The absence of monsoon this year have left tell-tale signs of impending climate change. With July already upon us northern states are yet to receive their rain water supply desperately needed after a long and hot summer period. More than 80% of India has not received its much required water needs this year.
Bangalore recorded the hottest day, temperatures touched 37 degrees celsius in April had everyone remaining indoors, avoiding the sun and witnessed water scarcity problems arising all over. Social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter shared common comments longing for rain, good weather and weather forecast so days can be planned makes us all wonder whether this year is going to be as bad as last or, worse.
Unatural weather behaviour has affected India, with a country with more than 6 climate subtypes ranging from Himalayan region, arid desserts, coastal locations and sub-tropical areas it is no wonder that we have a complex weather pattern that checks a stable climate and cycle. Climate change has started affecting regions which are most vulnerable to changes; melting glaciers and lake outbursts in the Himalayan region have become a common hazard destroying crops and plantations, wiping out villages settlements and taking lives. In the Himalayan Meltdown rivers Ganges, Brahmaputra and Yamuna which originate from this region are heading for big trouble, by 2025 if Himalayan glaciers retreat substantially this will affect the 200 million population of North India who are directly dependent on these rivers for their precious water supply.
Bangladesh has a record of 50 million climate refugees today and is the most affected region in the world to climate change and rising water levels. Cities like Mumbai and Kolkatta have the biggest slum settlements due to migration of rural into urban cities as a result of crop failure, loss of land, unemployment which forces the poor to turn to metros for jobs and end up living in slums adding to problems of choked cities.
Climate change in India hits the poor the hardest who end paying the biggest price and do not have the voice or power to communicate their distress. Our water, food and ecosystem will be the most affected which will spiral into socio-economic problems and loss of economic GDP. The Indian government wants to see a rise in India’s GDP which is currently 9% to 11% in the next few years, but this will only be possible if we attend to the real issues on ground like rural development and employment, clean energy implementation and promoting climate resilient agriculture. Floods need to be controlled with appropriate drainage systems and infrastructure like rainwater harvesting need investment so we save every drop, emergency evacuations systems in vulnerable areas like Bangladesh and Leh-Ladakh region need to be well-equipped and successful.
One of the greatest changes that we can do as a nation is also at a citizens level. I believe that educated, urban born individuals can start doing their bit in a small way that allows them to save precious fuel and electricity costs. Environmental sensitivity should be significant in urban cities which have heavy infrastructure development, the aesthetic needs of merging environmental friendly surroundings with urban development has the potential of becoming a viral phenomenon if we Indians appreciate the natural beauty and fragility of our very ecosystems. It is time we wake up from our stupor