From: b sabha <bcsabha.kal...@gmail.com>
From: Don Aguiar <aguiar...@gmail.com<mailto:aguiar...@gmail.com>>
Below is an article in the latest issue of the SECULAR CITIZEN that will be on
the stands this – 19th September 2016.
Do comment / respond on the article – Climate Change
Climate Change Don Aguiar.
I remember the first time I heard about the climate change problem, and it gave
me a very uneasy feeling. It was way back in 1987.
Some people then asked if all this talk of climate change was just a device:
while others said that they didn’t care about it. The world is not something
that is only outside us: the world is within us too. WE ARE THE WORLD. There is
an old proverb; tomorrow never comes. But the old proverb has only been a
proverb, tomorrow has kept coming. It may not come as tomorrow: it will always
come as today – in that sense the proverb is right. But today the situation is
totally different: tomorrow really may not come
The daily news reminds us again and again of the importance of this message.
I’m filed with morbid fascination as I read each news report of shrinking ice,
or species migrating towards the poles or prediction of much of the world’s
landmass turning to desert. And I’m intensely curious about what’s going to
happen in the next few years.
All of our countries will be affected by a changing climate. But the world’s
poorest people will bear the heaviest burden—from rising seas and more intense
droughts, shortages of water and food. We will be seeing climate change
Climate change which is related to Global warming is the term used to describe
a gradual increase in the average temperature of the Earth's atmosphere and its
oceans, a change that is believed to be permanently changing the Earth’s
There is great debate among many people, and sometimes in the news, on whether
global warming is real (some call it a hoax). But climate scientists looking at
the data and facts agree the planet is warming. While many view the effects of
global warming to be more substantial and more rapidly occurring than others
do, the scientific consensus on climatic changes related to global warming is
that the average temperature of the Earth has risen between 0.4 and 0.8 °C over
the past 100 years.
The increased volumes of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases released by
the burning of fossil fuels, land clearing, agriculture, and other human
activities, are believed to be the primary sources of the global warming that
has occurred over the past 50 years.
Scientists from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate carrying out global
warming research have recently predicted that average global temperatures could
increase between 1.4 and 5.8 °C by the year 2100. Changes resulting from global
warming may include rising sea levels due to the melting of the polar ice caps,
as well as an increase in occurrence and severity of storms and other severe
It's not necessarily going to be of biblical proportions, but our living
conditions are at risk of deteriorating somewhat with the effects of global
warming, which is why it's so important to do something about it. The world of
the next generation will be likely to be less healthy, more dangerous and less
pleasant to live in.
Climate change also allows insects and other disease carriers to migrate
farther north and to higher elevations, potentially introducing diseases such
as hantavirus and Dengue fever into new areas. In general, insects and rodents
are the key vectors of disease, and they love disturbance. They do very well
when there are droughts and floods, etc.
Heat waves, the spread of infectious disease and winter weather anomalies are
the three big [climate-change issues] directly for human health. But the pests
and diseases that affect livestock, wildlife, agricultural and marine systems
are also going to affect public health in very profound ways because that's
what provides us with life-support systems, meaning air, water and food.
Extreme heat, for example, affects the circulatory system in ways that tax
those who already have problems regulating blood flow. Night-time temperatures
that don't drop substantially from midday highs put extra stress on the body.
When humans get hot, their hearts beat faster and their bodies attempt to cool
off by sweating, which calls for increased blood flow to the vessels near the
skin and decreased blood flow to vessels around major organs,
As the world begins to see a greater number of weather extremes, state and
local public health departments need to fortify their public-health tracking
systems and know where their vulnerabilities are,
With more carbon dioxide in the air, allergy sufferers and people with asthma
also may have a hard time. The higher carbon counts appear to favor ragweed
growth and make poison ivy not only more prevalent but more toxic as well,
As far as time is concerned, there are two issues. Firstly, greenhouse gasses
live a long life in our atmosphere. So not only are we suffering from the
actions of the past few generations, we won’t see the benefits of our own
efforts for another 100 years. Secondly, although the changes have been
gathering pace lately, they are still relatively slow as far as we humans are
Lately I have come to see climate change as an opportunity for great coming of
age for the human race. In order to solve the complex and multidimensional
problems we are now facing, there will have to first be a tremendous shift in
our understanding of ourselves and our place in Existence before we can
acknowledge the problems – this is already happening to a certain extent.
Secondly a great growing up process will have to happen, as we finally take
responsibility for the problems we have created.
There can no longer be such a concept as an “act of God” Since mankind first
started cultivating crops the climate has been getting gradually milder due to
the small increase in greenhouse gases that agriculture produces. This wasn’t a
bad thing at all in the beginning, since it enabled modern civilization to
develop as ice ages were avoided. However since the industrial revolution this
emitting of greenhouse gases has speeded up exponentially, with the result that
the climate has started to change dramatically.
Now that science has proven that we are changing the climate, we cannot see
ourselves anymore as passive spectators: we will have to take responsibility
for the climate and learn to manage it for the long term benefits of ourselves
and all other species on Earth. We can’t blame God anymore or plead ignorance.
Our scientific instruments tell us that we are doing it. We broke it and we
have to fix it.
So growing up on all fronts will be needed to solve the problems. And I feel
that this has to happen to the majority of individuals. I’ve noticed in
spiritual circles a certain attitude that is along the lines of “I’m going to
put all my energy into spirituality and not bother with this problem. We’ll all
meet on another planet if this one becomes unviable’. There is a certain truth
to that, but for me it shows a great lack of compassion and connectedness. WE
ARE THE WORLD and if we cannot look after this planet, then we will destroy the
next one too. This attitude sounds like apathy disguised in a New Age wrapper.
Awaking must be our priority. Living in a sustainable way is an integral part
of that awaking, not something separate.
The more connected I feel with the environment around me, the more I want to do
something to help. As the wonderful birdsong I hear touches my heart I feel a
great connectedness with this beautiful Earth and I want to protect it. These
birds can’t fix the climate, but we can. Climate change is giving humanity a
great hefty push towards consciousness and it’s an opportunity that we can’t
afford to miss. Time is speeding up.
So growing up on all fronts will be needed to solve the problems. And this has
to happen to the majority of individuals. This awaking seems to typically be a
process of four stages; denial of the problem, then apathy, then choosing to be
part of the solution and finally taking action. The last one is the most
difficult. I’ve talked to many people who acknowledge the problems but think
nothing of flying around regularly or of driving 45 minutes to work and back
each day alone in an SUV. Indeed it took me quite a while after learning about
these issues just to do the easy things: signing up for green energy at home,
getting efficient cars, riding the bus to work.
The Stern Review that came out recently, written by top economist of the UK,
made a point of the tremendous need for international cooperation. The report
concludes that reducing the risk of climate change requires collective action.
It requires cooperation between countries, through international frameworks
that support the achievement of shared goals. It requires a partnership between
the public and private sector, working with civil society and with individuals.
It is still possible to avoid the worst impacts of climate change, through
strong collective action starting from now.