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Climate change, man and responsibilities!

By Anusha Sherazi

OUT OF all the concerns that our fragile Environment has around it, one of the major is Climate Change.  But this change is not abrupt. Climate change is certainly anthropogenic and science had proved it through evidences. The most outstanding evidence was provided by report of Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, 2007, which was written by more than 800 contributing authors from over 130 countries, and which shared the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize with Al Gore,Pakistan is also the contributor of this panel. According to this report the only culprit for Climate Change is man himself. It further elaborated that human activities including transportation, land-clearing, and production of electricity and consumption of synthetic products; are the reasons behind the change. Besides this the two major factors responsible for increased green house gas emissions in the world are burning of fossil fuels and cutting down of forests.

Moreover the other logics which prove the hand of mankind behind the devastating impacts of climate change have been very precisely reported by Andrea Liverani in his publication “Primal root of the problem: individual behavior”, which was published through World Bank in 2011. In this report the author has emphasized that climate change is anthropogenic – the product of billions of acts of daily consumption.

John C. Dernbach also reported in 2007 that Individuals are responsible for nearly one third of green house gasses emitted, which ultimately emits 30 billion tons of CO2 that enter the atmosphere each year, in addition to vast quantities of sulfur dioxide, nitrous oxide, and methane.

This situation has already been well observed and well depicted in the work of several eminent scientists and researchers. We get a ready example from the book of Chris Goodall “How to live a low-carbon life: the individual’s guide to stopping climate change”. In this book the author highlighted some of the common practices that human beings conduct and become a cause of global warming such as heating, lighting and travelling, cooling office buildings, and construction. All these actions when done without a check ultimately become a cause of global warming.

This is a dire situation which calls for an urgent action. We all have to realize our role as a responsible citizen. We should pay a heed to all our actions which are unknowingly responsible for polluting the environment and emitting Green House Gasses. We should develop the potential for being self motivated. The need is not only to act but also to make others act. This situation needs a collective effort.

The question of the hour is what are the best strategies for getting large numbers of people to embrace pro-climate behavioral changes? The answer is pretty simple and adaptable. There are several areas in which a comprehensive thought provoking exercise is required to build up the morale of every individual. Some of the key areas include legislation, consumption practices, mitigation, adaptation, financial and technical contributions, and social contributions. Besides this dissemination of information and awareness at public forums, offices, schools, playgrounds and such other public places is also one source.

Not so many but just a few changes in our everyday behavior could save us from a huge crisis that could come to our way in a few decades. A personal commitment to small pro-climate choices in our own lives is likely to help achieve and optimize the bigger collective choices we have to make. According to Garrison Institute, 2010, “turning off lights when leaving a room, keeping tires properly inflated, eating more chicken and less red meat, etc”; these few precautions could make a great difference at the global level and this could enable us to save several Giga tons of GHGs .