A much-anticipated assessment by the UN's intergovernmental panel on Climate Change has warned global policy makers that the time to reverse climate change is running out fast. The dramatic report on keeping global temperature rise under 1.5 degree C states that the world is now completely off track, heading instead 3 C by 2100. Failure to act now would lead to catastrophic changes to our world.
It’s time to act now
The world has already warmed by about 1 C above pre-industrial levels and is likely to reach 1.5 C between 2030 and 2052, if it continues to increase at the current rate. The report is ground-breaking in that it looks at the impacts of keeping global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius, compared to 2 C. The difference of half a degree could make a huge difference. In the 1.5 degrees scenario, scientists forecast that up to 90 per cent of the world's coral reefs would be lost. If temperatures rise by 2 degrees Celsius, coral reefs would be nearly wiped out across the planet.
Not only this, the changes would be irreversible and several ecosystems are expected to get vanished. The decisions taken by the political leaders will be critical in the coming years. because the investment cycle for power plants and transport systems is at least 10 years. It is not just the politicians, but the entire mankind has to wake up to the reality in changing its lifestyle. The methods adopted so far for comfort have cost us dearly. Industrial production has gone awry.
Attempting to change the climate without changing our carbon emissions pattern is foolish. The past decade has seen record=breaking storms, forest fires, droughts, coral bleaching, heat waves and floods around the world with just 1 C increase in temperature. Scientists are firm that the next 1.5 degree Celsius hike would be reached in as little as 11 years and almost certainly within 20 years without major cuts in carbon dioxide emissions. Even if such cuts were to begin immediately it would only delay, not prevent, the 1.5 degree of gobal warning.
Stronger storms, more erratic weather, dangerous heat waves, rising seas and largescale disruption to infrastructure and migration patterns. At least let us care for our posterity...for our youngsters and our grandchildren playing around us now. How do they survive the mess we are creating for them in future? If any development or advancement could lead to destruction and death, such a thing cannot be called development at all in the first place. In the name of modernisation we have gone far ahead and have, perhaps, already reached, a no return point. Let us no more bank on our knowledge, but use wisdom at least now.