Humanity is facing the greatest threat to its existence ever. The threat originates from its own home, a result of its own actions. Climate change is steadily becoming a menace all over the world. Co-operation of the highest order is necessary if we are to fend off this threat. It is imperative that not just governments; but the people as well realize their role in mitigating climate change and bring the mercury down.
In the international arena, it is necessary that organizations such as the IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change), WMO (World Meteorological Organisation), ICLEI (International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives), UNEP (United Nations Environment Programme) etc. bring out measures which nations must compulsorily implement. Moreover, developed economies of the world like United States of America, United Kingdom, Japan, Russia must take the lead. We cannot expect just the poor to sacrifice their lifestyles for climate change while wealthier nations continue like before. E.g. CoP25’s venue had to be moved from Chile to Spain due to riots in the former as it had hiked fuel prices (In accordance with provisions for combating climate change.)
Governments too can individually take steps to fight climate change. In the Indian context, the government must devise policies adapted from the mistakes developed nations had made previously. E.g. Lead based petrol was banned after it was discovered to contain hazardous levels of neurotoxicity which adversely affected not just health, but the environment too. It is no longer used by countries. This continuous process of learning and adapting will ensure avoiding bad/unpropitious policies and laws. Saving time as well as resources.
Societies are formed through the assimilation of individuals. Hence, individual action leads to collective action. As individuals, there are various changes in our lifestyle which can help in the movement against climate change. In a populous country like India, having one fewer child can lead to reduction of 58.6 metric tonnes worth of CO2 in a year! Walking/cycling to nearby places and using public transport for commuting reduces carbon footprint by 2.4MT/year! Investing in renewable sources of energy like solar based geysers, stoves, heaters etc. too can go a long way in bringing down the harmful effects of their conventional counterparts.
Finally, the most important steps as individuals is to educate others. Each one, teach one, plant one. It takes only a few minutes to educate your social circles, they will do the same and it will have an impact for centuries to come. Education can come from anywhere.
It is necessary that we get emotionally involved in combating climate change. The Earth is our only home, there is no backup for us to fallback on. Whatever we have is here, on this single planet in this vast universe. We need to be selfless and think about our actions and their effects on the generations to come. The time is now.
“We owe at least this much to future generations, from whom we have borrowed a fragile planet called Earth.”Maurice Strong, First Executive Director of UNEP
'Bringing the Mercury Down' is an award winning essay. The topic of the competition was 'mitigating climate change' in under 350 words. This essay won 2nd prize.
Also read, ‘The Medium of Knowing‘ which won first position in this essay writing competition last year.
Disclaimer: Views expressed by the author are personal. TheMusing.in is a platform for people to express their opinion subject to veracity of facts.
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