“No challenge poses a greater threat to future generations than climate change,” once Barack Obama said. In past centuries, the worsening effects of climate change have been recorded, including floods, droughts, intense rain and increasing global warming throughout the world due to human activities. If climate change continues to grow, the chances of survival for future generations will become low.
Since then, climate change has emerged as the biggest challenge in Pakistan, damaging the country’s economy as well as human health. Over the past several years, Pakistan has witnessed the drastic effects of climate change: severe floods due to melting of glaciers, droughts in Thar and acidic rainfall. Pakistan has experienced 126 heat waves of varying durations, from 1997 to 2015, recorded by the World Bank. In this devastating scenario, the deaths of more than 1,2000 people across the country in 2015 added fuel to the fire. Hence, the country undergoes loss in agriculture productivity, water scarcity, and energy crisis, resulted in economic collapse.
Human activities as well as natural disasters are responsible for the rapid change in the climate. Volcanic eruptions, hurricanes, and earth quakes are natural factors that trigger climate change. Man made activities include higher consumption of electricity in residential, commercial, and industrial areas. Moreover, construction, transportation, and chemical wastage have released large amounts of CO2 into the atmosphere, resulting in the depletion of the ozone layer. “Industrial activities have raised atmospheric CO2 from 280 parts per million to 379 parts per million in the last 150 years”, according to the intergovernmental panel on climate change.
Hence, Pakistan has been facing continuous damage like intense heat and cold waves, soil erosion and reduction of soil nutrients, desertification and water crisis. Oceans are warming and becoming more acidic, glaciers are melting, and sea levels are rising day by day. The adverse effects of climate change have created disastrous health problems, including influenza, cholera, and numerous infectious diseases, number of deaths have been recorded because of heat shock.
Pakistan is now tackling the situation of weather at official and unofficial level as in 2014, senate sub-committee declared “right to a clean, green and healthy environment” as a fundamental right. Over thousands of students and active faculty members of prominent universities, colleges and schools have been working on different projects to stop the abusive use of natural resources. Millions of funds have been expanded in the country, in last years, to promote plantations and arrest forest degradation.
Still, there is a need for effective strategies and proper implementation in order to overcome climate change. Concerned officials must handle the issue with dedication and the utmost seriousness. Urgent reforestation and afforestation programs should be launched and served. The purpose will be met by the building of new dams in Thar and water-scarce areas to store rainwater. Waste management strategies must be implemented strictly for better utilization of resources.
If the earth’s temperature reaches its peak, living beings on earth would become extinct. Every individual in the country had better take part in the trial of stopping global warming to make the world a safer place to live.