‘REduce, REuse, REcycle’, the 3 Rs, is the consensus mantra to reduce the effect of waste and waste management practices on Climate Change. How does Waste impact Climate Change?
“The climate benefits of waste practices result from avoided landfill emissions , reduced raw material extraction and manufacturing, recovered materials and energy replacing virgin materials and fossil-fuel energy sources, carbon bound in soil through compost application, and carbon storage due to recalcitrant materials in landfills. In particular, there is general global consensus that the climate benefits of waste avoidance and recycling far outweigh the benefits from any waste treatment technology, even where energy is recovered during the process. (UNEP)
As we know, Green House Gases (GHGs) are a major cause of Climate Change as they trap the heat radiating from the earth back to space, resulting in global warming. One such GHG is released from the breakdown of Organic waste in landfills – Methane. (GRID UNEP)
In 2016, Deonar Dumping Ground in the Indian metropolitan city of Mumbai caught fire recurrently. This is a 300 acre ground (largest in Asia) used since 1927 to dump at-least half of garbage (untreated) of Mumbai.(NDTV) . Among other reasons for this is emission of methane, a flammable GHG.
(Pic: Courtesy, NDTV)
If less waste is generated, less spontaneous emission of methane would be there and therefore less warming due to its ‘greenhouse effect’.
Another dimension of the same is lowered GHG emissions as reduced need of production & distribution of goods due to greater application of 3Rs, result in lesser need of energy from burning of fossil fuels. This point is well illustrated in the following diagram. (EPA)
Diagram: Life-cycle of a Product (EPA)
Further, even waste management practices like anaerobic decomposition result in GHG emissions. Traditional “waste” management represents 1 to 5 percent of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions.(EPA)
Conclusion – At our level, greater application of 3Rs is a significant way to avoid waste and reduce emissions leading to Climate change.
Thanks for Reading!
Posted in Climate Change, Environment events, My take, Sustainability, Waste Management
Tagged 2016, 3Rs, climate change, DEONAR, DUMPYARD FIRE, EPA, fire, fossil fuels, GHGs, green house effect, India, land management practices, landfill, lifecycle, methane, Mumbai, NDTV, organic waste, Recycle, reduce, reuse, US, waste, waste management
‘The global community is badly prepared for a rapid increase in climate change-related natural disasters that by 2050 will put 1.3 billion people at risk’ according to the World Bank. Urging better planning of cities before it was too late, a report published on Monday from a Bank-run body that focuses on disaster mitigation, said assets worth $158tn – double the total annual output of the global economy – would be in jeopardy by 2050 without preventative action.
Cecilia Reyes, chief risk officer of Zurich Insurance Group, said: “Climate change is exacerbating more risks than ever before in terms of water crises, food shortages, constrained economic growth, weaker societal cohesion and increased security risks.“Meanwhile, geopolitical instability is exposing businesses to cancelled projects, revoked licences, interrupted production, damaged assets and restricted movement of funds across borders. These political conflicts are in turn making the challenge of climate change all the more insurmountable – reducing the potential for political cooperation, as well as diverting resource, innovation and time away from climate change resilience and prevention.” – this comment was in context of the Global Risks Report 2016 produced by World Economic Forum in collaboration with Marsh and McLennan and Zurich Insurance Group.
Conclusion – Climate Change is affecting our planet like never before, and the impact could be wide-ranged. Timely, concerted action is required to reverse it or at-least slow it down.
In the next blog, we will discuss the ‘Waste Connection’ of Climate Change.
Thanks for Reading!
Posted in Climate Change, Environment events
Tagged 2016, anomalies, biggest threat to global economy, climate change, disaster mitigation, environment, examples, Global Risks report, global warming, guardian, hottest on record, march 2016, nasa, risks, wEF, world, world bank, Zurich Insurance Group
Hello, before we go to the details of the Paris Climate Conference 2015, we may summarize its result as a first-ever confluence of global political will to acknowledge and tackle Climate Change.
If leaders of 187 countries are stamping on the importance to act on Climate Change, how can you and me still deny it?
