Author – Levine Lawrence
It is said that the ‘weather’ is the most talked about topic across the world. We all invariably end up talking about today’s climate; but this time the heat wave is so massive that we all talk about it everyday. Yesterday, while talking about the unbearable heat, my friend said he got a power bill of Rs.5,000 this month. I said there could be a billing error, but he clarified that the bill was obvious since he has three ACs at home!
I was shocked to know that a couple living in a two bedroom house have three ACs. Why such a wastage? I wondered why the well educated people like us waste energy to such an extent that it becomes a burden on the nation, which is already facing a power crisis. While the heat wave is killing the hapless underprivileged out in the sun slogging it out, we enjoy our comforts without realising that our comfortable lifestyle is the reason that caused the heat wave in the first place! Let me explain.
In the midst of the scorching heat wave, does anyone remember the strange rains that we experienced during last winter? I can’t remember any other year when most parts of India experienced rains during winter. This was caused by a strange phenomenon called “Western Disturbance”, which is an extra-tropical storm that originates in the Mediterranean region. Do you wonder if there is any connection to the heat wave and global warming, the western disturbance and the El Nino effect that is harming our monsoon season?
Global Warming Conspiracy Theory?
According to the weather scientists, all these weather fluctuations are being caused by ‘Global Warming’. Despite years of debate and evidences, many refused to believe that such a phenomenon is happening. Lets forget about all the evidences and counter-arguments and take only two points to consideration –
The law of conservation of energy – The Industrial Revolution is built on the power of our machines and the fuel that powers them. Today’s rapidly evolving and competitive global economy is built on industrial growth. For this ever increasing pace of growth, enormous amount of energy is utilised mainly from fossil fuels. Since the 1750s, we have utilised billions of tons of coal, petroleum and natural gas to power our rapid industrial growth. According to the law of conservation of energy, energy can only be transformed from one form to the other. So, all the carbon dioxide from burning fossil fuels cannot have disappeared from Earth, right?
Mitigation strategy for non-manmade climate change – Another convenient assumption is that global warming has not been caused by human activities but by natural causes. Thanks atleast for admitting that the greenhouse effect is happening in the face of overwhelming evidence. In fact, recently multinational oil companies have shocked the world by suggesting an imposition of carbon tax. Now the question is, shall we look for ways to mitigate the humongous problem by reducing our carbon emissions or shall we continue the debate until it is too late?
In every field of economy, human society has strived to innovate the best technology available and move to the next solution. Then why are we stuck with dirty coal? Simple question, Delhi government has done its best to create the best infrastructure for the city in terms of metro rail and CNG buses for transport, tree covered parks and wide roads, etc. Despite all these efforts, the pollution smog in Delhi is making international headlines. Why? Pollution from large coal thermal power plants in the heart of the city!
Economical ways for an Eco-friendly living
There are numerous ways we can help our environment by adopting tiny Eco-friendly habits. It can be simple things like switching to LED bulbs to carrying a cloth bag for shopping to using your own coffee mug at office. Thankfully, current trends indicate that the tide is turning towards an Eco-friendly lifestyle and less energy intensive activities.
Subsidy Driven Alternative Energy Myth
Today, alternative energy sources such as solar power and wind are becoming mainstream with even government offices and private homes using them. These renewable power sources have become so cheap, that they are now feasible without government subsidy. The year 2016 will be the turning point when solar power will be able to reach grid parity with conventional coal power plants! There are even solar powered air conditioners available in the market today for those who are ready to pay a little more for their comfort.
Have you heard of the Solar Impulse 2? That flimsy flight of fantasy of a solar powered plane flying across the world… That shows the power of human ingenuity will triumph over the murky politics of carbon trading and emissions mitigation.