Planet: Save me, and I will save you

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By
University of Tasmania
Vandana Bhagat, PhD Candidate, Centre for Rural Health
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Much work has been recently done on climate change. We observe that there is a drastic change in climate throughout the world with everlasting effects on the ecosystem and human health.  The rapid growth and development in science and technology brought the whole world together, and sincere efforts are being made by governments to control the natural calamities and disasters caused due to climate change.

The eternal truth is that nature took billions of years to develop this universe including our solar family. The detailed studies reveal that our earth is an exception to date in the whole universe where life exists. Nature has gifted us with all necessities of life for our survival – pure water, air, fire, food – but we left no stone unturned to spoil all the essence with our unacceptable deeds.

Earlier it was thought that the effects of greenhouse gas emission by solar and volcanic activities cause climate change, but now there is evidence that the warming observed in climate is also due to human activity. We know that all seven continents suffer from drastic climate change. The climate change of one continent affected the climate of other continents and vice versa. The frequent excessive rain or drought, cyclones, melting of ice and snow throughout the world, particularly in the Himalayas and Antarctica, shrinking of glaciers, and the rise of ocean water levels are the symptoms of disasters to come.

The first and foremost cause of climate change is the rapid growth of population throughout the world, particularly in developing countries. We know that most metropolitan cities are developed either in the coastal zones or alongside river valleys due to water availability. All the garbage and industrial waste of these cities are thrown in the oceans and rivers, thus polluting the water and making it unfit for drinking. Underground levels of water, which is mainly used for agriculture purposes and other needs of daily life, is also being affected. The level of water has gone down to an intolerable depth which may cause havoc by making agricultural land barren.

The second important cause of climate change is drastically cutting down the forest to settle the increasing population. We know that forest is the main source of oxygen, fuel, and the habitats of many animals, but is also helpful in stopping floods. The decreasing areas of forest affect the ecosystem enormously. We know that forest is the lifeline of climate and ecosystem. We must pay full attention to the conservation and preservation of the forest.

The third main threat to climate change is due to nuclear testing. During a nuclear explosion, tremendous heat and dangerous radioactive rays are produced which affect the climate covering layer, areas of land, water, and air. We know that weather change is a seasonal event, and it affects the environment and ecosystem to some extent. Various diseases caused due to weather change are limited and curable, but the effect of climate change is widely disturbing the ecosystem to a large extent and causing many diseases to spread as epidemics throughout the world.

Currently, we have witnessed the spread of coronavirus which has claimed many lives. Bushfires in Australia have attracted the attention of the whole world which has caused considerable losses to the ecosystem. Climate change always goes hand in hand with health. If we are sincere to know the co-relation of climate change over health, we need to see the health of our planet earth. This can be well understood by the vast studies of water, air, fire, and soil. The health of our planet earth is deteriorating day by day. Now the responsibility is on the shoulder of our world leaders – what to do and how to do it. We know that the existence of our civilisation depends on the ultimate health of our planet earth.

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