It took me a while to figure out the title for this blog, then it came to me.
Climate change is an inevitable phenomenon today. It is already happening and will continue to occur in the future. All the signals point in the change direction with experts in Nasa, environmentalists like Al Gore, Bill McKibben etc. who constantly remind us that the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere is way past its upper limit and we need to act now.
So here’s my case, we are living in times of constant change. Politically the world is in chaos, Occupy Wall Street has shown has that, Europe is slowly going bankrupt and the Indian rupee in dropping in value almost every week. People are being fired in the west and there is a huge amount of uncontained anger thrown at the rich and government in many parts of the world. But climate is not being addressed, if it is only in talks.
Climate change has many causes, one of course which we all highlight is man’s drawback on unsustainable development. Now the other contributing factors which mind you are all interconnected; food, water sources and fuel. Every year close to 6 million hectares of land is cleared for agriculture, an average person in the west consumes 50 litres of water a day and fuel is well guzzled in millions of gallons.
Nearly half the world’s population go hungry, about 3 billion especially in developing nations. Livestock has increased to 5 billion in the 21st century alone so you can imagine the amount of food and water required to sustain them. Climate variation will bring havoc to India’s crop market. In most north Indian states even a 0.5 increase in temperature can ruin crops like bajra and jowar in Rajasthan. India has always been one of the biggest exporter of pulses, with temperature increase disasters like flooding, unequal rainfall, droughts will bring disaster to the much prized basmatic rice in the country. Another huge factor contributing to development issues is poverty. Almost half of the world lives on 1 US dollar a day and 1 one four children in India are underweight/ malnourished.
If India as an emerging nation uses climate change as a priority with the right policies in place, we can emerge as a shining example to the others. For example employment in the green sector of the country (solar, water, wind, biofuel) require intensive labour which is found outside urban cities. An increase in labour requirement can eradicate unemployment problems to a large extent. This will not only reduce our carbon emissions, but poverty decreases with an earning member able to provide food, shelter and health for his family. We also protect India’s assets this way by introducing climate tolerant crops, organic agriculture and protecting out forest and water sources which we depend upon. With employment, education is the next step which every family desires and the dream of sending children to school and college can be met. Working with indigenous tribes, agriculturists and locals have tremendous benefits and inculcate a mutual working relationship paving the way to greater protection and trust.
The ones who suffer are the poor and undervalued, reaching out to them we stand only to gain economically and make the nation viewed with respect and strength.
So in a nutshell, green makes sense.