Last week, Rajasthan’s Phalodi recorded the highest temperatures ever of 51 degrees Celsius. Following closely was Churu at 50.2 degrees. April 2016, was in fact, the hottest month ever recorded globally and the seventh month in a row to have broken global temperature records. Figures released by Nasa over the weekend show the global temperature of land and sea was 1.11C warmer in April than the average temperature for April during the period 1951-1980.
“The interesting thing is the scale at which we’re breaking records,” said Andy Pitman, director of the ARC Centre of Excellence for Climate System Science at the University of New South Wales in Australia. “It’s clearly all heading in the wrong direction.“Climate scientists have been warning about this since at least the 1980s”, he added.
The record temperatures were wreaking havoc with ecosystems around the world. What is unfortunate is that this is the effect of unbridled human intervention. The heat from human emissions is roughly equal to exploding 400,000 Hiroshima atomic bombs every day. Historically, every time carbon dioxide levels increase in Earth’s atmosphere, the average surface temperature increases, ice melts, and the seas rise, putting our future generations at risk.
So, what is climate change?
Sounds serious. How do we solve this problem?
The answer is democracy.
Here are some excerpts from articles by leading climatologists, scientists and political leaders putting this in perspective.
- “To protect the planet against climate catastrophe, we will have to get beyond Copenhagen by building an earth democracy based on principles of justice and sustainability. Forty percent of emissions are produced by a fossil-fuel-based globalised food system, which is also pushing farmers to suicide and destroying our health. A 40% reduction in emissions can take place through biodiverse organic farming, which sequesters carbon while enriching our soils and our diets.”
Vandana Shiva, Director of the Foundation for Science, Technology & Ecology – Board Member International Forum on Globalization
- “Can democracy in crisis deal with the global warming crisis? Yes! But only by addressing the crises of democracy and climate together.
I see four steps:
- Reign in the power of big oil
- Save every drop of water
- Promote climate justice
- Reject carbon markets”
Maude Barlowe, Chairperson, Council of Canadians
- “The heart of the problem is that to deal effectively with environmental change—of which climate change is an extreme manifestation—requires long-term planning and long-term (collective) commitments; it can mean making sacrifices in the shorter term; it particularly means being careful about discounting the future. Environmental enlightenment of citizenries is a complementary requirement if environmentally protective politics are to be pursued. In fact, prominent in theory and practice in recent years has been the idea of environmental or ecological citizenship. In part, “environmental citizenship theory seems to reflect a growing social concern with personal environmental responsibility.”
Tim Hayward, Director, Just World Institute and Professor, University of Edinburgh
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We have just finished a phase of polling in West Bengal, Assam and Tamil Nadu, and we have many more to come. Before you cast your vote, think about what your candidate’s climate policies are. To make a change for the future, we have to Desh Apnayen now.
Be responsible, be aware and be climate friendly.