THE ‘END’ IS ALMOST HERE, WHO IS RESPONSIBLE TO SAVE THE PLANET, GOD OR THE PEOPLE AROUND US?
Climate Change is a natural phenomenon occurring as a result of increasing temperature of the earth. It happens because of global warming[i] caused by increases in greenhouse gases (GHG), ozone depletion and thermal expansion of water[ii]. The key contributing factors to global temperature rises are emissions of greenhouse gases (GHG) such as carbon dioxide and methane into the environment which traps the heat from the atmosphere.[iii] The anthropogenic causes of climate change are the main subject of concern with severe implications on people such as increased climate variability and the likelihood that there will be less rain (seasonally) in the future; intense tropical cyclones will continue, as will El-Nino associated droughts; temperature rise, which will have impacts on terrestrial ecosystem productivity (particularly crop yields) and on near-shore ecosystems (particularly coral reefs), sea-level rise, which will inundate coasts, cause shoreline erosion and groundwater salinization etc.[iv]
Significant impacts to sugarcane and root crops such as taro and yams within the agriculture sector are noted in the first national communication report on climate change. The report also highlights that dengue fever, diarrhoeal diseases and nutrition-related illness shall also affect the health sector. In our quest for development and economic growth, man have surpassed all the limitations placed on the exploitation of natural resources and has worked very steadily towards significantly changing the earth’s temperature. The rising sea level and temperature of the earth would have been slow if not at optimum levels has it not been the desire for some global powers to undertake many adverse actions on earth. While the process of development drove some countries as super powers, many remained behind and continue working towards this ambition. Climate Change is a harsh reality about an environment calamity that is reciprocating in response to man’s greed, exploitation and lack of political willingness to cooperate and make genuine efforts in mitigating the problems we are facing. Unfortunately, amongst us there are leaders with marked responsibility and huge power of lobbying for support to attest climate change impact but have bluntly refused to decry propaganda and denial of the crude reality of climate science. Environmental problems does not care about people’s emotions, on the threat to food security and subsequent problems such as starvation, outbreaks in diseases, mal-nutrition, and aggravation of migration problems and climate refugees. We are far from fetching solutions that will end mankind’s desperation for survival and amplified by absence of goodwill to find pragmatic solutions to the ‘loss and damage’.
God has created men and women but humans have created their problems due to the greed, lust and disrespect for the creation. God has established laws of the nature that manages the overall processes, providence and maintenance of every life on earth.
Plants and trees, the forests are very important for human survival. They provide for food, water, shelter, medicine, climate balance and temperature. In Brazil, more than 75% of deforested land had been turned into pasture for cattle ranching by 2007. To feed the livestock, soy is produced in around 10,000 Square miles of forest that are further cleared to cultivate the feed. Trees sequester carbon from the earth which is relatively crucial for maintenance of its temperature and thus maintaining a balance in the equation of climate change. The trees absorb carbon dioxide in the process of photosynthesis acting as the lungs to suck the carbon elements from the atmosphere. However deforestation poses a huge risk in wake of keeping the global temperature down and continuous removal of forests aggravates the situation.
It takes 78 calories of fossil fuels to produce 1 calorie of beef protein; 35 calories to produce 1 calorie of pork; 22 calories to produce 1 calorie of chicken meat – and only 1 calorie of fossil fuels for 1 calorie of soy. By eating vegetarian food, we significantly contribute to the conservation of non-renewable sources of energy.[v]
The livestock sector accounts for nine percent of the Carbon-dioxide derived from human-related activities, but it produces a much larger share of even more harmful greenhouse gases. It generates 65% of human-related nitrous-oxide, which has 296 times the Global Warming Potential (GWP) of Carbon dioxide. Most of this comes from manure.
Men continues to exploit earth’s resources in such an alarming rate that a day will come when our forests will be depleted, our marine ecosystem will be barren and our planet earth will be bear no minerals, food or resources to meet our basic needs for survivability let alone economic viability. We must as individuals expose the hypocrisy of being religious and god fearing, yet in the same flock of those who have ventured on a mission to destroy the planet earth that God has created.
[i] Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), ‘Climate Change 2014 Synthesis Report Summary for Policy Makers’ (AR5), (2014) 2.
[ii] United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), ‘Climate Change: Impacts, Vulnerabilities and Adaptation in Developing Countries’ (2007).
[iii] National Academy of Sciences and the Royal Society, ‘Climate Change Evidence and causes: an overview from the Royal Society and the US National Academy of Sciences’ Evidence and Causes Pg.9.
[iv] Refer to n.II above, pages 20 – 24.