Last Monday, October 8, the United Nation's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) came out with a Special Report on what would be needed to keep the earth's temperature from rising above 1.5 degrees Celsius. It contains much that we in India need to address, and urgently, apart from the steps that must be taken by the older industrialised countries, the USA in particular, that have brought us to this stage of crisis in the first place.
But sadly, there is little attention being paid to this report in India. It occupied a few column inches the day after it was released, and since then has virtually disappeared.
Climate change is a mantra our leaders repeat every now and then, usually to assuage the concerns of international bodies, without really acting with determination on policies that we need to put in place here.
This article in the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, with whom I worked for a short period in 1998, shows us that the situation could become even more alarming than what the IPCC has predicted:
As the authors of this thought-provoking piece point out:
"Climate change should not be a divisive political issue. It is an issue of fundamental, data-driven science, an issue of human tragedy, and an issue of planetary ecosystems in peril. But above all, it is an issue we can still do something about."