The warning bell is ringing loud and clear

Depiya Thoudam
Do we really care about our environment ? Honestly answer this. When was the last time you actually planted a tree that actually survived because you cared and watered it for days after you planted it ? When the calendar hits 5th June (World Environment Day) of the year, social media and newspapers will be flooded with pictures of people planting tree saplings smiling proudly as if they have won gold medals at Olympic Games. Whether these saplings actually survive and become trees, nobody knows. Well, why wait for only 5th June to plant trees and become environment conscious, every day can be environment day and should be because the damage has already been done to the point where there is no turning back.
Mother Nature has been sending us enough warning signs to check our environment damaging activities, but often these warnings went unheeded. When flood comes, hundreds of poor people will die; dwellings and crops will be damaged, snatching away happiness and hopes from the life of these affected people. The next day our PM and CM will sit inside a helicopter for the aerial view of the flood situation and then some financial compensation will be announced which can and never fully compensate the damages inflicted.
Enough reports and data have been available highlighting how much damage we have done to our environment and what irreversible consequences are waiting for us. The recently published “The Climate Change Report” by UN Inter-Governmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) said that our world may have lost the opportunity to reach its goals of the Paris Climate Agreement (2015) to limit global warming to well below 2 degree Celsius, preferably to 1.5 degree Celsius compared to pre-industrial levels. Heat waves and humid heat stress are going to become more intense and frequent over South East Asia during 21st Century, the report further warned.
Increased monsoon precipitation with enhanced inter annual variability over South East Asia and rising sea level have also been mentioned in the report. UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres has described this report as a “code red for humanity”.
The warning bell is ringing loud and clear. Climate change and environment degradation is a far greater threat to humanity than COVID-19 pandemic because of its irreversible impacts. We need to take this very seriously. Developing countries including India cannot just put the blame that most of the damage had been done by the developed Nations and show lackadaisical attitude towards environment conservation and protection activities. We should not forget that the Earth does not care from where the emissions are coming  and climate impacts do not differentiate between  developed and developing Nations. Considering how uniquely vulnerable our country is, every one of us should contribute to prevent climate change in whatever capacity we can.  Climate change is the greatest injustice in progress against our young generation. So, it is high time to address the climate change issue through concerted action.

The writer can be reached at [email protected], 9366985266