Founding Editor: Shafqat Munir   

Global warming: a silent killer 

23 Julie 2010 10:19:31

Global warming: a silent killer

Sohail Rashid

ISLAMABAD: Although Pakistan is not amongst the major emitters of carbon dioxide (CO2) -- the most dangerous among greenhouse gases -- yet it has to face the music being equally affected by global warming. Pakistan is among those five states, which are expected to be greatly affected by ‘the cancer’ of global warming due to continuous emitting of carbon dioxide by its neighbours in the race of becoming the greatest economic power in the region. In the name of industrialisation, these countries are creating problems for Pakistan too because air has no boundaries.

Pakistan was amongst the few countries of the world where four weathers fully bloomed in a calendar year. But in recent years, it has been observed that weathers are disturbed, especially summers are getting prolonged, which is not a healthy sign.

In the past, summer season used to set in almost in the middle of May and ended in August. But now the situation is changing for the worst. For the last couple of years or so, hot weather starts from the mid of the March and ends somewhere in October. This climate change is not a natural shift but it is because of carbon trade, especially with China and India, which has resulted in extreme weather.

This climate change is severely damaging Pakistan’s economy, agriculture and energy sectors. Pakistan’s economy heavily depends upon wheat production that has observed a decline during last two years as compared to the past and it is facing the worst-ever economic recession.

The current energy crisis is another example. Our glaciers are melting fast and water reservoirs are becoming unpredictable; that is why we can’t take the risk of investing on dams and other power projects. Unpredictability of our water reservoirs makes it impossible for us to calculate or predict exactly the rise and fall of water level in them.

All these disastrous changes are also severely affecting the life of a common man. Large portion of our population is deprived of clean drinking water.

On the other hand, we have no plans to stop these disasters. To borrow an analogy we are behaving just like a frog. As various biological studies have shown that if a frog is placed in a container along with water from its own pond, it remains there, utterly still, while the water is slowly heated up. The frog does not react to the gradual increase in temperature, and when the water reaches boiling point, the frog dies, fat and happy.

This climate change is harming our lives in an indecent haste but we do not care. Our government’s apathy is also regrettable as it has taken no proactive or reactive measures to tackle this hitch. But it is not only the government’s job, our collective efforts can also stop the situation from deteriorating further. Though, as common citizens we cannot stop the carbon import from our neighbours but at least we can keep our surroundings clean. Regular tuning of vehicles can also pay dividend in terms of decreased smoke emission.