Climatic Change & Environmental Justice

Is it Ethical to call Climatic Change as Environmental Disaster?

Is it not that Climate Change is borne out of our undesirable expectations from Nature?

One of the greatest shibboleths of modern culture is to be judgemental, judgemental towards all those areas from where we actually learn, those that we sometime revere, and even more so now towards nature. This is what is reflected in our tendency to call any natural event by a name that is reflective of our judgemental psyche towards nature, thus we call monsoons as uncertain, we also call it unpredictable. 

This we do regularly unmindful of the fact that the monsoons are one of the most beautiful phenomena in nature. Rather than to accept the beauty of its variations and splendid phenomena that accompanies it as its characteristic and its character, we assign names that suits suits our mood and convenience of economy and society

Just think of it.  Humans came much later than monsoons in India and since then they have been dependent on monsoons. 

Should the inhabitants of India have the right to call the characteristics of monsoon with a judgemental name. Indeed it is these characteristics of monsoons that have allowed the humans to exist, they have allowed the humans to flourish and to grow. This aspect now is getting getting lesser and lesser appreciation.

Giving names, coining names, assigning perceptions, towing an undimensional line all becomes judgemental. So a natural event, a beautiful event like the breaking of monsoons becomes a hazard, a disaster, spectacles of nature like rains accompanied by thunder and lightning becomes dangerous. Is it nature’s fault that it sheds its beauty, abandon its characteristics that made many poets, and also formed the basis of many scientific researches.

Indeed we are witnessing some tumultous events in our atmosphere, weather and climate whose answers are not exactly known to us.

It has been our choice that  our pursuit of explanations have got  confined to certain perceptions and mono perspective.

Climatic change is one such event that has been linked to what not- Be it Drought, Floods, Cyclones, Arctic blasts all of these events, these Phenomena are now given different names that villainess them.

In this pursuit, are we getting to become too judgemental or are we too wise…

In  climatic change, its causes, impacts and solutions we reflect our judged psyche, and non justifiable nature. Is climatic change a natural event, a natural phenomena or is it not that we have made it a declared disaster.

Whenever we transcend the limit of thinking ourselves as being too logical, too intelligent, toonwise, we do become judgemental particularly towards nature and therefore we do not do justice to nature and natural phenomena. 

This indeed affects humanity as we do not understand our limitations, our strengths, our adaptations, the problems, and the solutions. Even if we seek solutions they become complex, and we lose our sense of lateral thinking to such an extent that the solution is near, solution is simple and we post martem the entire universe to seek justice and its mechanism of effect, as we have been victims.

Even when We start seeking justice, our justice is in a legal framework rather than on natural grounds and natural justice, and this becomes the source for all systems of wrong conclusions.

In this process, We always forget……

“Justice is not in law, justice is all about how we treat each other and our environment”.

Was it not the same monsoons and its characteristics which have allowed the humans to exist, to flourish and to grow, and is not the same monsoon that is seen by the same people  as a menace and who try try to give a name like uncertain, unpredictable to the monsoons….Do we do justice to monsoons by giving the names such as uncertain, unpredictable?

Lets accept it, Most of our problems are related to not being able to do justice to our ability to gain knowledge of nature and its myriad manifestations.

Climatic Change and the response of world is one such event and phenomena.

Seen from that angle Climatic Change has been made a bogey by the IPCC. But if Climatic change is seen through a scientific lense of another and more scientific organisation such as WMO, then it is different from IPCC.

There are always going to be some fluctuations and trends of which there are evidences of such fluctuations or variations. They are variations and trends only.

When these fluctuations follow a particular trend, it is called climatic trend. 

These fluctuations may itself be cyclic in nature to give what is called climatic cycle. 

Over a long period of time climatic fluctuations may be such that a shift in type of climate prevailing over a given area takes place. This change in climate is called climatic change, then is it that everything that we are talking of is climatic change?

Indeed, climate looks like its shifting and one can prove it quantitatively. And, If we are intent to prove it, what is one thing in this world, that we cant prove, wrong or right, and who knows better than the legal luminaries here.

We can also prove God as wrong, we can find all faults with deities and Lord Ram as well, and not to leave even Mahatma Gandhi and his intentions.

But to what extent is it that the name, the concern, and the response associated with climatic change is justiciable and can be dealt within the purview of logical as well as legal framework.

Take a Meteorological perspective.

The Climate has in no period of geological time scale remained static. It has shown the type of changes unimaginable by today’s standard.

