Climate change is one of the most daunting challenges of our times. It is undoubtedly an existential threat to human survival on the planet. Despite large-scale efforts over the past few decades, awareness on the subject is still limited, and hampered by political, economic, social and cultural considerations.
Former US Vice President Al Gore’s documentary film “An Inconvenient Truth,” released in 2006, was the first major effort by a politician to present to a global audience the calamities of global warming and the need for preventive measures by the entire world.
Every summer, the loss of precious lives to heat waves in some parts of the world offers us a fresh reminder of the looming climate crisis, which is still awaiting an effective response by us all. About 100 people reportedly died from blistering heat in India in the past few days alone, and the deaths of hundreds worldwide every summer go unreported.
Despite sufficient scientific evidence about the risks, climate change and global warming are still subject to political, economic and sociocultural squabbling. The politicization of climate change is an unfortunate reality that must be addressed as a moral obligation. In this context, it is important to evaluate the degree to which time is still on our side; Gore’s documentary told us almost 20 years ago that we were essentially sitting on a ticking time bomb in terms of the urgency of the climate crisis.
Science provides the foundation for climate knowledge and climate action, with all other relevant domains built upon it. It is scientists and climate experts who tell us the truth about the issue and the corrective measures the global community must take to avert a climate catastrophe.
But there is no doubt that without political will at the very highest levels of governments, and social awareness throughout societies, the fight against climate change will lose its meaning. It is time we realized that the issue of climate change should not be treated as science for the sake of science. Instead, it should be viewed as a real, common threat to the entire human race requiring joint, and urgent, global action.
When it comes to addressing climate change, there are certainly reasons to be pessimistic as well as optimistic. But it would be best to adopt a more realistic and pragmatic approach. On the political side, it will be difficult to convey the message of which developments are environmentally friendly and which are not, and which we need to restrict.
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