Close to 500 have been recognised as dead and many more have gone missing since the flood washed the state in August last year. Close to a million people were evacuated and the entire nation united in prayers for our southern heaven. Yet, now in 2019, just before another monsoon, our preparedness to combat another weather exigency remains abysmal.

What do environmentalists say?

As environmentalists say and most educated persons will know, Climate Change doesn't happen overnight; while it causes sudden disasters, it itself isn't unexpected. It is the unfortunate impact of long-term negligence that humans have exhibited towards the environment. Climate Change is increasing by the day and this is further amplified with growing greenhouse emissions. To control this, several international alliances have been put in place but effective implementation is yet to see the light of the day. Though Scandinavian countries have outperformed others, majority of the world lives in extremely polluted and potentially fatal circumstances.

CO2 and greenhouse gas emissions are the major cause of global warming but they are also the pillars on which our modern civilisation today sustains itself. Clearly, where we are today is as much our doing as it is our predecessor's.

When asked about improvising upon and controlling the current situation of Climate Change, environment conservationist Vikrant Tongad, said, "There are different plans to tackle Climate Change. There is a national-level Climate Change plan and a state-level plan is going to be made. So, if we talk about India, we can't control it on Indian bases alone as this is a global issue. China, India, USA and few more are the prime contributors to Climate Change. Until these countries start their duty towards the environment, the situation can't get better."

"India has a plan in which there are eight items which have to be implemented across the county. It has described effective ways about how we can control Climate Change by reducing CO2 and greenhouse emissions and by increasing our dependency on solar energy. In the last 12 years, state-level plans have not taken place while national-level plans have worked out well. The solar plans have been taken into consideration and solar technologies can get cheaper at some point after we raise concerns at the international level," he added.

Madhupriti Mitra

Madhupriti Mitra

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