This is quite significant…but action is more important.
Coming over to the details…Signed on December 12, 2015 with United Nations taking the charge, 187 countries came together to commit global average temperature rise to 1.5 degree Celsius before Pre-industrial level in the Paris Climate Conference, (also called COP21)
A series of fund-raising pledges by countries and cutting down of global emissions have been agreed to. Salient points are as follows:
- Long-term global goal for ‘net-zero emissions’ – The time-frame agreed to for this global pledge is second half of this century. However, the significance of this lies in the fact that a clear economic message has been passed on to the markets, hopefully driving action.
- Pledges of cut in carbon emissions- Although not legally binding, 187 countries have submitted this pledge (Intended Nationally Defined Contributions, or INDCs)
- Stock-taking every five years – First global stock-taking in 2023, and then after every five years to stay firmly on track
- Funds – Members in a non-legal way, are required to mobilize funds to help developing countries to adapt to climate change and move on to cleaner economy.
(Source: Source: http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2015/dec/12/paris-climate-deal-key-points#img-2)
Well, no strict deadlines…no fixed fund flow from one country to another…but a clear realization that Climate Change is Real, and we need to act as One. Action of one not only affects that country but the world as a whole…and so the Paris Agreement…
A step in the right direction…!
In the next few blogs, discussion on the urgency to Act, several ways in which we as individuals can be a part of Solution, the Waste Connection to Climate change……..
……………Please come back for more…Thanks for reading!
(Source: Source: http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2015/dec/12/paris-climate-deal-key-points#img-2)
Posted in Climate Change, My take, Sustainability, Waste Management
Tagged 1.5 degree celsius, 2015, carbon emissions cut, climate change, conservation, cop21, December 2015, environment, Environment conservation, global warming, Green, INDCs, net-zero emissions, Paris Climate Deal, UN climate conference, waste, waste management, world
Use lesser electricity and water, plant more trees…these are the most direct ways to reversing Climate change…!!!
What is Climate Change?
“Climate change is a long-term shift in weather conditions identified by changes in temperature, precipitation, winds, and other indicators…its long-term state and average temperature are regulated by the balance between incoming and outgoing energy, which determines the Earth’s energy balance.”(Govt. of Canada)
The change can be induced by natural factors as well as human factors. Natural factors comprise primarily volcanic eruption and solar activity. While the effect on climate of former is for a shorter period, the later can influence in a longer period; however its effect is much less in the past century as compared to that of human activity. Human factors mostly are related to burning of fossil fuel and change in the land-use pattern. This leads to increase in levels of carbon-dioxide and other greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. An enhanced ‘greenhouse effect’ results has resulted in warming of the Earth. It is to be noted that carbon dioxide and nitrous dioxide are long-lived ‘climate forcers’, i.e. they stay in the atmosphere and impact the climate change for a long time.
So here comes the Solution – anything which reduces the carbon dioxide emission in the air, is the best way to fight Climate change!!!
Do come back for more on Paris Climate Deal, more examples of Climate change around the World…and more facets of Climate Change…
Thanks for reading!
Posted in Climate Change, Environment events, My take
Tagged burning fossil fuels, canada, carbon dioxide, climate change, examples, greenhouse effect, greenhouse gases, human effect on climate change, land use pattern, methane, natural factors affecting climate change, ozone, Paris Climate Deal, plant trees, trees planting, what causes climate change, what is climate change
To me, and I am sure, to many others, every passing day is proving that ‘Climate Change’ is a ‘real thing’…Still, not all are convinced…and to change their view, I am writing this post! Because, I believe that as we, the World, take longer to be convinced, we are losing precious time to reverse the ‘Change’. Also through my posts leading up to June 5, th World Environment Day, I would be highlighting its different facets as well as steps that need to be taken to save ourselves and our future generations of its disastrous effects.
Only today, I heard the news of ‘Canada Wildfire’ covering 8oo square km of Alberta province of Canada. Wildfires occur, but not in this scale, both distance and time-wise, in this area. Increasing temperatures and dry winter, created the conditions for fire of this scale.