The whole of carboniferous was hot and humid, during which the coal formation took place.

During Cretaceous CO2 content in the atmosphere was very high as much as 20%. and

During Permian, the earth experienced ice age.

The Pleistocene ice ages that began 2 million years ago did not finish until 10,000 years ago. Throughout that time, the world’s climate varied widely. At times much of the Northern Hemisphere was covered with ice caps and glaciers. Then a few thousand years later the climates were warmer than they are now. A few thousand years later still the glaciers swept southwards again.

Every 4-7 years the Earth’s temperature sees a fluctuation caused by variation in  the energy output of the Sun itself because of an increase in Sunspot activity. 

Old astronomical records show that the Sun does, indeed, change in size and energy output from time to time. These changes do alter the climate. 

All of those who see through a blinkered vision, ascribe it to Global warming induced by something else.

Take a historical perspective.

Even in historical times climate has not remained the same.

  • When Kedarnath temple in Uttarakhand, India was built, the place was known for rice cultivation, it now shows it in form of palaeochannels, that is the river channels of the past. Then in the Mughal period, it got covered with thick layer of ice that almost  covered it up to 18 meters high, and that is evidenced by striating marks in the temple.
  • The Indus valley civilization used to be experiencing a wet monsoon climate, till the monsoons shifted itself out of this location towards Gangetic valley.
  • Rajasthan used to receive very high amount of rainfall, and had extensive forests in Ranthambhore, till it started becoming warmer and drier.
  • The Sahara has been a site of water body which dried up much more early than it was even thinly populated. Was it climatic change, and if it was, it was always a natural event? On the Tassili Plateau in the middle of the Sahara Desert, there are old rock paintings showing grassland animals.They must have been painted when the local climate was much moister than it is now. Trees still grow nearby. They have immensely long roots which extract water from deep rocks. These trees could not have started growing unless there was water on the surface.
  • Europe suffered a “Little Ice Age” between the 13th and 14th centuries, when climates were very much colder than they are now. In winter, fairs were regularly held on the frozen River Thames, which be impossible nowadays because it does not get that cold enough.
  • The polar regions show signs of warm climate in as far a place like that of Svalbard, and show intermittent spurts of cold wave conditions.
  • More recent changes are due to shorter-term events. Volcanic eruptions can throw up dust and gases such as sulphur dioxide high into the atmosphere. There they can block out sunlight and lower the temperature on the Earth’s surface. A noticeable cooling in the 1960s coincided with increasing volcanic activity across the globe. Pinatubo in Phillipiones and Eyjafjallajökull in Iceland had similar effects.
  • Venice used to get flooded, and is flooded now as well. Auustralia experienced  bush fires and experience it now as well. This has happened before and will keep happening,

This happened despite there were no signs of global warming.

Take a Geopolitical perspective.

Geopolitical perspectives are clearly a case of perception management to mould public opinion and create new markets as well, Where an opinion will be made and propagated the way it suits the maker.

if the bogey of global warming is not raised, then consider these aspects

We all  have been hearing about Climatic changes and Ozone hole since 1984, and was made to understand that we will have a ozone hole that will cover the whole of Australia in 20 years. That 30 year has already passed. Of course making people insecure about ozone hole because of CFCs will make people look for different alternatives for CFCs and then the new CFC will be a new product and a new market and a new source of revenue.

Despite all the issues that surround fossil fuel use and its attendant competition from solar energy and renewable energy lobby, it becomes understandable that the debate of fossil fuels vs solar and other renewables is not simple. Whoever wins this debate enjoys the market.

If people are made to understand that Climatic changes are taking place then only they can be made to understand that they will have to buy new new products, new technologies. Of course they are energy saving and must be so.

The so called climate change, will invite a lot of African countries to fall in line with Western World policies of incorporating them within the ambit of new economic policies and converting them into a new form of neocolonial thinking.

The so called climate change is likely to give Russia some major advantages such as

  • the Siberian permafrost will melt, and the land will become useful for cultivation, albeit may be a small section of land.
  • Most of the regions having a harsh climatic conditions in Siberia will become somewhat congenial to human habitation.
  • The Arctic region will get opened for both oil exploration as well as for sea lane traffic. Islands like Spitsbergen will become habitable.

Take an ethical perspective

Remember Dhanuskodi type of event that took place in 1964. Had it taken place today, it would have been invariably been linked to climate change.

The strongest tropical Cyclone was also in 1964 part from Tip and Patricia

The most powerful Arctic blasts were not only in 2015, but also before.

