Our Earth is a living, breathing, changing entity. Down the ages, humans first suspected, then became fully aware that climate changes are a fact of life. Weather patterns keep changing over course of time. From Aristotle to later Renaissance scholar’s, mankind realized that deforestation, irrigation, grazing and other human interventions affect climate. Series of ancient cities along the Anatolian peninsula by the Aegean Sea vanished into the waters. Closer home we know Dwarka, the ancient city by the Gujarat coastline got engulfed by the sea.
Striking changes have been observed in the 18th and 19th centuries too. When forested lands got converted to croplands they actually transformed the climate in several regions of the world. Scientists and experts who have been studying climate patterns for years now eventually agree that large scale impact of human activities adversely affects climatic conditions. It is true that we humans can affect the climate of the planet as a whole.
The late 19th century had scientists warning about human emissions of greenhouse gases that were altering the climate. The sixties showcased the warming effect through carbon dioxide gas emissions. By the seventies the world was convinced through scientific reasoning that greenhouse gases were deeply involved in most climate changes, and human emissions were bringing on serious global warming. We even created the ozone hole in the skies. Since the 1990’s research on climate change has expanded and grown, linking many fields such as atmospheric sciences, numeric modeling, behavioral sciences, geology and economics.
We know for certain now that human-caused global warming is a fact and a serious threat. Numerous examples of effects of climate change keep driving home this point. The latest in the series are floods in Kashmir. Just as we were emerging from the Uttarakhand tragedy of the past year when cloudbursts, heavy rains and landslides killed countless people, the hitherto unheard of phenomenon of flooding in Jammu and Kashmir hands another blow. It is the mountainous region’s worst flooding in six decades submerging hundreds of villages and bringing on a crisis of grave proportions.
Social organizations need to create an understanding of the issue through climate activists. In 2008 India formally adopted the National Action Plan on Climate Change outlining policies and programs to address climate change mitigation. We need to spread the message that global warming is happening and is human-caused. We need to perceive global warming as a serious threat while at the same time believe that the issue can be resolved. It is our own collective actions that will make a difference. HERD Foundation promotes the opinions of experts and scientists by sharing insights within social networks.