- Khin Maung Myint
The threats of the climate change are becoming great concerns for many who are knowledgeable of their consequences. However, there are a few who do not seem to understand, or should I say, ignorant about them. Thus they are even shrugging off the threat of the climate change as a hoax. That is absolute absurdity, which is very disappointing indeed, and at the same time very threatening to the future of, not only the human beings, but also to all living things on Earth.
I had persistently been advocating to combat the climate change issues by sharing my meager knowledge about them in many of my articles wherever relevant. As I had written quite a number of such articles, I had decided that I had done enough and turned my attentions to other pressing issues. However, I was wrong.
The latest information released by NASA mentioned that the year 2016 was the warmest year on record. This statement may sound familiar, as 2015 too was declared the warmest year on record and the year before that also happened to be the warmest on record. From these records it is quite evident that for three consecutive years the temperatures had been gradually rising. If this trend continues the world would definitely be in great troubles. These conditions proved that the climate change is not a hoax, but a reality.
This fact drew my attention back to the climate change issues again and prompted me to write this article. In this article I intend to prove that everything said in relation to climate change are facts and not just fantasies or hoaxes.
It is a well proven fact that the global warming is the phenomenon that is causing the climate change. The global warming in turn is caused by the presence of excess greenhouse gases, among which, carbon dioxide (CO2) gas is the main culprit. The excess of CO2 gas in the atmosphere are due to many factors. The over-use of fossilized fuels, such as coal and petroleum products, extensive breeding of animals, especially cattle and sheep for human consumptions, and the increase in human populations are the main sources of CO2 emissions. Also the depletion of forests contributed to the excess of CO2 in the atmosphere, as the trees are good absorbers of CO2 and the depletion of the forests led to their excess.
Too much greenhouse gases prevent the sun’s rays from being reflected back into space and are trapped in the atmosphere, causing the rise in temperatures. Researches have shown that the temperatures had been gradually rising since the industrial revolution as the use of fossilized fuels increased. Today with the increases in factories and vehicles all over the world, the use of fossilized fuels also soared and the global warming is getting worse at an alarming rate.
The above statement can be proven by the pattern of temperature increases. According to the records, the occurence of the warmest recorded years were widely spaced in the past, but the spacing is becoming narrower. For example, 2005 was recorded as the warmest year and again 2010 tied with that year as the warmest on record after a lull of four years, but since 2014 the recorded warmest years were occuring every year. If drastic actions are not taken to reduce the CO2 emissions, this year, 2017 and many more to come, will also be warmer than their preceding ones.
Because of the global warming, freak weather conditions are also becoming more and more common. The frequent and stronger storms, heavier rainfalls, unprecedented snowfalls, flooding, draughts, extreme cold and warm weather patterns are being encountered all over the world in recent times. Due to the extreme high temperatures, desertification are becoming widespread. Also the glaciers around the world are melting and disappearing at alarming rates, causing the ocean levels to rise and the low-lying areas close to them are being inundated. Thus the inhabitable and arable land masses are decreasing. These situations are cause for alarm if the temperature rises couldn’t be put under control, as the melting of ice and rising of the ocean levels will continue.
Experts are of the opinion that such situations could lead to social unrests as people around the world would try to grab whatever available land left. That could lead to armed conflicts and bring about the collapse of the human civilizations. On the other-hand, if the temperatures cannot be curbed in time, the extreme temperatures would reach a point that would render it totally impossible for human beings to survive. Eventually all living things, including all vegetations would become extinct and the Earth will become another dead planet in the solar system
These are real facts and not fantasies or just opinions, but have concrete reasons to be believed, though they may take time to become the worst case scenario mentioned above. However, regrettably, according to the factsheet of the TECHTIMES found on the Internet, 37% of the Americans believe that global warming is a hoax and 67% do not believe the climate change would seriously affect their way of life. I must admit that I am not sure how accurate that statement was. However, it is a fact that the present President of the US thought the climate change to be a hoax and had threatened to withdraw from the Paris Agreement, which had been ratified during his predecessor’s tenure.
Even now, we are learning from the media reports that his administration is planning to increase the oil productions. Also their latest move to stop the ban on disposal of wastes from the coal-fired factories into the streams would affect the enviroment and hence the climate change too. China, on the other-hand is also still constructing numerous coal-fired electrical power stations. The coal-fired factories not only produce CO2 gases that contribute to the global warming, but also cause coal pollutions, which lead to hundreds of thousands of premature deaths each year.
At a time, when the Paris Agreement is requiring it’s signatories to reduce the use of fossilized fuels and convert to renewable or green energy sources such as: hydro, wind and solar powers, the world’s two most largest emitters of CO2 gases show no sign of obliging. Though they had pledged large amounts of Nationally Determined Contributions (to reduce CO2 emissions) that was required to ratify the Paris Agreement, the US and China do not seem to have any intention of fulfilling them.
Such actions are totally unacceptable and should be condemned. The rest of the world, headed by the United Nations should endeavour to push the Paris Agreement through, to be adhered by all the signatories without any exception. If any nation should choose to withdraw from the Paris Agreement because it do not want to abide by them, that nation should be taken some sort of legal or binding action. Just naming and shaming only, as prescribed by the present agreements, wouldn’t be enough.
In conclusion, I would like to request every nation, especially the large emitters of CO2 gases, to be wary of the consequences of the climate change and accept it as a reality. They should also be humane enough to have considerations for the others instead of being selfish and greedy at the expense of others. I sincerely hope they would come to their senses, before it’s too late, and accept the fact that the climate change issue is not a hoax but a reality.