Monday, January 2, 2017

Inconvenient Truth - Welcome to Anthropocene Era

2016 A been a big revelation for me in many fronts, from my understanding of social structures, social change process to personal life and more importantly, on Climate Change and where we are.

I am not very good at storytelling, but still my attempt.

My first Fiction story

Intro

There is a happy family. Mom, Dad and 2 kids, a boy and a girl.
Mom is homekeeper.
Dad is a businessman. Power center of the house.
Daughter just started working and the boy is studying college.
There was a wonderful family Friend, who is a doctor.

First signs of Abnormality

Life was all going good. One day, the doctor visits the family and sense something wrong with the Mom. He asks her if her health is good and she says everything is fine. But he do some tests, finds some abnormality, which is never seen before. He communicates the same to the Dad and suggest some minimal change in lifestyle, to thwart and reverse the abnormality.

Business as usual and Cancer

But the Dad took the word of the Doctor seriously and the kids didn't know. They carry on with their usual day to day activities.
On other side, the Doctor starts studying more on this, get other experts involved and find this to be a new type of Cancer, already at 2nd stage.

For those who dont know, sharing my layman understanding of Cancer. It has 4 stages. First 2 are early and are mostly reversible and curable. 3rd is critical stage and nothing much could be done, apart from Miracle. 4th stage is counting the days towards the inevitable.

After this finding, the Doc visits the family again, tells the Dad about new type of Cancer and prescribes various measures to reverse the disease. The kids are still not informed. The Dad want to implement the prescription, change in life style, but he is so caught up with his job, `so called` commitments and responsibilities and didn't do anything about the cancer.

Advanced to 3rd Stage :-(

As no action has been taken, the cancer developed to critical stage. HOPELESS. The doctors brings in other experts to meet Dad and they scream at dad for letting this happen and insist him to take IMMEDIATE ACTION and pray to god. They also tells that mom got not much time but only 3 months. The dad feels very sorry, initiates discussion with his relatives and neighbours to help him take care of Mom. They all make plan to implement the treatments prescribed by Doctor.

But you know what? The Dad still couldn't break his day to day affairs, the lock of employment, which feeds the family and didn't do much about it.

Meanwhile, the Mom suffers and starts showing symptoms. The kids could now recognize something wrong but dont know exactly what. They could see the suffering and but dont know what to do.

Advanced to 4th Stage!

Yes. The dad let this happen, as he was still caught up with hectic jobs. Docs say the mom got only 1 month from now. The Daughter, a little brainy, started researching on her own and found the reality. She was totally shocked and hates her Dad for letting this happen to her mom. The college boy still didn't understand anything. He could see the suffering of his mom, but still not aware of actual reality. He care less to put time in understanding the problems of his mom and enjoys his college life.

Current Stage

  1. The Doctor is now counting the days of the mom (30 days), still trying to persuade Dad to implement necessary changes and hoping for some Miracle to happen.
  2. Dad is still occupied with his work, which feeds the whole family and keep everything going.
  3. The daughter is depressed, powerless to do anything about it. Lost in her own life. Still learning more about the problem, connecting with experts to find SOME solution.
  4. The Son still didn't get any clue on what's really happening.  Occupied with his college life.

A seriously messed up family!

Back to reality from the Fiction

The above is the state of our current world. Let me replace the fictitious roles with real facts.

Roles

  1. Mom -> Mother Earth
  2. Dad -> Politicians, Bureaucrats and Businessman
  3. Daughter -> Environmental activists
  4. Son -> General Public
  5. Doctor -> Scientific Community

First signs of Abnormality

Scientists declared post Industrial human activities is causing huge CO2 emissions, which will lead to
  1. Ocean Acidification
  2. Rise in Global Temperature
  3. Decline of glaciers (melting and running into Oceans)
  4. Mass extinction of species.
Scientific community advices Politicians to take action and switch to clean energy and various precautionary measures.

Unfortunately, the current generation is not even aware that they are sitting in a Time bomb

Business as usual and Cancer

But Politicians around the world never listened to Scientific community and carry on business as usual.

Meanwhile, more studies kept propping from scientists all over the globe, From US, UK, Russia, to Japan and everywhere. Most of the scientific communities agree on Human induced climate change and the Mass extinction phase that is about to follow.