Scene of devastation caused by Wildfire in Canada (Pic: Courtesy BBC.com)
Back home in India, a unseasonal and severe heat wave has claimed several lives as early as in April 2016. Worst hit is the southern state of Telangana. In several other parts, record high temperatures have been observed leading to early school vacations and changed office timings, caution statements for citizens being issued by State Governments and several other adjustments.
Heat wave in India (Pic: Courtesy The Hindu)
In the coming posts, we will look further into such unseasonal occurrences across the World. Also in the next post, I would focus on how each one of us can become a part of the Solution to combat Climate Change. Do stay with me on that…!
Thanks for reading!
Posted in Climate Change, Environmental facts, Environmental facts, My take, Sustainability
Tagged 2016, alberta, canada, canada wildfire, climate change, fire, global warming, heat wave, India, natural calamities, natural disaster, non-seasonal, solutions, unseasonal
Earth hour is a symbolic representation of the fact that we care for ‘Our Planet’!
Green house emissions have multiplied with the increasing stress on natural resources. Be it be the increasing population and urbanisation or just human mis-management and greed, there is growing imbalance in nature, amply reflected as ‘Climate change’ globally. It needs to be corrected urgently before it brings our civilization to its knees…
Earth hour is one such step…to create an awareness among each one of us that ‘something’ needs to be done – Development and Nature’s conservation needs to go hand in hand. Not only we would live better as a result, but our future generations too will have a fair chance of good life!
I will switch off our non-essential lights on 19th March 2016 for an hour starting 8:30 pm. I will also try create awareness among my family, friends and peer-group regarding the same.
By participating in the Earth Hour, I become a part of ‘Global Solution for Sustainable Living’…Thanks
Well, June 5 may be taken as just another date in calendar. However, it may also be used to reflect on the current status of Environment and climatic conditions. For developing countries like India, this reflection is more relevant. On one hand, India with its burgeoning population, struggles to manage current resource utilization and waste management ; on the other, it wants (& needs) to develop rapidly, unfortunately placing further demand on a fragile environment base. So what does India do? Ignore environment and go full-on on development? CAN INDIA REALLY DO THAT???
Seeing at the current climatic imbalance, I think answer should be NO.
Let me explain: In the previous posts, it was discussed that how un-seasonal rains in March caused a major loss to Indian Economy; and now it is the forecast of ‘deficient rainfall’ during the monsoon months of June to August.
Not that it is the first time monsoon is forecasted to be abnormal; but this is second year in a row and it can impact India majorly – How? A few ways listed…
- Fifty percent of its population is dependent on Agriculture (Economic Times, 2014); lower monsoon rains mean lower agricultural productivity and production; causing a direct impact on the income and purchasing power of this segment of population
- Farmers are already under great stress due to recent unseasonal rains and existing lacunae in Indian agricultural sector; and for smaller, indebted farmers, lower monsoon rains spell DISASTER and DOOM – a social tragedy for India
- Industries like fertilizers; agri-banking; food-processing; textiles etc. would face a direct hit due to lower agricultural input and output – another way how Indian economy will be adversely impacted.
- Inflation can face a major spike through two ways – lesser power generation as hydro-electric power generation will go down; diesel demand to go up; and increase in price of food and other supplies due to decreased supply.
While growth will be adversely impacted, inflation can see a surge for all segments of population – an almost ‘WORST-CASE SCENARIO’ for India. Stock markets have already started displaying this sentiment. (Economic Times, 2015)
So India needs to be concerned about climate change; and hence needs to put Environment concerns on equal footing as Development.
To me, this is the “Only Way Going Forward…!”
Happy World Environment Day Everyone!
Economic Times (2014) http://articles.economictimes.indiatimes.com/2014-02-27/news/47739698_1_population-china-and-india-mechanisation
Economic Times (2015) http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/markets/stocks/news/monsoon-may-slow-down-fmcgs-run-in-stock-market/articleshow/47547272.cms