Consequences of Climate Change.

 “We have a single mission: to protect and hand on the planet to the next generation”          – Francois Hollande

The activities performed by humans unintentionally are putting The Earth in danger. Overexploitation and overconsumption of natural resources, pollution, and deforestation are causing hazards to our environment. As every action has a reaction: either positive or negative. Our planet Earth has started to react in different ways: Global Warming, Wildfires, Floods, Earthquakes, Land sliding, and Hurricanes. Earth is sending a message to human beings, to start taking care of the resources we are left with.

Long-term changes in temperature and weather patterns are referred to as climate change. The causes of Climate Change are deforestation, pollution, overconsumption, production at a high rate, oil drilling, power plant, dumping wastes, and overfishing. Moving towards the effects of Climate Change, the major consequences are higher temperatures, a rise in droughts, severe storms, loss of species, less food, and health risks. The most recent study from a United Nations climate panel indicates that the negative effects of climate change are intensifying considerably more quickly than scientists anticipated less than ten years ago. Forest fires in Australia and California. Floods in Pakistan and Europe, Landslides in Florida, Fiona hurricanes in Atlantic Canada, and heat waves around the globe are the signs that it is happening already.

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Talking about the floods in Pakistan that originated in June 2022, it is called the deadliest in the world since the South Asian floods in 2017. Pakistan declared a state of emergency on August 25 due to floods.  One-third of the country was under water by August 29, according to Pakistan’s minister of climate change, affecting 33 million people. The flooding is thought to have cost the Pakistani government loss of $40 billion More than 1,600 people died including 555 children. The terrible storms, floods, and landslides brought on by this year’s high monsoon rains in Pakistan have affected roughly 16 million children. Up to 7 million individuals have temporarily moved elsewhere (Unicef, Sept 2022). Sherry Rehman, Pakistan’s climate change minister said “Why should we in Pakistan pay for catastrophic floods we had no part in causing?” because Pakistan is one of the countries most vulnerable to climate change while producing less than 1% of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions.  She also reported that the provinces of Sindh and Balochistan had received 784 percent and 500 percent more rain in August than usual.

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In response to the floods, Imran Khan, former Prime Minister of Pakistan held a television fund-raising event and donated Rs. 500 crores through it for flood relief. Apart from this, Senators, federal cabinet officials, and army officers each donated their one month’s pay to the flood relief fund. The largest telecom and internet service provider in Pakistan, PTCL Group, declared Rs. 1.75 billion donations to help flood victims. Talking about the aid received on an international level, Pakistan received $370 million in relief funding from the World Bank. $10 million was granted by the World Health Organization for immediate health support. Canada provided $5 million in contributions for humanitarian aid to Pakistan on August 29. Canada announced on September 13 that it will increase its contribution to $30 million and provide a $3 million matching fund. China donated $58 million including relief materials like tents and blankets. Prince Rahim Aga Khan donated $10 million to victims of the flood. Frank Bainimarama, the prime minister of Fiji, claimed that Pakistan’s terrible floods were the result of high-emitting nations. This aid is still not enough for re-stability. We urge WHO, UNICEF, United Nations, and the whole world to come together and contribute more to reinstating Pakistan’s infrastructure.

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Fiona, a historic storm for Atlantic Canada, originated from Puerto Rico and hammered coastal towns on Saturday morning, Sept 24 at 3 a.m. The Mayor of New Foundland declared a state of emergency. In Newfoundland, several homes were destroyed or washed away, while others were flooded, the roads were blocked, and residents had to be evacuated. Fiona “certainly left a stamp on the province,” according to Premier of Nova Scotia, Tim Houston, who also described the damage as “heartbreaking.” On Prince Edward Island, wind gusts of up to 150 km/h, about 100 millimeters of rain, damaged and flooded homes and businesses, and at one point, 95% of Maritime Electric customers were without power. After the storm raced over, residents of East Canada are now being urged to stay off the roads and take cover. The devastation was beyond anyone’s imagination.

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Climate change is alarming for all of us as residents of this planet have to come together to help reduce the impacts of climate change. Individuals have to take initiative. Although some organizations like Climate Action Network, C40 Cities, Sierra Club Canada, and Alliance for Climate Education are already working on Climate Crisis.  It is not enough to deal with and manage the rapid speed of Climate change. For saving lives and this planet, people have to work hard together and also assist at the individual level more. Change starts with one person and we can start by recycling, reducing waste, using public transport, and using energy wisely. Taking action is necessary now, or we won’t have another planet left to reside on.

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Dr. Alia Nawaz

Credit with thanks: Photos are taken from the internet and media

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