Climate Change is Not a Hoax

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I am not going to write a scholarly report with a number of facts and figures accumulated and researched by some agencies. There are innumerable such reports on Climate Change. And the fact is that we don’t find enough interest in reading those pieces of stuff. Frankly speaking, I have never paid heed to this subject. I thought climate change had no effect on me and that there had been no change in my life because of it. This has been the perception of billions of people out there in this world, and that makes them think that they are not the stakeholders in climate change. But then, I witnessed the devastating effects of climate change in my own life, and it was a wake-up call. Now, I am fully convinced that Climate Change is not a hoax; it’s a painful reality, whether one accepts it or not. This is a global issue affecting us all, and there are a handful of people in the governments and non-governmental organizations who really believe in this subject. 

Let me tell you the reason for my belief in this subject. I have been in Mumbai and abroad for the last one and a half decades. We have been having all the amenities like 24-hour air-conditioned in our homes, offices, religious places, and cars. We never felt the impact of climatic change so much that we could feel any difference and buy into subjects like Climate Change, Zero Emission, Net Zero, etc. But this time, after a long period of almost eight years, I got an opportunity to spend some time in my native place, a pure village in Bihar. Our state falls in subtropical regions, and places in such regions are subject to a humid subtropical climate and a subtropical highland climate. We experience warm to hot summers in such zones.

Till March, everything was fine. March falls in the spring season, and the climate remains pretty cool this month. Until two decades ago, when we were in our childhood, March used to be cold at night, and we needed blankets and quilts in the night. In the morning and evening, we required woolen and warm clothes. I experienced a huge change in that. This time, March wasn’t that cold, and days were quite hotter in the second part of this month. April is the beginning of the Summer in the subtropical climate zone. Average temperatures in April ranged from 20 to 35 °C (77 to 95 °F) in our childhood days in villages. Nights used to be cool in the villages. We used a sheet to cover ourselves during the night to protect ourselves while sleeping. The mornings and evenings were very pleasant.

In those days, there was no electricity in most of the villages of Bihar. People used hand-driven fans, and that satisfied their needs. In the daytime, when the sun would be steeper and the temperature would rise, people would sit under banyan trees planted in the locality. The air will blow at a low speed. It will cool down faces and the bare parts of the body. Some animals, like goats and dogs, would gather under the shade and fall asleep. People will also gather in the guest rooms built outside our homes for the guests in the villages. They would sit there and chatter on issues like politics, the economy, and social affairs. On holidays, when we went to our village, we would crave to sleep on the terrace. Our grandma and parents would instruct us to take sheets to cover ourselves from the dew and cold during the night.  

This year, while I am here, it is completely changed. Villages have also turned into a concrete jungle. Only arable lands are safe. All houses have been built using cement and iron rods. Roads have been constructed. The number of houses has proliferated, occupying agricultural lands and cutting down trees. There’s electricity supply almost 20 hours a day, and in the remaining four hours or so, inverters and batteries are used to generate and supply the electricity. Homes now have fans, coolers, and, in some cases, ACs in the villages. But we have lost the biggest boon of coolness and pleasantness of the climate in March and April. This April has seen 43 °C (109.4 °F), and the meteorological department has claimed it to be the hottest April in five decades. The place where I am living has no AC. I thought of installing one but dropped the idea for some reason. My wife, my children, and I are facing the heat firsthand. It’s pretty difficult for us for obvious reasons, but it’s equally difficult for the people of the villages, too. They say they have never seen such a hot April in probably in their lives; it was true for many people who were less than 50-60 years old. I see animals gasping out of scorching heat, grasses greying under the sun, birds chirping and flying here and there in search of shades and trees. I question myself off and on: who is responsible for it? Why is this so? And I have reached the point of accepting the brutal reality of Climate Change.

There were no refrigerators, coolers, ACs, and a huge number of gas-driven vehicles in the villages 20-30 years ago. All these things emit huge amounts of Carbon Dioxide (CO2). I remember there was hardly a motorcycle in the village. People used to travel by bicycle, bullock-driven carts, and horse-driven carts. For long distances, they used trains and buses. There were no cell phones in India in those days. Amenities were fewer compared to what we have today, but life was much more peaceful and healthy. The climate was predictable, enjoyable, and in accordance with nature. Things have changed drastically. Yes, it’s no longer the same. Alas!

There were countable ACs in any city in the country. Now, almost every home has a minimum of one air-conditioner. The number of vehicles has exponentially grown across cities and villages equally. In one house, there is more than one vehicle, sometimes equal to the number of members of the family. India has approximately 1.5 bn mobile phones in use. Just imagine the mass production of the components and harmful emissions into the environment. All these things have added massively to the destruction of the natural environment and climatic ecosystem. Temperatures are rising sporadically, and the air quality of the cities and villages has degraded massively. I remember when we used to get up early in the village in our childhood days, and we felt an abundance of energy in our bodies. Now, we don’t feel that. It’s gone. There’s less oxygen in the air now, I feel. It’s, of course, depleting. 

I fail to comprehend what it’s going to be after two or three decades. I fail to imagine how it’s going to be for our children and grandchildren. We need growth and development, but not mindlessly. Each one of us has to think seriously about how we can contribute to preserving our earth, climate, and atmosphere. The water level is depleting faster. We need to think about what we can do about it. While governments and other organizations are doing their work for it, we all have roles to play in this mission. For example, we can cut down the number of mobile phones we use, the vehicles we use, the ACs we use, the electricity we use, the plastics we use, and many more things. We can play our part by adhering and responding religiously to the environmental policies and calls. Remember, all of us are going to realize this catastrophic problem before us, like I have done now, experiencing the heat firsthand. But the only thing is that it shouldn’t be too late. The universe is ours, and we belong to it. Let’s protect it!

This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. Sanjay

    We’ll explained. It’s a high time to put regulations to save our mother Earth for our future generations.

    1. sarwar Alam

      Thanks, Sanjay. Keep reading!

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