The problem with today’s society is that we all live in a culture of denial, denial regarding the grim reality of the severe effects that humanity, over the centuries , has had over this planet. The thing is that nobody likes to think about global environmental problems as it really isn’t the brightest subject of the day. Every day new studies come forth that undermine the causes and consequences of climate change, every day we see a change in global politics and international behaviour when environmental issues are brought up and addressed but most important of all, every day the amount of people we lose to the effects of climate change drastically increase, as quite frankly, no one really cares about a ‘disease’ before it’s too late.

Back in 2010, when the area of Jacobabad hit record breaking temperatures (52.2 degrees Celsius to be precise) mass social media movements and campaigns throughout Pakistan and the world followed, determined to revert the drastic effects of climate change on the community. However, just as it is expected of ignorant politicians and governments, no serious frameworks or significant actions except vague statements intended to divert the attention of local populations were made.

It is quite a well known fact that man-made climate change, whose existence many governments suspiciously deny, is the result of an intended lack of attention that is given by states in order to preserve personal interests and to boost economic wealth, ultimately sowing the seeds for the long term effects of climate change. Now most climate scientists and environmentalists unanimously agree upon the fact that the main cause of the current global warming problem is the human expansion of the ‘greenhouse effects’ , warming which happens when the atmosphere traps heat radiating from Earth towards space.

There are certain gases in the atmosphere who block this heat from escaping and contribute to this greenhouse effects. These include water vapours, Carbon dioxide (CO2), Methane, Nitrous Oxide and Chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), all of these which, in recent decades, have increased in the atmosphere as a result of human activities such as rice cultivation, fossil fuel combustion and biomass burning. It’s about time that we start working to reverse the effects of man-made climate change, both individually and as a community, as it is our duty, especially given the far reaching and grave consequences this issue poses. Climate change is and has for a very long time been a threat to humanity’s existence on earth.

Whether one believes it or not we are venturing on a path of no return and this isn’t just a vague dramatic statement. Just a few months ago a grim report by the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change gave us a 12 year ultimatum to either immediately act upon climate change or lose any hopes of a green planet in the near future. With only twelve years left, we pretty much have no other choice than to start working and start working now, before it may be too late.

KAMIL MAHMOOD,

Lahore, March 4.