The end of the COVID-19 pandemic is visible as vaccinations progress in most places across the world, slowly but surely,
You and I must be looking forward to a return to normality and a happy ending as all children’s books end. However as all stories go, this is anything but the end. Humanity has been thrust into a series of struggles in this modern age. As I like to remind myself, it is humanity that needs saving — not life. Life always finds a way. We have to ensure that we are not the architects of our own doom.
Now we face the elephant in the room: the climate emergency, global heating (erstwhile, global warming) is still on. It did not take a break during the pandemic as most of us stopped commuting, travelling long distances and sat home for several months at a stretch. Why? It’s because the energy production and the economy continued to function as it has always been. A system with little incentive to reduce emissions without sweeping tax reforms and regulations to level the playing field.
Leading up to Show Your Stripes Day on 21 June, I took a moment to look at all the places I have lived.
Of the regions highlighted above, France and Kerala (India) have a stark contrast in the temperature anomalies in the past two decades. Naturally, in France owing to heat waves, there has been a wave of climate activism in recent years. I can vouch personally that summers in Kerala have been unbearable and I had to install air-conditioning in my home — something that was avoidable in my childhood. I also recall that during monsoon seasons of 2013 and 2018 triggered low depressions, widespread torrential rains to such an extent that dams had to be opened.
As most climate scientists believe, if the heating continues and more greenhouse gases are dumped into the atmosphere, unabated, then extreme events would become more frequent. I believe that you are aware of all of this. The data is clear. It is hot everywhere.
About the author
Ashwin Vishnu Mohanan, Ph.D. in Fluid mechanics