The summer this year has been unusually hot in Dhaka, with temperature soaring as high as 42 degree Celsius on some of the hottest days in decades. The extreme heat led to a record rise in the sale of air conditioners this year as the people in their increasing numbers are buying ACs to beat the heat. The ACs may cool down the room temperature, but what about the outside environment? What will happen to the environment if every apartment emits greenhouse gases from ACs?
Naturally, increased use of ACs will give further rise to global temperature, and one day it may become impossible to go outside during summer. In fact a recent study has suggested that 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.
People living in urban areas will suffer most due to the rise in heat waves. That is why it is all the more important for city dwellers and city authorities as well to start tree plantations to keep rising temperatures in check. Shortage of space can be the main bottleneck to a successful afforestation drive in Dhaka. But there is still plenty of space on the roadsides to plant trees. Besides, there are a variety of customised plants that can be grown at a corner of a building, in the balcony or on the rooftop.
Trees are considered nature's air conditioners as they absorb a large part of sunlight’s energy. They provide shade to streets and buildings and cool off the heat to a great extent. So, please ignore the fancy commercials of AC manufacturers. Instead, let’s focus on creating a mass movement of planting trees not just in Dhaka, but all over Bangladesh.