ALL FOR ONE AND ONE FOR ALL- THE HOUR FOR CLIMATE ACTION HAS ARRIVED
Climate change is proving to be the biggest truth of our times. While terms like ‘climate emergency’ are gaining currency, a class of ‘non-believers’ referred to as ‘climate-change deniers’ also seems to have strongly emerged. They seem to be oblivious to the persistent warning of climate scientists of entire ecosystems collapsing, rising sea levels, melting icecaps or even examples of polar bears that find their way confusedly onto Russian roads because they have nowhere else to go. In the garble of international politics, climate change remains a global problem that is yet to find its global voice.
‘Our house is on fire’ Following Greta Thunberg's impassioned speech, it is time we realise that climate change has wide- ranging consequences, that are more personal than what we previously imagined them to be. The imperative to act is stronger than ever, and that has sparked protests like Extinction Rebellion in pockets across the planet. The debate over climate change has lasted for decades, and one thing that we know for sure is that the equilibrium or the world order (as we like to imagine it) has been gravely disturbed. However, despite the world-over protests, the actual integration of sustainable development into daily life remains questionable.
Perhaps we need to introspect upon the narrow and utilitarian lens through which we have always viewed the environment that surrounds us. It has given birth to the destructive logic of human intervention across the globe. This rests its foundation upon the notion that the environment exists solely for the purpose of our usage, and by believing so, we forget that nature is an independent and dynamic entity. There was a time when nature very much existed before us, and there may be a time in the future when we cease to exist, but nature would persist, as environmentalists often argue.
With the threat of drastic climatic effects, entire countries sinking and millions of climate refugees by the end of the century, the present scenario calls for a paradigm shift in our ways of functioning. The idea of intergenerational justice forms an imperative for adopting a radically different lifestyle. A combative, two-pronged process that adopts sustainable methods and attains carbon neutrality. Humanity needs to challenge itself to innovatively bring down the climatic disturbances it has unwound, taking all key stakeholders into play. Taking simple, climate conscious steps such reducing one’s ‘flyer miles’ are not mere acts we perform out of charity, but rather ethical imperatives in a time humanity is bent on destroying the social fabric that it rests its head upon. We need to remove the blanket of ignorance we have built around ourselves and translate our panic into proactive community effort, ensuring that it extends to the worst-hit and least equipped to handle climate emergencies. Hence we must develop a call for local action that transcends barriers of space and time to manifest itself globally. Time and tide continue to wait for none.