The following are my thoughts in response to the latest report released by the WWF on climate change, in which it was alleged that we have only five years to start making serious adjustments to our environmentally unfriendly lifestyles:
Though I donít quite agree on the time frame, I believe that there is overwhelming evidence that the world's climate is changing. We are not talking about gradual transformation but rapid. It is no longer taking decades but years. There is not a country, I imagine, that has not experienced drastic changes in the weather and seasons. It is beyond question that spring started by mid January 2007, in the UK. The daffodils and other spring heralding flowers had begun to bloom. Insects such as butterflies, bees and mosquitoes showed up early this year. There were observable changes in the behaviour of migratory, hibernating animals and other creatures. This is something that probably most of us witnessed. By mid April the weather and ambient temperature was typical of summer.
There are strong indications that what we are seeing is a manmade disaster. Assuredly, man has destroyed the earth. If we sit back and do nothing then we'll reap the consequences. The earth is the only planet in our galaxy we can call home. We have a moral responsibility to save it and ourselves. If the earth dies, we perish with it. It is no longer about politics. It is neither about east and west nor about developed and developing countries. It is a race against time. Everyone should know by now that the earth is like an organism. When one part is infected the whole life form gets a fever. If the current trend goes unchecked then we can be certain that calamities far worse than the Boxing Day 2004 Tsunami and 2005 Hurricane Katrina shall visit the earth.
Whether global warming and climate change are the result of manís recklessness and wanton destruction of the environment, or due to natural causes, one thing is clear and that is, mankind is faced with the greatest challenge since the flood in Noahís days. I am fully aware of the dichotomy of views as to what or who is responsible for the sudden transition we are seeing in nature. Is it Natural or anthropogenic? I will not go into the science behind the arguments. In my opinion it may be safer and wiser to take the view that environmental pollution by man is to blame. Why? For one thing that will have the obvious benefit of people being more careful about the use of our dear planetís most precious and soon to be scarce resources. Who has caused the extinction of some plant and animal species in the last 400yrs? Who has caused erosion of the ozone layer? Who is causing ecosystems to vanish at an alarming rate? To blame all this on the capricious outbreaks of natureís forces is to blatantly deny the facts.
Ladies and gentlemen, let us admit that we are partly to blame, individually as well as corporately, for the cataclysms in nature. We owe it to our children and grandchildren and hopefully the generations to come. What we have on our hands is like the moral dilemma that faced the settlers in America over the plight of the red Indians, Europe/America on the issue of slavery for four centuries and Nazi Germany over the fate of the Jews. We can choose to take a stand today and avert or at least mitigate a certain catastrophe tomorrow. Otherwise we can fold our arms today and, God forbid, make abashed apologies and regrettably retract our passionate statements of opposition to personal responsibility tomorrow; simply because we chose not to act when we could have made a difference. There shall be no second chance.
"Those who forget their history are condemned to repeat it."
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