Climate Change is real for sure. According to many scientists, the reasons for this change are rooted in the Industrial Revolution. During this revolution, fuel consumption increased tremendously. The smoke emanating during combustion of these fuels (mainly carbon dioxide) got trapped into the earth’s atmosphere, developing a heat-absorbing layer around it. According to these scientists, this layer prevented loss of heat from the earth’s surface resulting in warming of the atmosphere. To give a general example, a person starts feeling hot and sultry when he takes a blanket. This fact of feeling hot resembles the above example. Of course, if the blanket is removed then the feeling of sultriness would reduce. Speaking in terms of Climate Change, it sounds like the problem will be solved if the amount of atmospheric carbon dioxide is reduced. Let us briefly take a look at the background behind this.

In general, it was first discussed among scientists in the 1980’s. Dr. Rashmi Mayur and her colleagues propounded to the world that the atmosphere’s ozone layer has begun developing a hole, which would cause temperatures to rise and Antarctica’s ice to melt. They urged immediate action. Studies revealed that mainly because of Freon and similar other refrigerant coolants, a hole is forming in the upper most layer of the atmosphere i.e. ozone. This study led to the search for an alternative to this refrigerant.

But it is rumoured that this outcry was raised only after these alternatives were available. Then the trade or business of technology began. The developed countries, possessing this technology, wanted to sell this technology to the underdeveloped countries at an exorbitant price. The developing and underdeveloped countries could not afford it. This gave impetus to the research on what causes ozone depletion. This, in turn, brought carbon dioxide to the forefront as the major factor. Till then carbon dioxide was not considered as a pollutant. Now the biggest source of carbon dioxide is thermal power plants, other factories and automobiles. All of these factors are, in fact, the yardsticks of modern Western lifestyle.

The underdeveloped countries insisted on abandoning the modern Western lifestyle that causes ozone depletion and increase in temperatures, and adopting a simple environment friendly lifestyle. However citizens of developed countries and industries, that are the backbone of their economy, will ever allow this?

The majority of politicians in the United States took a stand that Climate Change and global warming are a myth. The temperature is rising due to the heat of the sun, trapped by fuel smoke. The economies of developed countries felt the urgent need to conduct research that would refute this proposition. The scientists over there began to search for other chemicals which are responsible for Climate Change. Similarly, it was also begun to be assessed how the allegations made against them could be attributed to underdeveloped and developing countries.

Do you say that our cars and planes as well as factories are causing Climate Change? Well, then look at this research which proves that methane gas is produced in large quantities through the belching and flatulence of ruminating cows. This gas causes a damage which is twenty-two times worse than that caused by carbon dioxide. And the largest population of domestic cows is in India. That is why India should be held equally responsible as America for Climate Change. This was a desperate attempt to somehow prove that Indian cattle are more troublesome than the American lifestyle. Further, American and European scientists also claimed that methane is produced in paddy fields where water is accumulated for paddy culture and therefore all undeveloped, equatorial countries where paddy/rice farming is practiced are also responsible for Climate Change.

In addition, some more scientists entered the this debate. They propounded that the rise and fall in the Earth’s temperature is perfectly natural. Anthropogenic activities and human interference do not have any effect on this. Therefore, the global warming presently happening now is natural. Human interference and Western lifestyle have absolutely nothing to do with this.

Altogether, the developed Western world regarded global warming and Climate Change with a careless attitude and vehemently tried to deny it.

However, soon the blows of Climate Change began to be felt everywhere around the world. It is clear as daylight that cows in India and paddy culture in the Third World have been present for millennia without causing or having caused Climate Change. Evidently, farming for meat (or animal husbandry for meat) of cattle, pigs, chicken, goats, ducks raised on special foods and the resultant deforestation and burning of forests has definitely caused Climate Change. It has now become difficult for the Western world to hide its face. Therefore, some conscientious citizens and at least a few unbiased scientists and government officials among them have started preparing to face Climate Change.

In that too, instead of a change in lifestyle, there was more of an obsession of “Look what all we are doing for the environment” along with the development of an eco-friendly technology and a continued luxurious lifestyle. BRICS and other countries have resolved to carry on their so-called development from behind this façade.

The Climate Change has happened and is still happening. Global Warming is a reality. And their consequences are frightening. This is now very evident. But it would be wrong to say that environmental pollution alone caused it; it’s like a blanket covering the body. The uncomfortable sultry feeling caused by it is superficial. The real malady is different. This is not just sultriness, this is fever and it is not a normal, simple fever but one that has come due to some intrinsic and some extrinsic causes. Even climatologists, scientists, volunteers and activists are uninformed of the biggest reasons for Climate Change or they are not serious about them or they are blatantly ignoring them. Evidently, it is natural for all others to be completely in the dark about this.

I will discuss what measures should be looked at in my next two articles.

Yeshwant Marathe

#Climate_Change #Global_Warming #Climate #Ozone_Layer

(with Technical Inputs from Dr. Ajit Gokhale, Natural Solutions)