Climate change denial must stop
Just imagine: floods in dry Rajasthan; drought in wet Assam. In both cases, devastation has been deadly, with people struggling to cope. But are these natural disasters or human-made disasters signs of change of the world's climate systems? Or are these simply the result of mismanagement so that people already living on the edge of survival, cannot cope with any variations - small or big - in weather events?
In this multiple choice question, all answers are correct. In other words, this is a natural disaster, as monsoons in our region are highly variable, unpredictable and known to cause both floods and droughts. It is also a fact that these natural events are being exacerbated because we have forgotten how to live with nature. So, we build cities without drainage; we build settlements in low-lying areas; we fill up our water bodies, which would store and recharge water for the dry season. We do everything which will make us more vulnerable when disaster strikes. But it is equally true that our climate is changing so that natural variations of weather events are becoming more extreme.
The problem is that the science of climate is not simple. But scientists are beginning to come out of the woodwork to tell us that the future is much more uncertain than we thought. The draft report of the Inter governmental Panel on Climate Change confirms that climate change is a reality and predicts that global average temperatures this century will rise between 2
- Climate change 2014: impacts, adaptation, and vulnerability - summary for policymakers (IPCC Climate Report, Fifth Assessment, WGII AR5)
- Climate Change 2013: the physical science basis - summary for policymakers
- Global climate risk index 2013
- Turn down the heat: why a 4°C warmer world must be avoided