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THE CLIMATE CLOCK: How to make it stop ticking?

I want you to act as if your house is on fire, because it is. ~Greta Thunberg, Climate Activist

In school, we all have learned that whenever there is a fire in your house or anywhere near you, you should take some necessary measures such as pull the fire alarm, stay low to the ground, call the fire brigade, etc. We, as children, were made prepared for these kind of situations but there is one situation no one prepared us for.

No one at school taught us what measures to take when the Earth is on fire. No one told us what to do when the Earth pulls the fire alarm itself. We were not taught that no fire brigade will come to rescue when the Earth is on fire.

It is about time that we learn that.

Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) in its Special Report on Global Warming of 1.5 C has stated that “Human activities are estimated to have caused approximately 1.0°C of global warming above pre-industrial levels, with a likely range of 0.8°C to 1.2°C. Global warming is likely to reach 1.5°C between 2030 and 2052 if it continues to increase at the current rate.”

Climate change in India is evident for everyone. People do not need any data or figures to know that the climate crisis is upon us. From winters getting shorter and summers getting longer and hotter, to having air quality of our capital to the level that people can’t breathe without having a mask on.

Since May 2019, India has been facing heatwaves leading to the temperature in Churu, Rajasthan to 50.8°C, a record high in India. In Mid-June, there has been extreme droughts and water shortages in the country. Chennai is facing water crisis as the reservoirs that previously supplied water to Chennai have run dry, leaving millions of people without access to water. According to the Tamil Nadu State Action Plan for Climate Change, “extreme weather events such as the 2015 floods and the 2019 drought are going to become more frequent in the state”. According to Experts, cities like Bangalore and Delhi could run out of water as early as next year, and 40 per cent of the population or more than 500 million people will have no access to water by 2030.

As per Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), humans emissions and activities have caused around 100% of warming since 1950, which clearly states that humans are the main cause of the climate change we face today. At present, the world is 1.2 degrees Celsius warmer than pre-industrial levels and if it continued on the same pace, the global warming limit of 1.5 degrees Celsius as set out in the Paris Agreement will be breached between 2030 and 2052.

The Paris Agreement: The Paris Agreement is an agreement within the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCC) which aims at limiting the increase in global average temperature below 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels and to limit the increase to 1.5 deegrees Celsius. The G20 Summit held in Osaka on 28th June-29th June 2019, focused on the climate crisis.19 countries, including India represented by PM Narendra Modi, committed that they will “look into using clean technologies and approaches, including smart cities, ecosystem and community based approaches, nature based solutions and traditional and indigenous knowledge".

In the Press Release published on February 12th 2019 by Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Dr. Harsh Vardhan, Union Environment, Forest and Climate Change Minister, has said that India has been one of the proactive countries in taking effective steps in combatting the climate change such as National Action Plan on Climate Change (NAPCC), Climate Change Action Programme, etc. Projects such as generating 175GW of renewable energy by 2022, smart cities, electric vehicles are being undertaken to minimise the impact of climate change. The report also stresses that India has brought down emission intensity of India’s GDP by 21% between 2005 & 2014 and that India is on the track of its climate goal for pre-2020 period.

What can we do?

There have been thousands of articles on climate change and we have all read all the steps that we, as an individuals, can take but we always choose to go on about our lives and forget what we read, but this is the last cry for help by the Earth and if we still choose to go on like this, it will not be much longer before the world starts collapsing in front of our very eyes, literally. So below are a list of things that we can do to make our contribution in this fight against climate change:

  1. Walk small distances. When a vehicle is not needed, DO NOT USE IT. We probably have heard about this every time and we still use our bike for a distance that we can easily walk. When you start making this your habit, this does not seem too difficult.

  2. Plant trees. A lot of us do not get much time but a few hours on a Sunday morning wouldn’t hurt. Plan a Sunday with your friends or colleagues to have a tree Plantation day. Sunday is a day for us to relax so why not give the Earth through which it relaxes, the trees.

  3. Educate yourself and others. We should educate ourselves on this issue to understand what more we can do to make our contribution and then educating others like our family members, friends or even take a little visit to neighbourhoods and start spreading the knowledge, the more the merrier!

  4. Find an NGO. Getting involved in an NGO helps you understand the consequences of human activities and what measures to take to curb it. Also, it helps people with similar minds generate new ideas on how to tackle the climate crisis.

  5. Use Car/bike pool. When going through the same way as your friends or colleagues, ride together rather than riding separately. Nowadays, there are even some apps which let you do car/bike pool with others who are going in the same direction.

There are numerous ways on how we can make our little contribution but it all starts with YOU and IT SHOULD START NOW. This can be just another article on climate change which says a lot about the issues and the measures and people will continue with their regular lives but before you do it, take a moment and decide that this is about time. We should do something and we should do it right away.

The Earth is on fire, our house is on fire. The Clock is ticking!

Are you ready?

Article Originally published in recent ICAI Newsletter.

Tesla Club India

Building a Community For Future

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