People, today’s post is a special one. Why? Well it’s special because it is being written in support of a global event, Blog Action Day. Today across 140 countries, over 7600 blogs will be publishing posts on a specific topic to help spread awareness among the general public.
And what is that topic you ask? It’s one that I support very passionately (and is the REAL reason why I decided to join the event!), Climate Change. So what is this Climate Change? Why the fuss over this on a global scale? Well for those of you who have been living in a cave for the past few years, here’s the lowdown.
Humans have been burning fossil fuels for a little over a century now, the rate of which has accelerated in the last few decades. Additionally we have over indulged in other industrial activities such as chemical production, cement manufacturing and deforestation, all of which have resulted in the generation or build-up of certain harmful gases. Apart from the immediate effects of pollution and depletion of natural resources, these activities have resulted in a Green House effect, wherein the atmospheric layer essentially acts as a glass dome (much akin to that of conventional green-houses) trapping the heat generated by the gases like Carbon Dioxide. This trapped heat in turn results in the gradual increase in the temperature of the planet. Now all of us like a little summer heat, but the temperature rises we are talking about are on a global scale. Which means that the average equilibrium temperatures are raised across the globe, even in the frozen north and south poles!
What happens when you heat ice? Simple it turns into water. So what’s the big deal, you ask? Excess water is a good thing. After all we keep hearing about the acute water shortage across the planet. Maybe this will solve that issue. Well its like this, imagine you pack a jar with ice cubes and then heat the jar. Good Science will tell you that the ice-cubes will melt, but common-sense will alert you that the jar is too small to contain the melted water and the excess liquid will spill. Replace the jar with planet earth and the ice-cubes with the ice-bergs found in near the poles. Same results, only here the water doesn’t spill over, it submerges everything around it. Yes you heard that right, submerges the surrounding land masses.
Movie buffs will recollect story elements from the Roland Emmerich blockbuster, The Day After Tomorrow. The central plot of the movie involved the effects, strike that, the cataclysmic effects of climate change across the planet,albeit with some dramatic license. What you saw in the movie was pretty much what climate change is all about, unseasonal tornadoes, massive hailstorms, flooding, tsunamis, basically the bad parts of the Bible!
If the movie analogy seems far-fetched, look around you. Don’t you feel unseasonal weather patterns are ever-increasing. I am sure no one has forgotten the torrential rains on July 26th, 2005 in Bombay. And only two years ago, the metropolis witnessed it’s coldest winter (not too cold for my North Indian friends, but still pretty close!). Even in the current year, the monsoon calendar, which usually lasts between June and September, was stretched all the way till October.
This change is happening everywhere, all across the planet. Disastrous Tsunamis, extreme heat waves, delayed monsoons, severe snow storms, the list is endless. And it’s not going to stop. In fact the situation will keep worsening until a point is reached where all hope will be lost and humanity will eventually be annihilated! Well okay, maybe I’m getting a little dramatic. But the situation IS pretty grim.
There are enough web-sites, blogs, documentaries, books and a tons of other material dedicated to educating us about the ills of polluting the environment and the steps that we can take to ensure a cleaner and greener future. For those who wish to further their knowledge on the Global Warming and Climate Change phenomenon, consider viewing the following:
You could also visit the following websites;
As you go through the facts in these resources, the enormity of the issue will begin to come into focus as shall the solution. Time is of the essence and the time is now to act!
Before I conclude this post what I’d like you to ponder about is that while you and I may not live to see the earth for more than 50-60 years (75-80 if we are really lucky!), it doesn’t mean that the planet will cease to exist after we pass away. Earth will survive, it will continue spinning about its imaginary axis and go on revolving around a bright star in some obscure part of the universe. What will change, is the condition in which it will live on, the manner in which it will survive.
So the question is this – Will we leave a legacy that speaks of our negligent and apathetic behavior towards our planet? Or will we take actions that proclaim our sensitivity towards the plight of our home-world at a very crucial juncture in it’s history?