Climate Change
    Date :12-Aug-2021

climate change_1 &nb
At some point or other, the growth cycle has to stop and corporations to countries must face the reality. Instead of growth, it should level off and activity should stabilise, although at a high level. This would be compatible with climate. 
INTER-GOVERNMENTAL Panel on Climate Change — better known by its short acronym, IPCC — has raised a red alert on the grievous situation of Earth’s climate. The IPCC’s sixth report, released by the UN on Monday, clearly pointed out that the Earth is warming up faster than earlier estimated and the string of extraordinary climate events happening across the world are all related to man-made changes in climate. The kind of drastic cuts required to achieve zero net emissions mightn’t be possible now or even by 2050. A reading of the report smacks of determinism. Evaluation of the data and charts seem to indicate that it would be nearly impossible to control green house gas emissions to levels required to stay the current rate of temperature rise. This will call for resetting the entire economic model from the present orientation to growth. Instead of trying to have an ever growing cycle of economic growth, mankind must target a growth asymptote.
That is, at lease for the developed countries, the objectives should be to maintain the current level of activity and hit a stable state economy rather than an ever growing paradigm. This could be an extremely difficult mental adjustment. After the second world war, when the principal concern for macro-economics shifted from climbing out of a deep recession through macro-economic expansionist policy, the principal objective became attaining optimal growth. This was exemplified by the Harrod-Domar kind of growth models which showed that an economy must keep growing. Without growth it will shrink. This was the well-known “knife edge problem.” Today, the virtuous cycle is upwardly spiralling. Companies must report higher earnings, higher turnover, higher profits and so on. Higher every year. Countries should also record growth. Even the growth rate must keep growing. This is absurd and cannot go on. At some point or other, the growth cycle has to stop and corporations to countries must face the reality. Instead of growth, it should level off and activity should stabilise, although at a high level.
This would be compatible with climate. With its population bulge and economic activity, we have now reached a stage where an adjustment would be inevitable: A resetting of economic activity such that we do not drastically raise temperature above the pre-industrial age. The touch stone, therefore, for assessing the ill-effects of the rise of emission of CO2 and fossil fuels is how much Earth’s temperature is rising above the pre-industrial levels. Large scale industrialisation and a way of life based on burning fossil fuels like petrol, diesel, coal, and also of even more damaging gases like methane, were contributing to heat trapping in the Earth’s atmosphere. The overall impact is a rise in average temperature of the Earth. Use of fossil fuels and emissions are tilting the critical and sensitive balance and spread of temperatures from the polar regions to tropics and in the oceans surfaces. The critical threshold has been set at 1.5 degrees above the pre-industrial level. Temperature rising close upto that point and then above would be disastrous and the Earth would get trapped in ever rising temperatures making life on Earth impossible. The emission of green-house gases is resulting in faster changes in average temperature and this is disturbing the delicate balance in weather from breaking up of arctic ice-sheets to changes in surface temperature of seas and oceans, different directions in sea-currents (thereby circulation of cold and warm waters on late seas surfaces), torrential rains and floods.
The superior computing powers of today’s climate scientists and computers have convincingly shown that the warming up of Earth’s atmosphere has taken on a faster clip. Thus of a rise in temperature by 1.5% by 2050, the tipping point might come earlier. The faster warming up means also a consequential pump of the rate of rise. Thus, the temperature rise could assume as much as 2.5% to 3.5% above pre-industrial levels and higher. These would be temperatures at which human life and that of the Earth’s eco-system could be altogether changed from what was seen for millions of years. Every fraction of an increase has its impact, IPCC has pointed out. The best scenario would be if the world cuts emission to a level that temperature increase falls below the threshold of 1.5 degrees. The lower could be this ceiling, the faster the Earth can start cooling and thus the adverse consequences could be avoided. The finding is that the world has rapidly warmed by 1.1 degree above the pre-industrial average already and this had to be checked immediately as there was “no window left for a future date for action.”
The action must be taken here and now, emphasised the UN Secretary General. IPCC experts have linked he extreme climate events of the current year, from massive wild fires in California in the USA, to those currently blazing in Turkish mountains, North American heat dome, to massive flooding in Germany and Belgium, rising ocean levels which are threatening Pacific Ocean islands, record rainfall in central China all to rising temperature caused by CO2 emissions and heat trapping. A head of State level meeting on climate change is slated be held sometime later in the year. The publication of the IPCC report is a clarion call for action to be considered by the country heads. Some experts have urged a complete shift from use of coal — a fuel mankind has known for the better part of last ten thousand years. Coal is one of the worst polluters and contributes most to faster warming up. However, eating habits also are contributory factors. Meat consumption, particularly, beef, has multiple impact and one of the most deleterious. Beef production calls for huge use of fodders and grazing, part from burping of cows which gives out methane. Greatest concern is the consumerist life style of the West which has become synonymous with development and prosperity. Individualised transportation, using petrol, contributes a lot towards emission of carbon dioxide. Transportation industry, moving goods across continents, is no less polluting. Shipping industry is one of the contributing factors to pollution and new modes are being sought for controlling their emissions. (IPA)