Syed Haris Nawaz
“Its gigantic stature, and the deformity of its aspect, more hideous than belongs to humanity, instantly informed that it was the wretch, the filthy demon to whom I had given life”. These words showed the obsession of Victor Frankenstein about his own made monster who was ready to killed his creator in the ‘Frankenstein’ _ a gothic novel of Marry Shelly ( a renowned literary figure of English Romantic era). Human beings have bitter experiences with history. Since Agricultural Revolution, they have been harnessed their intellectual, social and political abilities which in turn helped them to gain ascendancy of the planet earth. The historical developments of human beings testify that the latter have always exploited nature at its extreme. More worryingly, after the Scientific Revolution which later triggered Industrial Revolution in Europe in the second half of the eighteenth century, ruined the nature, if say justly, carrying serious consequential repercussions for human race. Don’t humankind on the brink of a complete collapse? Haven’t been humans created a climate monster ? Isn’t the latter going to wipe clean the intellectually superior and socially dominant Sapians from the surface of earth? Industrialisation has been severely unbalanced the natural cycle of our environment. The depletion of natural resources, unmanageable growth in population, the use of chemicals and fuel in factories which increased air and water pollution and the use of fossil fuels are all the principal foes of a balanced nature. Moreover, it is estimated that the earth’s temperature has been increased about 1°C (1.8° F) since the beginning of Industrial Revolution. The impacts of climate change are far-reaching and multi-dimensional. These include higher mortality rates, political instability which will fuel regional and international conflicts, national insecurity, shifting weather patterns and changing ecosystem. Combined with heat waves and droughts, these impacts will drive unprecedented crop failure, food insecurity and intercontinental migration. If humanity want to save the planet from deterioration, these cascading climate impacts must be averted by initiating visionary and long-term efforts. The UN Climate Change Conference ( COP26) is going to be held in the next month, signatory states of the 2015 Paris Agreement for the first time are sensible and ambitious to revise their Nationally Determined Contributions ( NDCs). The Paris Agreement sets the common goal of limiting global temperature by 1.5 °C against 2°C . However, meanwhile, the states are in position to fulfill the commitment they have made. It is estimated that the earth’s temperature will increase to 2°C above pre-industrial level, let alone 1.5°C. The goals set under the Paris Agreement must have achieved genuinely by all low and high income countries, but unfortunately they have all been badly failed to fulfill their pledges until now. Optimistically, at a moment, what is more important is that the highly emitting countries should accelerate their efforts to minimize emissions. For this, massive and large-scale investment to incentivise low-carbon and green technology is indespensible in the current worst-case scenario of ever-increasing temperature. There are significant direct and systematic risks of emissions in terms of societal impact. Apparently, climate change risks are increasing over time, and what might be a small risk in the near term can have an overwhelming impacts in the long term. The states should have harnessed synergy about climate risks assessment and its strategic management. The goals set under the Paris Agreement must have achieved genuinely by all low and high income countries, but unfortunately they have all been badly failed to fulfill their pledges until now. Generally speaking, climate change has wreaked havoc across the globe. It has damaged refined infrastructures, devastated economies, compounded governance issues, shattered livelihoods and etc. However, in the present article I will stick to only three major areas which have been incredibly disturbed by climate change. 1) Labour productivity and health: Chatham House (an international-based think tank headquartered in London) in its recent research journal estimates that in 2019, a potential 302 billion working hours were lost due to temperature increase globally. To put this in context, Covid-19 resulted in about 580 billion lost working hours globally in 2020. Moreover, by the 2030s, more than 400 million people are likely to be exposed to temperatures exceeding the workability threshold. By 2040, 3.9 billion people will experience major heatwaves, 12 times more than the historic average. Furthermore, the scorching heatwaves will no longer be limited to certain areas. Unsurprisingly, it will encompass all communities, and no region will be spared. According to an estimate, by 2040, major heatwaves will be experienced by 50 per cent or more of the population in West, Central, East and Southern Africa, the Middle East, South and Southeast Asia, as well as Central America and Brazil. By 2050, 70 per cent of people in every region will experience heat waves. Moreover, urban areas will be exposed more to the latter than their rural counterparts. To enhance the productivity of the labour force by protecting them from the adverse effects of heatwaves, oriented efforts are required on behalf of the governments and humanitarian organisations to mitigate the looming problem of climate change. 2) Food security: Climate change will be effected agricultural lands’ competency and compatibility, and will reduce crop duration which will surely contribute to escalate food insecurity across the globe. Low middle income countries (LMICs) will be exposed badly to the vulnerabilities of fast-changing climate condition as most of the people in these countries are relying on agriculture for their livelihoods. It is estimated that by 2050, 40 per cent of global cropland area will be exposed to severe droughts for three months or more each year. Food insecurity was cited as being a major driver of cascading climate impacts. It has been argued that animal and plant diseases contributing to disruption of means of sustenance, crop failures, hunger and malnutrition will have serious societal implications. Skyrocketing of food prices, large-scale hoarding of staple food commodities and community-based conflicts will be the possible and predominant scenarios in the near future. Moreover, climate change-induced malnutrition and, in particular, undernutrition are already occurring and will continue, particularly in areas that are currently food insecure across the globle ( IPCC 2018). The IPCC also predicts that climate change will have a ‘substantial negative impact’ on food security issues including: “(1) per capita calorie availability; (2) childhood undernutrition-related child deaths and DALYs lost”. ( DALY is the disability-adjusted life year, it measures the number of years lost due to ill-health and disability or early death). To mount the growing problem of food insecurity, the UN’s adopted Sustainable Development Goal 2 ( SDG2) emphasizes on the importance of food security, sustainable agriculture and zero hunger across the world. In the context of climate change, achieving food security primarily is essential as it carries multiple political and social maladies with itself. 3) Water security: Long droughts are one of the significant environmental threats to premature mortality, increasing malnutrition, and reducing crop yields. In 2020, in China’s Yunnan province, approximately 1.5 million people were affected by severe drought. By 2040, the central estimate indicates almost 700 million people will be exposed to hydrological droughts of at least six months duration. Intermittent heatwaves and increased temperatures place greater stress on the availability of water. According to estimates, by 2040, East and South Asia will be most impacted , with 125 million and 105 million people experiencing prolonged hydrological droughts. Further, contaminated and pathogenic water are causing various health complications including water-borne diseases. Water security should be ensured so that extra pressure on limited health resources in the developing countries would be minimized to some extent, as it has been noted that most of the diseases are caused by unpotable water. In order to allay the aformentioned prevalent mundane problems from further severity, nations should wholeheartedly initiate concerted and strategic efforts at national and international level. Humans must soon lock up the unbridled monster of climate change that has created by the former themselves. Surely, humans will pay a heavy price in offing, if they fail to protect their unbalanced planet

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