Tag Archives: climate change

Today, the 25th of March, 2017, is Earth Hour, 8:30 pm to 9:30 pm

Dear Friends, today, at the above mentioned hour, people from as much as 178 countries, may come together to switch off non-essential lights and power equipments. The idea is to show that we care for our planet and our sustainable living. It may be just a symbolic gesture, given the short span of ‘switching off’…It may lead to limited power savings, as some would argue; others would say that we would need to do much more that just this…I agree, but in this one hour, we get a time to ponder- how important it is to save electricity from fossil fuels; and how each one of us can directly reduce carbon emissions and limit Climate change.

So I am going to try switch off at 8:30 PM for an hour…!

Can We Do it – A Cleaner & Safer Diwali?

Some intuitive ways of celebrating a “Cleaner, safer and Fun Diwali” – Prayers, Sweets, meeting family members and friends, holidays and…

  • Minimizing use of fire-crackers, especially those which produce lots of smoke and noise
  • Resisting the need to over-buy – better for pockets of ourselves and Mother Nature
  • Resist over-lighting – after all, power is precious…

Can we do it? This is the question to all of us Indians. Diwali, the big festival of India, has in recent history, been associated with massive bursting of crackers, and massive pollution of air, soil and water as an aftermath. It is something which we have seen through our own eyes, in most of our lifetime.

diwali-pollution-2diwali-pollution-1

Courtesy: Pumirror.com, The Hindu

However, if we pretend we do not know about it, here are some news reports of Diwali last year.

On Diwali night, India gasped for breath – http://www.thehindu.com/data/pollution-on-diwali-night/article7872344.ece, November 13, 2015

The level of pollution reaches ‘severe’ in several cities of India where healthy people also start getting affected, leave alone people with pre-existing conditions.

Diwali: Delhi pollution ‘hits hazardous levels’ – http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-india-34795305, November 12, 2015

Pollution in Delhi during Diwali: The harmful pollutants and their result on human lives – http://indiatoday.intoday.in/education/story/pollution-during-diwali/1/518634.html, November 7, 2015

Is that the only and best way to celebrate – by choking ourselves & our fellow people? That too, when the environmental balance is getting more and more fragile by the day? Can we have a “cleaner  & safer  Diwali”, this time?

diwali

Happy World Environment Day – June 5, 2016

http://www.wed2016.com/

Happy World Environment Day , Friends!

The most visible eco-phenomenon our world is facing today is Climate Change.

Over the last one month, I have written five blogs looking at this from different angles.

There is a lot to know and lot to be done, if climate change is to be reversed or at-least slowed down.

Each one of us need to do our part, for the sake of ourselves and our children.

Do visit the my recently written blogs,

https://pratimapandey.wordpress.com/2016/06/02/blog-5-climate-change-series-the-waste-connection/

https://pratimapandey.wordpress.com/2016/05/26/blog-4-climate-change-series-need-to-act/

https://pratimapandey.wordpress.com/2016/05/20/climate-change-series-paris-dealleaders-of-187-countries-stamping-on-the-need-to-take-action/

https://pratimapandey.wordpress.com/2016/05/09/climate-change-series-relevant-facts-leading-to-solutions/

https://pratimapandey.wordpress.com/2016/05/06/climate-change-myth-fast-changing-to-reality/

Thanks for reading and stay Eco-conscious!

Blog 5 – Climate Change Series – The ‘Waste’ Connection

Hello.

‘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!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Blog 4- Climate Change Series – Need to Act…!

Hello,

‘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.

(Source: https://www.theguardian.com/business/2016/may/16/climate-change-puts-13bn-people-and-158tn-at-risk-says-world-bank)

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.

(Source: https://www.theguardian.com/business/2016/jan/14/climate-change-disaster-is-biggest-threat-to-global-economy-in-2016-say-experts)

(Source: http://climate.nasa.gov/system/internal_resources/

details/original/786_march_2016_sig_climate_events_noaa.gif)

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!

 

 

 

Blog 3 – Climate Change Series – Paris Deal:Leaders of 187 countries stamping on the need to take action

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:

  1. 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.
  2. Pledges of cut in carbon emissions- Although not legally binding, 187 countries have submitted this pledge (Intended Nationally Defined Contributions, or INDCs)
  3. Stock-taking every five years – First global stock-taking in 2023, and then after every five years to stay firmly on track
  4. 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!

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(Source: Source: http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2015/dec/12/paris-climate-deal-key-points#img-2)

 

 

 

 

 

Blog 2 – Climate Change Series – Relevant facts leading to Solutions

Hello,

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.

(Source: http://climatechange.gc.ca/default.asp?lang=En&n=65CD73F4-1)

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!