One of the coldest seasons in the plains was in 1962 when birds kept dropping from their nest in the plains, and when global warming was unheard of.

The highest temperature recorded in Delhi was in 1962 when Delhi was not a concrete jungle and machine jungle with millions of sources to raise temperature as they are now.

Tell us, at which point of time in the history of Earth, the climate was not changing, at which point of time in history of human beings, the climate was not changing…

It will take only one volcanic activity to release 10 times more CO2 then what we have done so far I the last 100 years. 

It will take only one jet stream oscillation to change many things related to rains, intense rains and drought…

We also must understand that Climate change is natural.

It is in the nature of climate to change, since the only constant in nature is CHANGE, Change is what makes the nature as beautiful, change is its beauty, it’s this  beauty to admire. Had the weather conditions been uniform throughout, neither would have been variations, beauty of variations, different moods, different innovations, different poetries or even art forms.

We are bringing some undesirable changes and this is definitely concerning, and needless to say will definitely impact us.

Our thinking and our response to different events and phenomena reflect our concept perpetuating management.

When we try to control floods by shifting floods through constructing of embankments, we think we have controlled it, that’s foolishness.

If we think we are doing everything correct by using solar energy to solve our sustainable energy needs, remember where will we shift the dangerous structures after some time.

And when if we bring helium 3 from Moon to generate fusion energy, won’t will we raise the temperature of the earth. Shifting forms of energy do not prevent heat build up. Laws of Thermodynamics prove it.

How can we guard, which laws will guard, which convention will protect when we build settlements on Kosi river bed and complain that floods affect us, which law will guard us, when we grow rice in desert and complain that water is getting scarce, which law will guard us when we sit on top of volcano and say its warm beneath. 

Its our folly that we deforest, we burn stubble, its our folly that we increase population, we use chemicals and when we knowingly cause destruction and degradation, we do not call that the climate is changing, we call Climatic degradation.

We are causing weather aberrations and it is condemnable and have to get into practice of sustainable practices as early as possible.

We understand if we do not take action now, weather will change,

We also understand we have to take action

If we do not take action, do nothing climate will change

But, Even if we do everything climate will still  change.

We are ironically the products of all that climatic change. Had climate not changed, reptiles would have ruled the earth, had climate not changed there would be no coal, had climate not changed, mammooths would have ruled the world, had climate not changed we would not be seeing its beauty,,,,

Is it not that we are very selfish in raising this bogey of climatic change.

We are a product of such change and this climate change will pave way for other ecosystems to evolve, other creatures to come and inhabit the earth…..

Lets accept it—We do not know nature and its ways, and how does it functions, today we seem that we known it, tomorrow there will be something new in the climate that we will not know. 

It is not ethical to link every event in the atmosphere to Global Warming. Following this hype on climatic change amounts to an intellectual enslavement. 

Imagine Einstein whom we followed wrongly on ether for decades, Imagine Even Hawkins whom we followed for decades to be proven wrong, imagine How the West has proven itself wrong on Ghee as well….Agree, we may not be wrong this time….

But Such intellectual colonisation of our mind gets reflected in drawing wrong conclusions, Our inability to control our logic amounts to our unwillingness to find simple solutions.

And our solutions are simple everywhere- To tackle CO2 we just have to allow rains to take place. It will dissolve CO2 to convert into H2 CO3 in soil or make CaCO3, We just need to allow nature to work.

Our problems lie in not being ethical and 

We do not need laws to be ethical. To be ethical, we do not need laws.

Being ethical first begins with understanding whether we are truthful or are blindly towing a line.

Being ethical means shunning our self interest, respecting our environmental surrounding and that is what civilisation is, that is what justice is.

Can we enact laws for being environmentally ethical, being moral. 

Morality is something that is never judged, it is only felt. We do not need laws where we require only to be ethical.

We can have millions of legal framework to control us from change and protect us from change, We can have thousands of laws, legal aspects, but In order to live, in order to be  sustainable, we need to follow environmental laws not that are man made. 

And these environmental laws….are so simple

One of them is: “Everything is connected (directly or indirectly) to everything else; we are all in it together”.

The Second is, Nature will always correct itself if it veers itself from course, following cybernetics principle.

The Third Law is: “Everything must go somewhere”.

The Fourth Law is: “There is no such thing as a free lunch”.

The fifth is Up till a size, the bigger the better, beyond that size, the beigger the worst, and

The sixth is: “Nature knows best”.


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