Dire warning

A new report from the Inter-governmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), a UN group on climate science, has given the most dire warning yet of the consequences of global warming.

It was prepared with inputs from over 300 experts from 115 countries and was released at the just-concluded international meet on climate change in Yokohama, Japan. The second international conference of experts and officials in the last few months, representing all countries, have not moved the world closer to an agenda on how to deal with the increasing threat to life and welfare of all people on all continents. Plant and animal life will also be badly affected by the changes in the atmosphere, on land and in the sea. Many forms of them will even be wiped out.

The panel predicts that the worst weather-related catastrophes of recent years, like droughts, floods and typhoons, will be more numerous and more frequent. Melting ice caps, rising sea levels and increasing temperatures will change all the ways and things the world is used to, upsetting agriculture, industry and life styles. Declining crop yields, especially of wheat and corn, will endanger food security and lead to large-scale migration of people and conflicts. India will be especially hit, with the entire Indo-Gangetic plain coming under extreme weather stress and the coastal areas being threatened by rising sea levels. Fishing will be badly hit. Though likely economic and technological changes in the coming years are expected to moderate the impact in some ways, the negative consequences will hugely prevail. There will also be no place to hide as the report warns that nobody on earth will be left untouched if the carbon emissions are allowed to continue at the present runaway pace.

It would be unwise to dismiss the findings and conclusions of the report as exaggerated or not fully proven. The world is already paying a price for its complacency and lack of initiative with many wayward natural events. Many high-profile UN-sponsored conferences have failed to agree on an action plan, much less to implement it. The refusal of the developed world to meet its responsibilities, differences among the developing countries, and negligence on the part of both to do whatever they could have all combined to make a worldwide catastrophe real and imminent. No one has realised that the time for action was yesterday. The next summit is to be held in 2015 and the report should hopefully prompt some fresh thinking.

Liked the story?

  • 0

    Happy
  • 0

    Amused
  • 0

    Sad
  • 0

    Frustrated
  • 0

    Angry