Global warming and climate change, two words that have become synonymous with our existence today- yet no one is quite yet ready to own up to the facts and act on them. The last decade has seen a horrendous change in the climate patterns of the globe, with seasons being delayed or extended-lasting, extreme temperatures, melting glaciers, excessive or too little rainfall, rising ocean levels, a continuously eroding ozone layer, fast vanishing forest covers, extinction of species and new ones being added to the endangered list almost every month.
Many countries are now becoming aware of the havoc that climate change is wreaking on the ecosystem. However, almost none have made any efforts that have affected the damage caused substantially. Interestingly, most of the nations that push for eco-friendly substitutes are often the developed ones; they can easily splurge for higher-cost alternatives to natural sources of energy. The lesser developed economies now face increasing pressure from the rest of the nations to cut down on their carbon footprint and contribute to a greener way of living. While the solution seems feasible at first glance, it just does not work out quite that easily for poorer economies which cannot afford to invest in state of the art technology to reduce carbon emissions and reduce their dependency on non-renewable natural resources. Thus today global warming and climate change have not only become a burning ecological issue but have imbibed quite a lot of socio-political struggles as well.
The main reason why the problem persists is due to the reluctance shown by countries in actually initiating a change. Everyone is waiting for the next person to teach and lead the way. For instance, taking the latest concern regarding carbon footprint, the US put forth an agenda that asked developing economies like China and India to take measures to reduce their emissions. However, both countries seemed extremely skeptical and were probably right in their reasoning. The worst part about this entire issue is that normal people seem to not show an active interest in protecting the ecology. Admittedly bigger exposure is provided by all these global summits; however, a lot of damage is wreaked by people at the very grass root levels. For instance, we have illegal felling and logging of trees for fuel, then arises the problem of clearing out virgin forests to make way for agricultural land, not to mention the worsening air conditions in most major cities, polluting beaches, and destroying miles of coral reefs, beaching of marine life and rampant fishing are just to name a few.
While it is indeed difficult to initiate changes that involve a lot of foreign relations and policymaking, it is quite possible to start changes in everyday life. One can recycle, prevent illegal fishing and felling, plant more trees, reduce wastage of water, stop dumping effluents into the ocean and opt for sustainable activities that would help promote this cause and ultimately save our planet and make it a better place for generations to follow.