Climate change is becoming a very hot topic politically. Earlier, it used to be that scientists were only speaking about it, and there would be a lot of doubt in terms of whether this was another theory that can be disproved later, and once can’t really make major changes in lifestyle just because of theory.

Now, theory is actually getting stated as a forecast of the future, and people can actually start to see major changes in climate happening. The forecast among a significant section of the scientific community is unanimous; human activities are causing pollution on an incredible scale in the atmosphere, this is in turn causing global warming with temperatures rising. These rise in temperatures will lead to a direct result in ice shelfs melting, causing a rise in the sea levels that will cause massive inundation of coastal regions everywhere; there will be other changes in climatic patterns affecting rainfall and water availability (due to melting of glaciers and reduction of rainfall); and all these changes are happening over a long timeframe and will also take time to reverse unless we all sit up and take action on an incredible scale.

The major polluters are typically the industrialized countries (US + EU + Japan + Russia + Australia) as well as the fast growing developing countries (China, India). Unless these countries recognize global warming and its effect as a serious problem, this problem is going to get much worse. And the worst sufferers are bound to be the poorer nations, such as Island countries, countries with a large shoreline such as Bangladesh, and nations of Africa that will suffer more drought and poverty.

Countries are starting to talk about taking serious steps (as opposed to half steps such as the Kyoto protocol), but there is an immense amount of resistance to taking the hard steps that are required. For example, for the largest polluter, the US, the Bush administration refuses to accept that big steps are required. Countries such as China and India refuse to take major steps claiming that this is a problem caused by the large per-capita polluting countries such as US and EU, and that they should be allowed to reach the same level of development.

Read this story in Time for a good perspective.

Ashish writes at Musings of a Modern Man

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