Going Ga-Ga Over Green

by VR Sreeraman on  December 22, 2009 at 5:15 PM Health Watch
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The climate change cause has evoked a web of empathy in that even the sex toy industry is ready to do its bit for by making 'green tech vibrators' for all those die hard 'toy' fans. If reports are to be believed, an Irish company is hoping to make vibrators from recyclable materials. These toys usually run on scores of batteries that eventually culminate as toxic waste.

Call for Change -Copenhagan

The overwhelming majority of people do not leap with joy on being told that their lifestyle could be directly contributing to climate change. Many more develop cold feet on being told that they have to consciously change if they intend to be a part of the solution.

These statements sum up the mood at the Copenhagan summit.

There was a lot of blame trading and 'frothing at the mouth' at the Danish capital of Copenhagan but very little was offered to satisfy the people of the world, perched on the brink of the worst -ever disaster.

Tension between the greatest emitters of all times, China and the United States was, indeed, palpable as these nations continued to defend their stands as to why they were doing lesser than what was expected of them.

That the Copenhagen talks fell short of expectations is putting it too mildly!

Some of the highlights of the summit -

• The U.S and twenty five other countries including --the BASIC (Brazil, South Africa India and China) countries—eventually reached a deal which included ways of minimizing heat-trapping gases. The deal is the first of its kind since the 1997 Kyoto protocol.
• The agreement has set a goal of "limiting global warming to a maximum rise of 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial times".
• A prospective annual aid of $100 billion for developing nations, by 2020, was also in the offing to deal with climate change.
• The end of Jan 2010, has been earmarked as a dead line for all other countries to fall in line and to submit their proposals to the UN on means to cut emissions, and do their bit for climate change.
• Even supporters of the deal felt that it was far from perfect and that it did little to push the world economy away from fossil fuels and focus on renewable energy.
• Several nations wanted Barrack Obama to cut emissions further. But the US prez could not offer to do more because the US senate has stalled the carbon capping legislation.
 Going Ga-Ga Over Green
Going Ga-Ga Over Green

Ironing out Problems Ironically

Amidst all the hiss and boo over global emissions, what went unnoticed was the fact that the summit turned out to be the most polluting event of the year recording a mammoth carbon emission of 46,200 tonnes. All this came from the generous use of 140 private jets and 1200 limos for travel, 1.5 million papers, electricity, transports of goods, security, services and so on.

The irony was reinforced when the deadlock yielded no result!

The Dirge of Under Developed Nations

Several developing and poorer nations of the world refused to be a part of the deal and they have reasonable reasons for taking the stand.

Tuvalu is a low-lying pacific island state existing with the gnawing fear that it would be wiped off the face of the earth if the sea levels rises. It agrees to disagree with the pact along with the majority of the delegate nations. They believe that the pact will only help to ring the death knell for Tuvalu and the other islands.

Many nations such as Venezuela, Bolivia, Cuba and Nicaragua protested that they have been elbowed out when the accord took form and that it originated in an undemocratic way--- behind close doors.

The developing nations held the rich nations responsible for the current scenario and demanded that they cut their carbon emissions by 40%. But the latter are not willing to concede to the demand.

Although India and China were willing to promise voluntary measures to contain greenhouse gas emissions they are under tremendous pressure to do more and also to be scrutinized by international monitoring bodies.

The Naked Truth

Todd Stern, the US negotiator says that the 'matter is mathematics' and hints at the  Chinese's escalating emissions. But the truth remains that USA was and is the biggest emitter in both absolute and per capita terms.

The developed world (read rich nations) mortgaged the safety of the world in exchange for 'development', affluency and high living.

What the Meltdown Means

We have all experienced, ubiquitously, a change in the traditional weather patterns. Yet there may be many among us who are still unaware of the colossal impact of climate changes at the global level. Satellite pictures clearly show that the Greenland ice sheet has begun to melt.

Some of the disasters waiting to unfold-

• It is feared that the whole brood of pacific nations will disappear with the rise in sea levels
• Crops will be decimated and famine and drought will be widespread leading to mass hunger and deaths
• Destruction through hurricanes are predicted
• Acidification of the oceans will affect fish and other edible and (non edible) sea life. This will affect people who depend on seafood as a source of protein.
• Animals such as the emperor penguins, salmon, leather back turtles and polar bears depend on the merciless Artic cold and ice for their breeding and survival. In case of climate change, these animals will perish.
• Several animals, such as the koala bear, are estimated to die from malnutrition
• 160 species of the staghorn coral is expected to be bleached and damaged due to ocean acidification. This will lead to an immense imbalance in the ecosystem

W(e) for World 

Why did all this happen? A single answer to that would be 'reckless living.'

The situation is a result of collective recklessness and now is the time to sort out the confusion and act globally.

Some of the mitigating measures that are waiting to be implemented on a larger scale -

• Fossil fuels to be replaced with clean energy
• Usage of hydroelectric, wind and solar energies.
• Nuclear energy is advocated as clean energy but this idea needs to be treated cautiously
• Global pact on climate change

While it is all very well to circulate emails with information on 'ten ways to tackle climate change' or getting readers to add to the list, the need of the hour is aggressive action. Use your rights to question the powers -that -be. The cause requires to gather momentum much like the freedom struggle.

It may not be a bad idea to turn around and ask your local leaders what he has done towards climate change. Governments across the world must be made accountable to their people and will gain credibility ONLY when they start to act.

Remember you have the power to probe - to prevent and -to preserve for the sake of the beautiful planet earth and also to ensure that your children inherit it!

Source: Medindia
Dr Reeja Tharu/S

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