Need to go beyond vehicular emissions
In an interview with The Guardian recently, one the world’s most eminent climate scientists Michael Mann said: “The impacts of climate change are no longer subtle…. We literally would not have seen these extremes in the absence of climate change” . While it is reassuring for climate scientists to see their predictions coming true, Mr Mann, the director of the Earth System Science Center at Pennsylvania State University added, “… as a citizen of planet Earth, it is very distressing to see that as it means we have not taken the necessary action.” The effects of this inaction are visible across the world. In India, in a span of two months, we have seen the severe impacts of extreme weather events: Higherthan-normal rains devastated southern India, and now it’s northern India that is facing the same challenge. In other parts of the world, Hurricane Florence flattened the Carolinas in the US and Super Typhoon Mangkhut did the same to parts of the Philippines.
One of the fundamental components of building this much-needed resilience is to mainstream the climate conversation, which unfortunately still remains an elite topic in India (though poorer sections will be hit much harder). So instead of only thinking about vehicular emission, green cars, and carbon footprint, there needs to be a conversation happening around better and equitable management of water and waste and building resilience of our cities and villages.