Sunday, January 24, 2016

Impact of Climate Change

We are at a remarkable moment in time. We face two fundamental transformations in the next 25 years, which will determine whether the next 100 years will be the best of the centuries or the worst.  The impact of these transformations can have a huge consequence for mankind. The first of these transformations is the basic structural change of the economies and societies. Now, almost 50 percent of the world is urban area, which is going to go up further to 70 percent by 2050. Over the next two decades, we'll see the demand for energy rise by 40 percent. The constant growth in the economy and in the population is putting increasing pressure on our land, water and forests.

This is profound structural change. If we manage it in a negligent way, we will create waste, pollution, and destroy land and forests. The emissions of greenhouse gases would rise and cause immense risks to our climate. Concentrations of GHG in the atmosphere are already higher than they've been for millions of years. If we go on increasing those concentrations, we risk temperatures over the next century that the planet hasn’t seen for millions of years. It would lead to changing sea levels and millions of people who would have to move from their homes. And if we've history has taught us anything, it means severe and prolonged conflict. There is bound to be a loss of identity, and that’s what is in store for us in the future if and when we do migrate.

A marginal rise in sea level would mean a loss of a lot of land as most of the land is low. And quite apart from that, we are getting the swells at the moment. A majority of the people do not understand that the climate change is something that is happening in the present. We are at the end of the spectrum. It's already with us. There are communities that have already been dislocated. They have had to move.

The first transformation, the economic one, is going to happen anyway. But the second of the transformations, the climate transformation, can be decided by us provided we move to a low-carbon economy. The sooner we mitigate our greenhouse gas emissions, the less we will have to adapt to the climate change impacts in future. These two transformations face us in the next two decades and they will turn out to be decisive.

There’s one good news though. Thanks to Science, we now know that the planetary risks we're facing are so large, that business as usual is not an option. In fact, we're in a phase where transformative change is necessary, which opens the window for new ideas and new paradigms. Mankind needs to face the impact of climate change, in unison, with rigour and hope.

"If you can do, or dream you can, begin it now, for boldness has genius, power and magic in it."

This blog post is inspired by the blogging marathon hosted on IndiBlogger for the launch of the #Fantastico Zica from Tata Motors. You can  apply for a test drive of the hatchback Zica today.


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