Monday January 21, 2019
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Our Children Might Fall into the Black Hole of Ecological Disaster

We should sincerely resolve not to pierce the body of mother earth who is copiously bleeding, helplessly moaning and frequently convulsing.

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Coal Mining, ecological
They do not at all want to “listen” to the “warning” from the ecologists about the danger of the unscientific mining.

By Salil Gewali

When we carefully analyze at how aggressively people want to mine coal in Meghalaya, we get a piece of wisdom, if not anything. The greed for money can literally blind a human being, it here gets quite proved.  We don’t see our own “dark future”. We don’t see the sufferings from potential disaster any longer. We do not realize that our wrong ambition is going to plunge our own children into the black hole of miseries and distress. The recent tragedy of trapping of 15 people, who have reportedly died, is not enough to jolt us. Now some political leaders discreetly murmur, and almost poised to mount pressure upon the center to legalize the “rate hole mining” which is fraught with danger only.  They have enough pretexts and pretensions to defend their ventures, nay their indulgences. They are quick to line up the hungry faces whom they have used all along. They do not at all want to “listen” to the “warning” from the ecologists about the danger of the unscientific mining. 

Coal Mine, ecological
They cautioned us and wanted to “save” the state from the nightmare of an ecological fallout.

True, Jaintia Hills is still surviving, Meghalaya is still breathing, the air of freshness and its beauty is still attracting the tourists to this state. The credit for this goes directly, apart from the Creator, to a handful of intellectuals and media. It is those very conscious people who relentlessly struggled to teach people about the potential danger and ecological damages due to the indiscriminate rate-hole mining.  Their scream finally drew the attention of NGT (National Green Tribunal).

COal Mine, ecological
. It is those very conscious people who relentlessly struggled to teach people about the potential danger and ecological damages due to the indiscriminate rate-hole mining.

  Just imagine what would have happened if those concerned activists were “silent” and we all continued to dig the pits after pits! For instance, if NGT would lift the ban what would probably happen? We would mine the coal more aggressively and more randomly? What would be the consequence after 30 to 50 years then? We would definitely witness the endless environmental disaster.  Thank God this state has produced the right-thinking and courageous people too! Without budging an inch, they stood on their ground to safeguard our state. Frankly speaking, now NGT fears them more than any others. Yes, it is those awakened scholars and social activists who have put their best to awaken us through their articles, organizing awareness campaigns. Should we still criticize them and doubt their integrity? How do you regard a person who “saves” you from the attack of a poisonous snake? Should you not be immensely thankful to him/her? Yes, those conscious people and writers deserve our deep respect and high honors. They cautioned us and wanted to “save” the state from the nightmare of an ecological fallout exactly as a mother lovingly wants to protect her children from the possible danger and sufferings.

Also Read: Firefighters of India Battle Air Pollution In The Country’s Capital

I think it calls for our serious introspection.  First, we need to bury all “holes of differences”. We should sincerely resolve not to pierce the body of mother earth who is copiously bleeding, helplessly moaning and frequently convulsing. Please note her “convulsion” is a great warning. Our progeny should not fall into the trap. Or else, their curses might not let our souls rest in peace.

Salil Gewali is a well-known writer and author of ‘Great minds on India’.  Twitter: @SGewali.

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10 Worst Climate-Linked Disasters of 2018 Caused Damage Worth of $85 Bn

The world's weather is becoming more extreme before our eyes - the only thing that can stop this destructive trend from escalating is a rapid fall in carbon emissions.

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Disasters, climate
Residents walk along destroyed stalls at a public market after Typhoon Mangkhut barreled across Tuguegrao city in Cagayan province, Philippines, Sept. 15, 2018. A British charity says climate-linked disasters caused damage in 2018 measured in tens of billions of dollars. VOA

From floods to extreme heat, 10 of the worst climate-linked disasters in 2018 caused at least $84.8 billion worth of damage, said a study released by the charity Christian Aid on Thursday.

Extreme weather driven by climate change hit every populated continent this year, the British relief organization said, warning urgent action was needed to combat global warming.

“This report shows that for many people, climate change is having devastating impacts on their lives and livelihoods right now,” said Kat Kramer, who heads Christian Aid’s work on climate issues, in a statement.

Pollution, Climate
Clouds of smoke over Europe’s largest lignite power plant in Belchatow, central Poland, on Wednesday, Nov. 28, 2018. VOA

Experts say a warming world will lead to sweltering heatwaves, more extreme rainfall, shrinking harvests and worsening water shortages, causing both monetary losses and human misery.

Almost 200 nations are aiming to limit the rise in average world temperatures under the landmark 2015 Paris Agreement, though some warn progress to meet targets has been slow.

The 20 warmest years on record have been within the last 22 years, the United Nations said last month, with 2018 on track to be the fourth hottest.

The most expensive climate-linked weather events of 2018 were Hurricanes Florence and Michael, which caused at least $32 billion worth of damage as they slammed into the United States, the Caribbean and parts of Central America, the report said.

Climate change, U.S.
Waves from Hurricane Florence pound the Bogue Inlet Pier in Emerald Isle, N.C. VOA

The United States also suffered at least $9 billion of losses from wildfires that caused dozens of deaths and destroyed thousands of homes in California.

Japan was badly hit by severe floods over the summer, followed by the powerful Typhoon Jebi in autumn, which together caused more than $9.3 billion in damages, said the report.

It also cited droughts in Europe, floods in southern India and Typhoon Mangkhut in the Philippines and China among the most expensive climate-linked disasters of 2018.

The report’s authors collated total cost figures using data from sources including governments, banks and insurance firms, though in some cases the figures only covered insured losses and also failed to take account of the human costs of such events.

Climate change, california, economic
Climate Change Fuels California Fires. Flickr

They added that rising temperatures would continue to drive extreme weather events as they urged action to prevent further global warming which would impact the poorest and most vulnerable communities hardest.

Also Read: Countries in Climate Talks Move to Produce a Draft To Combat Climate Change

“The impacts of climate change are no longer subtle,” said Michael Mann, professor of Atmospheric Science at Penn State University, in a statement on the study.

“The world’s weather is becoming more extreme before our eyes – the only thing that can stop this destructive trend from escalating is a rapid fall in carbon emissions.” (VOA)