Climate change and our liabilities
Climate change is now one of thebiggest problems across the globe as its impacts on human beings and theenvironment are very terrible and prolonged. Almost all countries of the worldare directly or indirectly affected by the adverse effects of climate change.Bangladesh is not safe to the adversities of climate change. Rather the country is at the high risk of natural disasters due to its geographical location, low-lying landscape, density of population, poverty, illiteracy, alternation in the pattern of seasons, poor infrastructures.
Human activities are responsible for climate change and they have to bear the consequences of their actions in the future. The main reason responsible for climate change is Global Warming. Global warming is the rise in the average temperature of the atmosphere of the globe. This increase in temperature occurs due to accumulation of various gases like ozone, nitrous oxide, carbon-di-oxide, methane and water vapour in the atmosphere.
Carbon-di-oxide gas has a characteristic like glass which allows heat to enter but not to escape. This creates greenhouse Effect. The ozone layer that prevents us from the harmful UVradiation from the sun eventually starts to deplete. These harmful UV rays cause skin cancer, cataract and other skin ailments. The carbon emissions from fossil fuels should be reduced. We should use substitutes instead of fossil fuels as they are non-renewable resources because they take millions of years to form.
It is vital for us to adopt cleaner forms of energy that are non-polluting and renewable, like wind and solar energy. Due to technological advancements, we can use wind turbines and solar panels to produce electricity. Deforestation should be banned as the carbon sinks are disappearing and we should focus on reforestation.
Any industrial, commercial project in the forest's vicinity is catastrophic. If any new proposal for industries in the area comes, we should think twice, make easy calculations before we nod to further degrade the forest. Sundarbans has time and again proved as a shield to protect us from storms, tsunamis, and cyclones. The forest and environment ministry had declared the area within a 10-mile radius of the Sundarbans as an ecologically critical zone where the protection of the forest and the wildlife would have to be ensured at first before any development work was taken up.
To meet the requirements of the increasing population it becomes necessary to have many industries but pollution control measures must be made compulsory. We have been suffering from climate change for several years as an effect of a vast population using automobiles and products emitting Chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs).These instruments are not making our life easy and comfortable rather deteriorating it further. Another major exponent of global warming is the usageof air conditioners and automobiles which in order to provide cooling for shortperiods of time increases the earth's temperature.
Moreover, temperature isrising at such an alarming rate that if we calculate its further effect itwould be impossible for us to even get out of our own home by the time wereach 2021. People should prefer coolers instead of ACs. Fill homes with plants so that it makes a cool atmosphere inside home. The incandescent light bulbs should be replaced by LED or CFL light bulbs that are more energy efficient. The human race is facing the 'most dangerous' time in its history where the planet is in crisis and is facing technological as well as environmental challenges. If wedo not be friendly to our environment timely it will also not be at the same time.
Weonly can wish to create awareness among the public about pollution hazards. We have become insensitive to the pollution problems we are creating for ourselves and our society. Pollution has become a threat to mankind. In spite of a number of Acts, Legislations, Constitutional amendments and Pollution Control board has failed to check this threat. The factors responsible for Air and Water pollution must be removed to make the environment clean.
Air pollution is serious threat at present.The automobile exhaust and forest fire abounds in carbon monoxide. Its concentration affects the nervous system and causes suffocation, giddiness, and headache among human beings. It decreases nitrogen fixing ability in plants. Excess of Nitrogen, Sulphur dioxide etc can affect the functioning of the brain and kidneys. Lung cancer, internal bleeding and blockage of the respiratory system are among its serious effects.
Water pollution is also wricking havoc with human life. The quality of water changes and it becomes less suitable for drinking purposes, agricultural activities, for aquatic creatures or other purposes. Polluted water can cause various intestinal infections like cholera or dysentery or certain diseases like jaundice.
Sewage is an important source of pollution in urban centres. Liquid waste comes from residential areas, institutions, hotels, hospitals etc. It is discharged into nearby water bodies or disposed of in open low-lying areas. The community waste carries putrid organic matter. It gives rise to bad odour and various pathogenic germs. This also leads to pollution of underground water. On the other hand Industrial waste affects the growth of plant life too. We all should try to bring in lime-light the sources of pollution and its effects on human and plant life. We can only hope this will awaken the concerned authority to their role in making the environment clean and liveable.
Polythene bags have managed to stage a huge comeback, despite a government ban on their use in the country. There is evidence that even if a small percentage ofpolythene bags are littered, they still have a devastating impact on the environment. Furthermore, plastic bags block drains and release toxic fumes when burned. The authoritiesconcerned can now employ techniques such as advertisingand using billboards to show the benefits of jute or biodegradable bags.
We all have to come forward for thecause of climate change and protect the country from the adverse effectsof climate change. Policies can be undertaken such as, be energy efficient, choosingrenewable power, consuming wisely, reduce wastage, fly less, let polluters pay, supportand donate.
By planting trees and reducing fuel use, the degree of the negative impact of climate change canbe reduced. In addition, everyone should be very careful about this threatening matter and the government should be very much careful to take effectiveinitiatives to combat this challenge as per our commitments to SDG.
Dr Zubair khaled Huq is a
Public Health, Gerontology,
Family Medicine Specialist