Climate Change:  D’une Part Myth and D’autre Part Reality

Hilal English Blog Article......

Climate change is believed to be D’une part myth and D’autre part reality. This term indicates that climate change on one hand is a myth and on the other a reality. This ambiguity is something that appeals to every human on a psychological level. On the other hand, there arises a question of whether human beings are the main agents of these catastrophic climate changes because they are burning tons of fossil fuels, destroying rainforests, dumping trash in our waters and dropping bombs. Indeed, the wild, extreme weather patterns are caused by excessive pollution and greenhouse gases which have warmed the atmosphere and changed the acidic levels of our oceans. There’s a documentary saying ‘we can never stop climate change due to its increasing shift, we can only slow it down. We are not meant to save this planet; we’re meant to leave it for the future of human civilization.’ The moot point is more ‘what is causing harm?’ and less ‘what we can do to resolve this issue?’ The debate revolves around what we identify as the primary causes and how only we have the power to solve it? Various scientists and other groups of people have varied opinion on climate pattern. The 2017 One Planet Summit in Paris brought many to the negotiating table while amplifying the significance of the issue. Nevertheless, we can cite the plethora of views to explain both sides of the same coin.

So, what evades the sorry individuals who do not believe that world goes through a cycle, has survived countless massive natural catastrophes and healed? Climate change will not destroy the earth but it will make it more difficult for humans and other creatures like us to survive. Do we want to leave an earth behind on which our children and our future generations and every other living creature like us will find life much more of a struggle than it has been for us over the last millennia or so? Are we that selfish and greedy? The consensus is that humans have some effect on global climate. Even skeptics agree to this. The controversy revolves around how much. There is no consensus of scientists issuing dire warnings, just over 40% of scientists agree with the intergovernmental panel on climate change view.

Groups of scientists and experts believe that climate change is not a myth; it is a reality. The more recent documentaries on CNN with titles such as ‘Global Warning: Arctic Melt’ indicate the view of experts and scientists on climate change where they discovered that ice sheets on the North Pole are melting away and oceans continue to rise, flooding the streets of American cities. Hurricanes like Sandy, Katrina, Irma, Harvey etc. all reflect the changing global climatic pattern. One of the experts opined that ‘what happens in the Arctic doesn’t stay in the Arctic’. Meanwhile, Clarissa Ward warned the world about threats posed by climate where hurricanes and heat waves would wreak havoc. Her view is that politicians deny the problem while temperature continues to rise. The need of the hour is to discuss and raise awareness about emerging climatic threats which pose such an alarming situation. Certainly, this is a very beneficial documentary for those who seek better reasoning for changing weather patterns. Experts also discussed how rapidly the glaciers in Greenland are melting.

If the recent past is to go by, anything in the future looks dreary with temperatures continuing to rise at an increasing faster rate in the last century than at any time in the past several million years. What concerns scientists most is the notion of unwavering loss and the amount of carbon dioxide in excess in the atmosphere due to human beings burning fossil fuels as this contributes to the rise of more than one meter of the sea level. One of the experts reported that even drastic cuts in carbon dioxide emissions would not be enough to stop continued glacial melting. Currently, the world is mainly concerned with the vital question of whether the arctic has reached the tipping point. In addition to this, critics raised objections at Trump’s decision to withdraw from the Paris Climate Change Accord, especially at a time period where it is well known that the effects of this change are global in nature.

Keeping the above in mind, it is true that climate change is a cyclic process with human activity becoming the dominant agent of change, more so in the last 150 years. Many scientists believe that current climate change is almost 80 percent due to human activity and conclude that, ‘we are now a force of nature, and not a force for good.’ One group of scientists is optimistic that we are not late but warns that over time global warming will destabilize the governments and societies and suggest that humans should unite to curb its root causes. So, what should we be telling people? To do nothing? Or should we be telling them to cut their emission in order to examine the upshot instead of concluding fallout before time?

Saving the planet, Saving lives!


The writer is an MPhil Scholar at NDU Islamabad. Her area of interest is International Relations, Kashmir Case, Religious Studies and Climate Change. She can be reached at [email protected]

and she tweets @MaryumMaqsood.

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