The city is reeling under layers of chill from the hell. They say that this may just be begining of a cold-age. That is 'The Day after Tommorrow', redux. Large chunks of Asia are actually hit by a severe cold wave, seen never before. In Delhi the temperature touched zero, lowest in 70 years. Japan is buried under record snow. Australia and Europe have reported a marked change in the climatic patterns. Scientists and climatologists are hollering that the arctic icebergs have started melting away. Experts in UK and US opine that this may be the advent of an ice-age!
I reckon, it is time humans start owing up the damage we wreaked on our fragile planet. We -- all of us -- have mowed down its lank trees, raped its virgin valleys, poisioned its dancing rills, slashed its lush greens and contaminated its breezy airs. We have collectively trampled upon mother nature. Now, nature is hitting us back. Last year -- 2005 -- 14 tropical stoms in the Atlantic developed into major hurricanes. Weather-related disasters totalled $200 billion. Still USA -- the biggest polluter of us all -- refuses to sign the kyoto protocol, rendering it useless. Kyoto sets binding greenhouse gas emissions targets for countries that ratify the agreement. Prez Bush -- in an ever stupid swagger -- says signing it would cost US a lot. The world has already started to pay the cost!
It is infact not about winters only. Even summers are hotter. Infact 2005 was the second hottest year in 145 years. It is actually about 'Climate Change'. Each year, cold conditions will start getting colder and hot, even hotter. Like Mumbai, last year had rains like never before and southern states had unusually heavy rains about a month ago. The summer heat had also been abnormal in many parts of the world. Ever spared a thought: What's going on?
Weather patterns are going haywire because of climate change and extreme weather is now going to be a regular fixture. Stock yourself with bundles of woolens and oil your air-conditioning units. Extreme events of weather - severe cold and heat, heavy rains, droughts, storms and cyclones - would increase in intensity and frequency, scientists say. And, they are also going to occur in new locations that have never experienced them.
Further, climate change would also impact on economy and the state. It would affect agriculture, water availability, coastal areas with rising sea level and this would happen on a longer, steadier basis. Will that be an end of what is known of the human world! Are we at the threshold? Will we witness a real ice-age in our life-times. Or the usual, in vogue, stylish...why care for our progeny? Who cares!
We need to create a knowledge base and systems to prepare for consequences of climate change. It is for real. I am not an alarmist. Only fascinated -- and concerned -- about the climate because as a world citizen, I care!