Global warming as we all know is a major cause for concern. But it was not until fairly recently that I became aware of the fact that there are people who think it is a myth! Now I can imagine many of you reading this, shaking your head and smirking. I am with you in thinking, “Who on earth are these simpletons?” How well-educated people doubt an actual global crisis is beyond me.
I was very curious to find out why these people thought global warming is not fact but fiction. My research led me to Ronald Reagan. The whole topic of climate change and global warming became a political issue during his presidency and the republicans have since maintained their notion that global warming is not real.
It was not until 1997 when certain scientists joined the nay-say bandwagon for the first time. Research by Greenpeace and The Guardian showed that major fuel and energy companies were funding these scientists and their group.
One of the main “evidence” given by these deniers is that they had neither seen nor felt any major difference climate in their lifetime.
At 23, I am pretty young. But in this short space of time, I myself have seen drastic climatic changes. I hail from a humble town called Ooty, which lies all the way up in the Nilgiri hills in India. While I was growing up as a school child, the months of June and July always saw heavy rains, December to January was when the frost set in, and March to May was when the sun was up and shining. But over the years things have changed. For a few years, the rains were delayed and then they completely disappeared, the summers have been hotter and winters are not what they were 15 years ago. When someone like me can see the changes, I do not understand how people in their mid-50s say they can’t.
At this point, many of you will no doubt mock people for not believing in global warming and will question their scientific temper. But should we really when the so called educated people of our country wouldn’t care less about the issue? At least most westerners have an opinion on the matter while we are outright ignorant about it. Education or rather the lack of it seems to be the problem.
Lack of education doesn’t mean illiteracy, it means the way we are taught isn’t right. Children are taught about the global pollution problem not as something that we should be worried about but rather as a topic which can help them score marks during examinations.
What is the point of teaching children about the different layers of the atmosphere, about the ozone layer, about greenhouse gases and global warming, if we are unable to instil in them the moral obligation to save the earth?
Now that I am living in a metropolitan, I see too much population, with a lot of vehicles, causing too much pollution. The so called educated class is doing things which are contrary to that title. For instance, as a person who has lived here for over a year and a half, it makes me question the use of personal vehicles by almost everyone for commuting when actually the need of the hour is fewer vehicles on roads. With many companies sharing work spaces, isn’t it common sense to carpool? Why take five different cars when five people, all from the same area or on the same route to the office, can use one car and split the cost of fuel?
According to the World Health Organization, air pollution claims 7 million lives worldwide every year and a major contributor to this are the fossil fuel driven automobiles. This shows that people have to become more responsible and should resort to more sustainable methods of travel.