Put climate at the forefront

28 April, 2021 12:00 AM printer

An alarming rise in temperature and severe heat wave has turned out to be a major cause for concern for the people because it is not only causing discomfort but also responsible for spike in various diseases like diarrhoea and heat exhaustion. Amidst the on-going coronavirus pandemic, the rise in the number of patients related to extremely high temperature has certainly exacerbated the situation of affected families as well as healthcare facilities.

Besides, some parts of the country including Jashore, Kushtia and Khulna are experiencing extreme drought which has triggered a crisis of potable water there and hampered agricultural outputs. The temperature has been rising over the last few decades and experts have been repeatedly sounding warnings. Now we are experiencing environmental hazards in its diverse manifestations for not paying adequate attention to those warnings.

Global warming due to uninterrupted rise in carbon dioxide emission and shrinking greenery are the obvious reasons for the unbearable rise in temperature.  If the trend continues, according to a study, venturing outdoors may become deadly by the end of this century across the vast swaths of land in Bangladesh, India and Pakistan as climate change is driving heat and humidity to new extremes. These conditions could affect up to a third of the people living throughout the Indo-Gangetic Plain unless the global community ramps up efforts to rein in climate-warming carbon emissions.

Global warming, which is largely a fallout of human action on the environment, is at the heart of almost all natural calamities. Scientists and environmental activists have been warning us against the looming consequences of excessive carbon dioxide gas in the atmosphere for decades, but governments in most countries have shown a cavalier attitude towards environmental issues.

Now the danger is staring humanity in the face. Apart from the rising temperature, global warming is also causing untimely downpours, floods, tidal surges, and melting in the polar ice caps and Himalayan glaciers which is responsible for constant rise in sea level, for which the low-lying countries like Bangladesh are in grave danger of being submerged.

Whatever happens, temporary discomfort either because of excessive rainfall or heat wave can be accepted, but how the people will cope with unanticipated flood, thunderstorm, cyclone and other natural disasters which are causing death, devastation and untold sufferings?

So, it is high time the government and world leaders put climate at the forefront of their agendas.