Some facts
  1. Global sea level rose about 17 centimeters in the last century. The rate in the last decade, however, is nearly double that of the last century.
  2. The acidity of surface ocean waters has increased by about 30 percent.
  3. We already crossed 1 degree above pre industrial levels and the rate is accelerating.
  4. Hell will break lose, if we cross 2 degrees.
  5. At our current rate, we are set to cross 4 degree by 2100!
But the scientists are not heard by those in power (Politicians and Corporates)


Advanced to 3rd Stage :-(

  1. Last 2 decades has seen worst floods and climate events, that we ever seen.
  2. Each year setting record of Hottest temperatures ever, since the measurements started happening in early 1880s.
1995, Berlin, Germany

United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC)'s first meet (Conference of Parties, COP 1) happened where countries came forward and pledged to take action on Climate Change.

Then every year COP meet happens across different countries, with more and more countries joining in.

1997, Kyoto, Japan
A Landmark agreement was made, which is still in effect. Many developed nations started switching to Green energy and environment friendly practises. But still it's noway near to addressing the actual problem.

To visually see the impact of Climate Change
http://climate.nasa.gov/images-of-change?id=591#591-older-thicker-arctic-sea-ice-declines

The cancer of Climate Change keeps accelerating.

Advanced to 4th Stage!

Never seen before Cyclones, Floods are happening across the globe. Scientists have already plotted, which city will submerge when, at

  1. Current rate of 4-5 degree by 2100.
  2. The UN's goal of maintaining @ 2 degree by 2100.
Sea water entering Mumbai in 2034 +/- 5 years, if no immediate action has been taken.
  1. US's NOAA has made a online tool, to interactively see which cities are getting sub merged when.
  2. Coral reefs, which is at the bottom layer of Food Pyramid in marine ecosystem is getting weeded out. Great barrier Reef is severely getting shrinked.
  3. In 2008, the polar bear became the first animal to be added to the Endangered Species Act list of threatened species because of global warming
  4. 2016 - Hottest year of record with 1.2 degrees above pre industrial levels. 2017 is gonna beat it.
  5. At current rate, Sea level could rise as high as 21 feet in next century (That's almost 2 floors of rise of Ocean across the globe)
  6. Tornado clusters, are becoming more common as the warming planet causes shifts in weather patterns across the U.S.  New research showed that the number of tornadoes per outbreak is increasing, and the chance of outbreaks has increased 4-fold.
  7. and much more
Mass Extinction!

2015 Paris Climate Change Agreement and the End of the story

For the first time in History, Presidents and Prime Ministers from 196 countries met in Paris in Dec, 2015 (same time as Chennai floods) and agreed to keep the temperature rise below 2 degrees. But remember the story? The dad always agrees to take action!

Hence the story ends.
  1. The scientific community (Doctor) is screaming out load
  2. Political and Business class (Dad) is busy with their own state of affairs (US Election, Demonetization in India)
  3. The environmental activists (Daughter) are depressed.
  4. The public (College boy) is still unaware.
  5. and The Mom (Mother Earth) is suffering.
I wanted to touch up on many other topics for this 2017 post, especially Action items for my friends and social workers circle, covering following:
  1. Job - Modern form of Slavery
  2. Blind, mindless consumerism and the cure, Minimalism
  3. Social Illusions
  4. Permaculture
But Climate Change took over everything. Guess these topics need to wait for another post!

2017 for me

I read many articles and saw almost all documentaries on Climate Change from `Chasing Ice` to `Before the floods`, featuring Dicarpio, Pope, Obama, Elon, Ban Ki Moon and many other.

But found very little local content (Chennai / India). This year, I will be exploring on local initiatives and connect with local experts and gather local data.

Apart from delivering Social Impacting Software products from my brand new IT Startup, Gethu Games, I will be learning more on what role I could play in Climate Change action. My current dream idea is to make addictive Game, that will also educate player on Climate Change and Individual action. But development of the game need to wait for another year, till we stabilize the awesome product that we started now, Grassroots.

Root Cause

1812: 1 billion
1912: 1.5 billion
2012: 7 billion

Don't u see a problem?
Now?




In the words of Smith



Source / Links
Been bookmarking most articles I read about Climate Change @
https://papaly.com/saiy2k/0v0X5/Environment
among with other Environment articles.

Will move Climate Change related links to its own new board @
in upcoming months.

Ref:

  1. http://climate.nasa.gov/evidence/ - NASA Site
  2. https://www.epa.gov/ - US Environmental Protection Agency