Climate Change Karma!

Elsie Gabriel

Climate change is here and it’s occurring faster than expected in many ways. Nothing new, right? But we still have deniers! 2016 saw many milestones the world over, in the advocacy in climate change and its fight to stop its surge. But it saw an equal amount, if not more, disasters and global warming patterns making 2016 one of the hottest years to be recorded in history according to WMD [World Meteorological Department]. The balance is still not set. The fight is not strong enough. The tug of war is fiercer than ever. Natures wrath is being catapulted back to us, in double force. We’re already seeing sea levels rise and floods occurring with alarming frequency across the coastal zones, and communities are grappling with fresh disasters every month.

The print and electronic media tried to keep up with more reporting on the subject of climate change than ever in 2016.

Personally interacting and visiting displaced farmers right here in Mumbai due to unstable agriculture, to the droughts in Maharashtra, all were a testimonial eye opener. India saw extreme weather events in Chennai and heat waves in the desert regions, climate change has disrupted virtually every corner of the world, not only India. So much investments in research and development on seasonal crops and soil management have still not reduced negative impacts?

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Diving to the depths of the oceans in Andamans proved to me again that corals were bleached more than ever. So what can we do in the future and in 2017 for that matter?

El Nino was one of the factors making the year so warm, it is a climate phenomenon that occurs when temperatures in the Pacific Ocean rise along the Equator. El Niño contributes to heavy rain in some coastal areas. It also drives up world temperatures. Barrier Reef bore a big brunt of this too.What baffles me is that why we still can not predict disasters? Why cant we have installation of flood warning systems can help people move out of harm’s way before a weather-related disaster strikes. With all the technological advancements why is it that nature still beats us to it? Research and more improvements in hydro-meteorological systems for weather forecasting should be the focus of 2017 climate change mitigation plans for sure.

2016 was a year of action none the less, ambitious actions on climate protection long with best-practice climate policies were laid out, which brings hope for 2017.

Closer to home,in India, drinking water is still an issue. The efficient use of ground water resources will need to be incentivized. Enhanced transparency in climate politics and the need to involve more locals/Mohalla committees/Religious Leaders, will surely encourage political and social pressure on those states which suffered from climate change here right home in India, or any other place globally for that matter. Right investments in storage of water is also a bone of contention here with villages staggering to keep all the rainfall that India is showered with,on the contrary.

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For example, the coasts of West Bengal, Kolkatta is sitting on a time bomb. With Chennai and Andamans suffering post Tsunamis, but who is listening, till it really occurs? Coastal embankments will need to be built where necessary and Coastal Regulation Zone codes enforced strictly.

These are just some solution pointers in 2017 one could see successfully implemented in our country to help fight climate change. Civic sense, Green living, awareness and education are all grass root levels of mitigation. Wastage and pollution both are connected. Pollution should now be considered a criminal offence in India! Besides discouraging pollution, the government could tax green house gas emitters to help boost funds to the staggering economy and bring offenders to their knees. 2016 did outline both KARMA and PENANCE in the same breath, COP 22 and COP 23 did step up its action plan.

All am asking as a Climate Reality Mentor, is be vigilant, what ever little you can do will contribute to the bigger picture, keep the faith and get educated more and more on climate change. Be the change. get in touch .Join me.9967347511/elsiegabriel@gmail.com

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