In 2021, countries are witnessing earthshattering forest fires that has affected ecosystem adversely. Whole world watched turkey wildfire, that hit the environment majorly and left many people and animals homeless. Experts warned that the situation aroused due to the heatwave coming from southern Europe fed by North Africa. It did not stop here, recently it poured heavily for hours on the highest point of Greenland’s ice sheet known as Summit for the first time ever in the history. According to the information, Arctic is warming at least twice as fast as the rest of the world because of the climate crisis.
India also watched forest fire that occurred in October 2020 and was still ongoing by the month of April. The forest department of the state mentioned, poor rainfall and rise in temperature caused the situation. Lot of initiatives are active already keeping in mind the crisis and the level of alert hinted by the nature. One such is SafEarth Clean Technologies Pvt Ltd, with an aim to accelerate the world’s transition to clean power to help tackle climate change. The founder of the company, Harshit Poddar is also an author of a non-fiction book on climate change. The book is called 2050: The world we are Building analyses the habits and root causes of climate change and presents various solutions to this problem.
Harshit Poddar commented on the present climate crisis, ‘Climate change is already on the brink of becoming a self-sustaining positive feedback loop, meaning that the human emissions caused till date will increase the temperature enough for release of a large portion of stored carbon. Nobody knows when exactly this will happen, however, there has already been a sharp increase in natural emissions (through forest fires, cracking of permafrost, melting ice etc.) and a fall in the carbon capturing capacity of the ecosystem. This means that unless we stop inflicting these damages soon, the planet would enter a period of very rapid temperature increase and lead to a total collapse of life as we know it.’
According to the reports, by 2030 we’ll cross crucial temperature, quite early as per the calculations done before. He brought up an example used by Bill Gates in one of his recently published books, in response to this statement and said, ‘Earth’s emission soaking capacity is like an overflowing bathtub. Imagine the bathtub to be full to the brim. Now, even a drop of water can make it overflow. Even if we stop our emissions, the emissions caused till date will still create problems for us. Additionally, these problems tend to compound over time. This is the biggest reason why we need to work on this today and not delay it for the future. Unless we take major actions today, there is no chance that the future generations will be able to do anything to solve this problem. Also, it needs to be pointed out that the total human emissions today, is the highest that it has ever been. After a small drop in 2020 due to the pandemic, the emissions have increased substantially in 2021. We are continuing to emit more than what we were projecting in the 2010s. And this is why we are breaking these benchmarks sooner than expected.’
UN (United Nation) along with IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) has warned and suggested number of times to the governments to consider climate crisis as a big alarm and include environment friendly policies to preserve what is left. Harshit Poddar described the problem countries deal with when it comes to frame or follow such guidelines. He said, ‘The biggest problems with our governments not prioritizing this issue are because we, the people have not done so. Even, in the United States, the largest emitter till date, a number of people are still of the opinion that climate change is a foreign propaganda. Most people today are focused on smaller, more immediate problems and those are the things that they are expecting their policy makers to be working on. Without a strong call to action from the people to solve these problems, we can’t reasonably expect our governments to take any action.’
On asking is rural and urban people are contributing equally in global warming to which he quickly denied and said, ‘No, not at all. Urban way of life is a much larger contributor to climate change than rural ways of life. In fact, many people living in the rural world, across the globe are living carbon positive lifestyles. Climate change is essentially a problem caused by a very small portion of the world’s population. The top 10% economically, would account for over 50% of our global emissions and the bottom 50% account for only 10%.’
Being an active and concerned voice for this matter, Mr. Poddar recommended few steps for an individual who wishes to do something for it, ‘Firstly, it would be to demand large scale policy changes from their leaders. Without these policy changes, we simply cannot cause a big enough change fast enough for it to matter. Next, one needs to be conscious of their energy and mobility footprints. Adopting renewable energy and EVs will go a long way in reducing our own personal footprints. Another meaningful contribution would be to stop wasting food and be responsible with managing their daily waste disposals.’
Harshit Poddar, who is helping to not worse the situation of climate crisis with introducing SaaS platform estimated what it could be the consequences in coming years if the case remains same. According to Harshit Poddar, ‘Climate Change is the biggest challenge and opportunity that our generation faces. Without proactive efforts today, life as we know it will be over within our lifetime. If you hope to be alive by 2050, then your latter years will simply be dictated by how we tackle this problem today.’
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