Yes, the climate change is the greatest threat now. The threat from carbon emissions is assuming greater proportions due to unmindful activities by man. It is estimated that an average citizen in the industrialized nations creates an alarming 50,000 lbs of carbon per year by lighting and driving. Let us understand that the carbon emitted by us continues to linger in the atmosphere for long without breaking down, and it is this carbon that warms up the atmosphere. The carbon accumulated so far since the beginning of the industrial era is the deciding factor to judge how long we are safe and how fast we have to take remedial steps as this has now become an urgent issue.
The developed countries have by their inventions and discoveries generated more carbon emission and hence are more accountable to arrest the trend faster. The limited resources of the emission controlling agencies are being exhausted mostly by the developed nations that create more damage to the earth leaving very little resources for the developing nations. Apart from reducing their carbon emissions drastically, the developed nations owe a moral responsibility to assist the developing nations in their task of fighting their deadly carbon emissions by providing funds and relevant technology. A modest estimate of the funds required by India, China, and other G77 nations alone is about $150-300 billion. But remember man’s survival is now directly linked to controlling the emissions. Though south-east Asian nations are more vulnerable to global warming, it could benefit much by lower carbon emissions by implementing immediate remedial measures to halt this danger of global warming. By the end of this century temperatures in south-east Asia will rise significantly resulting in water shortages, decline in rice production, and disappearance of forests. Further, rising sea levels will drive out millions of island dwellers and coastal communities, and there will be a surge in dengue, malaria and other diseases.
Australia has an energy-intensive industry structure, a coal-based electricity generation industry and coal and gas as export mainstays. It proposes to cut its 2000 level emissions by between 5% and 15% by 2020 and go still further if there is a global agreement on limiting the carbon levels. The government will provide AUD 50 million to establish a climate fund. But political considerations seem to override the urgency of emission control measures. These are just examples of some nations. More exhaustive study of all the nations around the world will be quite shocking and alarming.
Hence, various nations have to decide whether their priority is to improve their sagging economies first by infusing trillions of dollars or to spend so much money on global warming.
Warnings have now been issued by the experts. Restrict the carbon emissions to 190 giga tonnes by 2050 in order to escape irreparable consequences. There is no scope for any reduction in this estimate. If we can achieve this, there is hope to avoid the average world temperature rise of more than 2 degrees Celsius above the pre-industrial era. Last year the world emitted 9 giga tonnes of carbon by burning fossil fuels. The rate of emission is going up by 3% every year. The clear warning here is that at this rate, the entire carbon budget available to us now will be exhausted by 2029. And the truth is uncontrolled emissions drastically reduce the chances of survival of mankind. The urgency is assuming greater importance now due to uncontrolled and unrestricted carbon emissions.
Carbon emission can well be controlled by simple methods like developing clean energy like wind, solar and biomass and reducing the current use of coal, oil, and natural gas. Reforestation is another effective method. So let us all adopt the motto “Reduce what you can, Offset what you can’t” as advocated by Carbonfund.org which is engaged in the task of saving the earth. Please visit the site http://www.carbonfund.org/. Very simple suggestions are made for us to follow. Let us not at least destroy the EARTH that we did not create.