The global nature of global warming | Pakistan Today

The global nature of global warming

  • States need direction

We’ve beaten it up and torched it out. Parts of it have been taken and destroyed forever. The rhythmic balance on which natural systems operate has been devoid of their self-sustaining mechanisms through barbaric actions of men. While man claims himself to be the center of the universe, because only he is capable of understanding it, the blazing events have drowned all hopes for the creation of man-made system that could make nature sustainable, or contain the effects of what has become more commonly known as global warming.

The effects of climate change are understood best by exposing a carefully-monitored, highly-sensitive environment to temperatures so high that the self-correcting mechanism are unable to match up to the pace of extraneous variables. In such a situation, the pre-set systems start to function abnormally, which results in erratic weather patterns that have proven to threaten the livelihoods of people, all over the world. To say that weather effects are more adverse for agrarian economies would actually be a gross exaggeration.

Climate change is at the center of much debate, and has recently been making rounds as one of the most potent regimes that governments are trying to incorporate globally. Apart from the multitudes of issues facing this global dominion, climate change is one of the worst man-made calamities that requires rigorous planning, not just at the single state level, but needs to be dealt with, at large. This would ensure that a larger part of the world is more inclusively dealt with and the dire consequences of unchecked human actions are brought down. But where do we start?

Much like the sand that slips from one’s clenched fist the stronger you hold it, global warming is a phenomena with which the world leaders are at odds with. They’ve tried to deny it for decades, understand it for a few decades more, and are now battling with how best to contain it, when the situation has blown out of proportion. With each winter season being the coldest than the previous one, summer months elongating beyond their stipulated time, and weather patterns changing drastically, there is very little that can be predicted at present. The earth is choking on plastic, gasping for air under the thick smoke that engulfs our livelihoods, while evidences for its breakout remain largely unaddressed.

In Pakistan, too, weather patterns have only been worsening. Few days of heat waves have transformed into entire weeks and are becoming increasingly recurring during much longer summer months

The more recent California wildfire, and the pace at which it exacerbated, has highlighted what little control man has on the inferno it unleashes itself. The devastation has killed more than 50 people so far and has been termed as the deadliest in the state’s history. Recent news reports have highlighted that the smoke from these fires has now reached all the way to Chicago via Jet Stream. This ‘moving nature’ is an indication of how steadily the effects can be translated from one region to another, making it more recurring phenomenon. Albeit the reports go on to show that the smoke would obviously not be as thick as in California, but would be hazardous by way of its components. Something as easily overlooked as ‘too dry weather’ has caused this catastrophe, with probably much more to follow.

This shows that the earth is actually too small, and that whatever part of it is used, is actually altered from being a useful resource to one that is lost- and beyond a certain point-unable to replenish itself, thereby disrupting the balance it was maintaining.

During August this year, the Indian state of Kerala was flooded, killing more than 400 people. The Tamil Nadu coast has been warned of a cyclone during the next week and goes on to show that the weather conditions are getting more and more precarious, especially for coastal regions.

In Pakistan, too, weather patterns have only been worsening. Few days of heat waves have transformed into entire weeks and are becoming increasingly recurring during much longer summer months. Winter months are shorter but much colder, however, the effects of the changing environment don’t just end here. The summer of 2018 was the most critical as both of the two major dams in the country had reached below dead level. With the heat drying up the water, the only respite offered was through the above-normal levels of seasonal rainfall and the melting of glaciers. The latter is a calamity in itself and further contributes to problems associated with global warming.

Climate refugees is a thing and the migration of people from Thar towards metropolis like Karachi is a case in point. In an article published in Foreign Policy Magazine, the author shed light on Pakistan being more vulnerable to climate-change problems rather than any security threat. My friend chuckles sadistically when she says that even terrorists don’t lay siege during the merciless summers of Pakistan. Going with this dictum, the two problems can be labelled as seasonal, however, as slogans for construction of dams are raised, concerns of adversarial weather conditions should also be raised.

Crowd funding for this might actually work as well. But we need to look at the bigger picture. The winds know no boundaries and the world is a single homogenous whole. We need a single direction that takes into consideration the global nature of global warming.

Remshay Ahmed

Remshay Ahmed is a Lahore-based freelance journalist and a published author of Foreign Policy of Pakistan (2000-2016): A Game Theory Analysis. She can be reached at [email protected]



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