Some Frequently encountered questions and challenges

Climate Change, being a complex and global phenomenon, often gives rise to several questions and queries in our minds. Here, we briefly answer the commonly encountered questions with respect to several aspects like climate change impacts, mitigation and adaption.

 

Are GHG dangerous like visible particulate pollutants? If No – Why Worry?

GHG actually play a key role in maintaining the earth temperature to a comfortable 15°C by trapping the right amount of heat from escaping out. But excess GHG concentration can trap more heat than required and cause Global Warming. Challenge is to balance the right amount of GHG in the atmosphere.

 

Is Global Warming really aggravated by human activities?

Natural warming and cooling of the earth can happen by natural causes such as Sun spot activities, El Nino weather effects or major volcanic eruptions. But warming happening over past 100-150 years is due to human industrial activities in pursuit of unbridled economic aspirations. The rate of change now is too fast for Nature to absorb and self-adjust. Challenge is to balance consumption with real swhen iustainable progress.

 

What is the harm with Business-as-Usual and finding solutions as problems arise?

Global warming is a very slow and cumulative process without any visible signs. Effects become visible when it is too late to reverse the effects. Nature’s forces are too large for human control. Challenge is to recognise the dangers before crossing ‘Climate Tipping Points’ (CTP)

 

What is the relevance of 1.5°C or 2°C rise in average temperature?

Extensive study and research by UN-IPCC had concluded that warming beyond 2°C can have serious destabilising effects on many nations and possibly risk going beyond the climate tipping points when self-regenerative feedback loops can accelerate further warming. New evidence indicates that even 1.5°C can bring forward certain CTPs.

 

How bad can things get if no urgent done worldwide?

It now seems evident that most warmings by Scientific community have been rather conservative (to avoid negative public reactions) and many climate changes are actually happening more rapidly than expected – like melting of poplar ice, cyclones getting more violent, changes in upper-air jet-streams causing unprecedented weather events and long- lasting drought etc, Challenge will be to preserve the earth ecosystem for future generations.

 

Why there is so little co-ordinated action to something so critical to human welfare?

Serious mitigation of global warming requires rapid reduction of fossil fuel burning – which would upset the coal and oil industry giant companies – the richest corporate lords. Hence, they deny global warming and exert political influence against any climate action. Challenge will be to create people’s momentum to demand climate action.

 

What would be the cost of desired action in next 10 years – and the cost of No Action after 10 years?

Until about 2014-15 there was no option to fossil-fuel energy to support rapid economlc progress and any economic slow-down would mean los of Trillion Dollars. But now alternative clean Renewable Energy options are becoming market competitive and climate change impacts are getting more visible. Further delay may cause many times more loss of business, property and human life. Challenge is to act now!

 

Can Technology help arrest Global Warming and prevent Climate Change?

The answer is a qualified yes because Carbon Capture and storage technology is improving but not yet successful at the scales required. Some other technology options are emerging but yes to mature. If we can slow down global warming for next 4-5 decades, we could avoid crossing tipping points of global warming and as technology options get mature, a more sustainable low-carbon economy can be established for future generations.

 

Can Renewable Energy (RE) really replace Fossil fuels in next 10-12 years? What will be the Challenges?

Again, the answer is qualified Yes. Because large scale RE technology adoption and ending fossil-fuel dependence will require within a decade will require major coordinated policy decisions and public acceptance of low-carbon economic model. So challenges are global In dimension and requiring political will based on astute understanding.

 

Can most major countries fulfil their Nationally Determined Commitments (NDCs)?

Very unlikely because the pace of change will require very tough political decisions – like punitive carbon-tax even if it causes some economic slow-down. Further, even if all NDC were achieved to 90% success it would still risk crossing multiple ‘Climate Tipping Points’ (CTP). Challenge is to push the pace beyond NDC commitments.

 

Why major cities of the world must take lead in achieving Carbon Neutrality?

Globally about 60% of the world population will live in urban centres causing 70% of Carbon emissions. Hence Cities, including Indian cities like Pune must take leadership for achieving ‘Net Carbon Neutral’ status at the earliest and set an example for others. Challenge is to energise pro-active actions in few cities to showcase how it can be done.

 

Why shift to ‘Low-Carbon’ lifestyle / economy is so important for our future?

The present economic model for un-satiable hunger for energy is not sustainable for the growing population approaching 10 Million. Increasing exploitation of Earth resources and loss of bio-diversity must be checked with a more modest life-style for a sustainable future for the future generations. Challenge is to focus on long term and nor get mis-guided with short term gains at the cost of the environment.


MORE INFORMATION

Climate Collective Outreach Event on Energy and Water Conservation

CCP organized an event in collaboration with Aundh Baner Balewadi Pashan Vikas Manch (ABBPVM) and the Dnyansagar Institute of Management & Research (DIMR), Baner on Sunday 16th December 2018 at DIMR Hall. The event was chaired by Prof Amitav Mallik, Hon Trustee, PIC and leading Member, Climate Collective Pune.
The main themes were –
1. Energy Conservation & Role of Renewable Energy By Mr Arvind Karandikar, Founder CEO, Nexus Energy-Tech Pvt Ltd and well known Solar Energy Consultant
2. Water Conservation – What Individuals Can Do By Mr Ravindra Sinha, Co-founder of Mission Groundwater and Water Conservation Activist

Read more    Published on 28th December 2018