Melting The Political Glaciers

There couldn't have been a better and more important topic to be chosen for this year's Blog Action Day campaign - Climate Change.

For starters, here is an example of climate change simplified: Glaciers grow when climate cools and shrink when it gets hotter. The World Glacier Monitoring Service collects data annually on glacier retreat and glacier mass balance. From this data, glaciers worldwide have been found to be shrinking significantly, with strong glacier retreats in the 1940s, stable or growing conditions during the 1920s and 1970s, and again retreating from the mid 1980s to present. Mass balance data indicate 17 consecutive years of negative glacier mass balance.

The glaciers are in fact one of the most sensitive indicators of climate change around the world. To put it into context, if glaciers continue to melt at this pace, the water level in our oceans (which some nations term as "THEIR OCEANS") will rise exponentially resulting in submerging of land near the coasts and gradually growing further.

In essence, climate change is not a problem that would be talked around in the semi-urban or rural households of Africa or Asia and that's where the problem lies. If we would have to put the problem in terms of stages of a critical illness where First stage being symptoms, Second being diagnosis, Third being the period when its curable and Fourth being the incurable stage, then we are more than half way through. The symptoms were evident- loud and clear, the diagnosis was rather delayed, and perhaps already in the Third Stage of the illness which is curable period. But for this particular illness, there is one more stage, somewhere between the third and fourth and that’s exactly where we stand- its curable, strings (no, not the super cool pop band from Pakistan, I wish they could have solved this) attached.

The climate change problem has entered a phase where it’s curable but with a lot of precautions and needs an urgency not shown ever before by anyone. Some wrong steps and it will enter the fourth stage without warning - the point of no return.

So the question arises how can we solve it? Now I won't go listing down the number of things that we can and we must do in order to help fight the devil. Instead I would name the culprits who are NOT doing what they should be doing - cooperate.

Remember there was an assembly of some important and powerful world leaders in the steel-turned-green city of USA? The so called 'LEADER'S' statement of G-20 Pittsburgh Summit said the following:

"We will spare no effort to reach agreement in Copenhagen through the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) negotiations."

Do you know where the above commitment was placed in the communiqué? At number 29 out of 31 declarations- that’s where it stands in the priority list of our LEADERS. It might not be as forthcoming as Iran's nuclear bomb (seriously, you people think they can build one?) or North Korea's list of long range missiles (impressive, I tell you), but it definitely deserves univocal commitment, urgency and unrelenting commitment from our REPRESENTATIVES (the leaders actually seems to forget that after elections).

Unless and until the leadership shows their seriousness towards this problem and start a campaign to educate the masses, the masses would not be even aware of the effects and catastrophic situations that awaits them.

Climate change is not a national threat, (No, don't worry, Bush's gone, thank god!), it’s universal. The efforts to tackle this needs to be taken collectively and should be binding, regardless of the clout of a country and its bank balances. We cannot have countries like India and China always in disagreement with the world and US always trying to stamp its authority. There must be a solution and we must learn to cooperate.

As they say- You can run, but you can't hide!