Climate Change: An Alarming Threat to Pakistan

Sirtaj Baloch Rakhshani
As climate change remains at its peak, the world is now almost on the verge of falling into the deep and dark well dug by the human being by disrupting nature and making it vulnerable. This despicable behavior of humans towards God’s nature is inevitably going to give lamentable consequences.
However, the humans have yet not brought this threat under serious consideration even though we are faced with severe and harsh consequences. The heat-waves, flash floods, cyclones, and droughts are now common issues the world is facing. Recently, I read a report which claimed that the Victoria Fall has now come to end due to prolonged drought. Such examples are now coming up on a daily basis.
As far as Pakistan’s climate is concerned, the situation is even worse than it is in other countries. Being a country with an unstable economy, a high rate of illiteracy and inequity, Pakistan is a hotbed of climate-related crises that have put the country on the top of the list of countries harshly affected by climate change. Due to the rapid increase in the temperature, the glaciers in the northern areas are rapidly melting down, increasing the threat of floods. The emission of CO2 has harshly affected the vulnerable climate. Recently, Lahore was covered with a thick layer of smog. “Breathing in Lahore in this smog is equal to smoking 22 cigarettes per day”, the report claimed that I had taken a glance at some days ago. This shows that if we don’t take any action at once, we will have to pay at a huge cost.
Who is to be blamed for this catastrophic situation? The Govt or the public? I heard from some sources that Indian Capital Delhi is being blamed by incumbent authorities of Pak to have produced this smog which has also affected The Punjab Capital. But will that Accusation tackle the issue? I am of the view that in lieu of Accusing others of our failures, we better increase our efforts regarding the alleviation of climate change crises. One can’t find any major initiative taken by Pakistan in order to reduce climate change crises nor can one find any efforts from the public. On contrast, Indian cement companies have pledged to reduce carbon emissions by making their factories “Green Factories” which is an initiative to be appreciated. On the other hand, the UK is planning to have gas-free cars by 2040. Unfortunately, we are still sleeping and by the time we wake up, it would be too late for us. We must take action in true letter and spirit to sort out this issue.
First of all, the basic knowledge of clime must be added in the curriculum of the schools to enhance the awareness in the upcoming generation. As the illiteracy is a top reason for our failures to coup with climate change, this step is to be taken in true letter and spirit. Secondly, the media is really crucial in this regard and it must increase public awareness about the vulnerability of our climate. Thirdly, the Incumbent Government which is notorious for making pledges doesn’t seem that much serious about this issue. The PM should make initiatives at once and must introduce tougher curbs on all those actions which are threatening the climate. The government, however, has put constraints on plastics bags but failed to implement the restriction as they are being sold in various markets in ISB and surroundings which shows the negligence of the government towards this issue.
Furthermore, the deforestation should be completely banned as lack of trees is contributing well to further worsen the situation. The plan to plant a billion tree in KPK by PM Khan, which is implemented to some extent, is a commendable effort and we expect him to come up with such initiatives in the future too. The renewable energy should replace coal energy which will gradually reduce carbon emission. There should be a proper system for waste materials. We should try to avoid producing a lot of garbage. Once I saw an inspiring sentence written in the restaurant “Take whatever you want to eat but eat whatever you take”. This sentence portrays the picture of ourselves in our mind when we waste a lot of food which will not only increase garbage but also can feed a poor if we do not waste them. Public transport should be preferred rather than using own cars which will reduce carbon emission. At last but not least, public support is extremely essential if we want Pakistan with a stable climate.
If we are committed, we will surely be successful in achieving a pollution-free Pakistan. We mustn’t only rely on the Government to get what we want but better put our efforts combined with the Government to succeed. We will have to emerge as responsible citizens by performing our duty to clean our societies, institutions, regions which will gradually lead to a clean Pakistan.
DisclaimerViews expressed in this article are those of the author and Balochistan Voices not necessarily agree with them.
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