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- Padma Shri Laila Tyabji pens her thoughts on Bapu's legacy By Padma Shri Laila Tyabji - 10 Oct 2020
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- ज़िंदगी खूबसूरत है !! By Dr. Nalanda Pandey - 08 Jul 2020
- Bookmarking an Intellectual banter By Ms. Shefali Thapliyal - 10 Jul 2020
- In a reproductive Biology class. By Mrs. Richa Joshi Pant - 29 Jun 2020
- A future for us to keep By Shubhika and Vidushi - 04 Jun 2020
A future for us to keep
By Shubhika and Vidushi Thursday, Jun 04, 2020
Xổ số miền bắc hôm quaEveryone knows about global warming. They might deny its existence (looking at you Donald), but everyone is fairly familiar with the concept - the temperature is increasing and it's because of pollution caused by us.
Since the temperature is increasing, one would expect oceans to warm up as well. We all hear about the icebergs melting, and the devastation it's causing to the ecosystems in those areas, with the habitats of Polar animals in grave danger.
Xổ số miền bắc hôm quaBut this is not uniform. In some parts of the Southern Ocean, waters are cooling instead of warming - forming layers of sea ice. Why you may ask? So did Craig Rye, a postdoc in the group of Cecil, and Ida Green Professor of Oceanography John Marshall, within MIT’s Department of Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences. On previous research by Marshall and another colleague in 2016, they'd blamed the increased strength of the westerly winds due to the expansion of the Antartic ozone hole, blowing cold wind northwards from the continent, but they now suspect that meltwater from the icebergs is what's cooling the Antarctic Ocean in some areas. This however, is not a positive development - temperature change wreaks havoc in many marine ecosystems, whether it be an increase or a decrease.
Of course, homo sapiens wreaking havoc in ecosystems in general is by no means a new development. Ever since we evolved too fast for our predators to catch up with us and develop more hunting skills, and since we discovered sea voyage and travelled to Australia (making all the previous mega-species extinct, except the spiders of course, completely destroying the food system of an entire continent) we've been killing off animals like nobody's business. Them dying due to climate change too is only a recent upgrade to our destruction methods.
In fact, we have surpassed any natural phenomena (volcanic eruptions, meteorites) in making species meet their doomsday. The sixth wave of extinction is caused entirely by humans and will potentially affect 89,975 species. Scientists estimate that 150-200 species of birds and insect go extinct every hour. The only major thing that's changed, really, is the number of species we're killing, and that now we're aware of it. We know we're killing these animals and destroying their ecosystems as well as ours, we know that by 2070 a third of our planet will become uninhabitable, and there will be water shortages, already happening in some places, and we will have an unimaginable reality, yet most choose to ignore it. (Then again, people knew that a respiratory virus like COVID-19 was coming too, and look what we did about that.)
Still, in light of the recent restrictions, we have seen major changes in the environment. The air is actually breathable, we can actually see stars now, and you don't have to squint to spot mountains that are 200 kilometres away. But is this temporary?
Once life gets back to normal (or as normal as it can, what with the 315,000 and counting death toll weighing on us, not to mention several other avoidable deaths due to starvation, unavailability of medical facilities, lack of shelter, which have remained largely unaddressed in our country - of course, why would they be addressed, the Hindu middle class is happy isn't it), countries will be likely to increase production in factories, more than normal, just to boost up their lowering economies, and clear out more vegetation (deemed necessary in the heated race for building more housing for more consumers, and more factories to make more products for those consumers, and more housing for the children of those consumers, and… ah, capitalism, don't you just love it?) which will not only reverse the situation back to what it was, but may even worsen it and bring about our own doom upon us even faster than predicted. Labour laws will likely be lightened as well, as more manpower will be needed and you can't get that after such a financial shock unless the minimum wage is lowered and work hours increased.
In the end we're left two scenarios - the one mentioned above, and another more optimistic one, one that Bill Gates believes will happen - that policymakers will realize that it's not the best idea to assume the worst will never happen, and to prepare themselves. Due to the current situation, many institutions have been introduced to technology and software allowing employees to work remotely. Maybe this is an option that can be popularized, which would greatly reduce emissions due to daily commute. The people may realize their responsibility in this matter, and pressure government's into moving towards zero-emissions. Perhaps this dystopian situation will prevent another.
Xổ số miền bắc hôm quaWhat do you think? Repairing the economy, as well as providing jobs and incomes to those who have been affected worst by this lockdown or repairing the environment, saving not just our lives, but those of several millions of species who have been suffering unfairly the brunt of our greedy actions?
-Shubhika and Vidushi