Man Vs Mother Earth: Who has betrayed whom? - Part 4

Sunday, June 29, 2008

I know, whatever you do, for spreading the awareness about climate change, 'may be' insignificant, but it is very important that you do it. A small initiative of your's can spread the awareness like a conflagration.

This is fourth in the series of articles about climate crisis. In this article i will be discussing about how the scientific results/efforts where successful in making 'climate crisis' a buzzword and also about impact of scientific studies related to climate change.
The first article should set the historical context for you to get interested in knowing about climate crisis.
The second article
talks about earth's energy balance, causes and consequences of climate crisis.
The third article speaks about the impact of scientific discoveries on political decisions and policy making with respect to climate crisis.

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Climate Crisis a buzzword
The possibility that humans could contribute to global warming was now being taken seriously by scientists, and by the early 1960s some had begun to raise the spectre of severe climate change within a century. They had started to collect evidence to test the idea that global temperatures were increasing alongside greenhouse gas emissions, and to construct mathematical models to predict future climates....There is now little doubt that the temperature increase over the last 150 years is real, but debate still surrounds the causes.[Gaurdian]. "Since the last decades of the 20th century, increased awareness of the scientific findings surrounding global warming has resulted in political and economic debate[wiki]."

  1. Governments around the world started considering the issue of climate change while drafting industrial policies [Global Warming and Climate Change Policy Links on NASA website].
  2. Introduction of climate change topics in academic text books brought more thinking minds into the ongoing climate change debate.
  3. Various government funded organizations and non profit organizations played their part to spread the awareness about climate change.
  4. Starting from mid 20th century, climate change research centers and institutions were set up in many countries. Systematic study of climate change in those research centres and institutions kept the alarm bell ringing.
  5. As a result of this, governments across the globe started taking a serious look at renewable energy alternatives. Renewable energy research and development work started spreading in many universities and organizations. Gradually, 'Energy Saving' products started entering the market.
  6. Setting up of the UNFCCC, IPCC, Global conferences (Like the UNCCC) started getting the attention of environmentalist, scientist, activists, volunteers etc.. More importantly these conferences forced the governments across the world to take the responsibility of climate change and asked them to take appropriate actions.
  7. The hot debate on climate change over the Internet spread like a conflagration. This in turn brought more people into the debate and of course brought awareness among (at least some) web users.
  8. In the recent years, media (both print and electronic) finally ended its apathy towards climate change and started giving serious attention to climate change issues (However some people still argue that media do not give enough attention to environmental issues).
  9. TV channels dedicated to environment (Like Nation Geographic Channel, Animal Planet, Discovery etc..) brought out the hidden secrets of mother nature and special programs and documentaries were able to get significant attention from people of all age groups.
  10. Special works like the one which Mr. Al Gore did (An Inconvenient Truth), had an unprecedented impact around the world.
  11. You can add more reasons....

Such multi pronged efforts were able to make 'climate change'/'global warming' a buzzword. So far, we were able to spread this word around the world. But was that enough? Well, I would say, thats just a begining. Miles to go before we can see the 'cleaner' future.

Impact of scientific studies related to climate change
In 2005, scientists announced major discoveries about Earth's climate. Multiple Greenland glaciers suddenly leaped into retreat, spilling larger and larger amounts of ice into the sea. A similar pattern has been seen on the Antarctic Peninsula. Studies of the past 50 years of hurricanes were made public and revealed the storms have been steadily getting more intense and destructive. Hurricane Katrina brought that point home to the U.S. by nearly wiping New Orleans off the map. Scientists also announced the record retreat in Arctic sea ice, and a measurable slowing of the thermohaline circulation in the Atlantic – the deep ocean current that drives the Gulf Stream, moderates temperatures worldwide, and keeps Europe from having a climate like that of Alaska[Discovery Channel].

Right from the early 19th century, scientific studies have been showing the effects of human activities on planet earth. These studies were able to keep the alarm bell ringing in political, economic, academic circles. Reports of IPCC, climate change institutes, organizations were successful in pressurizing the political fraternity to start taking appropriate actions [don't you think so? Refer first article]. Research and development on climate change and environment has brought some innovation in renewable energy and was successful in commercializing the renewable energy[Read More]. What we need is, judicious use of available non-renewable energy resources and shifting our focus towards renewable energy resources.

You can read more about climate change history on LiveScience page, CNN and you can find more comprehensive details about history of climate change here.

As I said at the begining of this article, whatever you do for spreading the awareness about climate change 'may be' insignificant, but it is very important that you do it. What you can do? I strongly suggest that you take a look at these links and do whatever little you can. Inconvenient truth - what you can do, global warming awareness blog - little ways to spread awareness, another blog here - things you can do,  On EarthEssay page. And of course, you can find many more links on the web.

To be continued...

In the subsequent article(s), i will be discussing about role of world leaders and scientific community in sharing whatever little is left and the road ahead.

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This work by Manjunath Singe is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 2.5 India License. The views and opinions expressed in this work are strictly those of the author and do not represent his employer's views in anyway.