Published:  12:59 AM, 11 September 2017

Climate change and nature's fury


Climate change is a reality we cannot run away from. In these past many weeks, with such devastating forces of nature as Hurricane Harvey and Hurricane Irma slamming the Caribbean and the southern coast of the United States, the nature of climate change has been made clear once more. Ironically, it is now for President Donald Trump to reflect on his earlier and of course unrealistic assertions that climate change is a hoax. If anything, these hurricanes together with the unprecedented floods that have been ravaging South Asia in recent times are proof of the grave damage that has been done to the environment by man and the institutions which hold sway in very large swathes of the globe.

The dangers to life as a consequence of the changes being wrought by these tempestuous fluctuations in climate cannot be underestimated. In the Arctic region, ice has been melting at a rate that was inconceivable only years ago, leaving the region exposed to heat and other vulnerabilities. That in turn will pose grave risks to life, both plant and animal, in the region and will surely have consequences for life in the overall sense. Over these past few years, rains and tornadoes and hurricanes and earthquakes have wreaked havoc on life all the way from South East Asia to the Americas. There was a time when such natural disasters were considered aspects of life in our part of the world, but now they seem to have come to encompass almost the entirety of the planet.

So how does the world go about fixing this broken picture? The primary responsibility in this area lies with the United States, which rather brashly and petulantly withdrew from the Paris accord on climate change soon after the Trump administration took office in Washington. For the US, given the battering it has been getting from nature --- and there is the spectre of yet another disaster, Hurricane Jose, on the horizon --- there is a very intense need for the Trump presidency to rethink its policies on the environment.

Dogmatism and pretending that the danger does not exist will not do. Withdrawing from the Paris accord was a blunder. It should now be for Washington to rethink policy. The hurricanes should have dispelled the wrong notions about climate change in those who govern the United States today.Our sympathies go out to those who have been affected by the hurricanes in the US and the Caribbean. It is our expectation that they will emerge stronger from these crises and return to normal living.

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