Is our irresponsibility liable to gear up climate change? -By Fakhruddin Mehedi
We have so-me common characteristics like we are used to keep our household lights on, dry our cloths by the gas of oven; often we leave the oven on to save a matchstick. Sometimes we go out of our house leaving water tap half closed and water drops until we return.
If we look at the buildings of the cities from streets, anyone would term it a jungle of concrete where air conditioners are hanging on the balcony, most of them are expired and about to die anytime but we usually repair them and the old haggard eats up more electricity than the modern ones.
These scenarios are same across the country where these facilities are available. Relation between climate change and urbanization is the most notable thing in developing countries, where urbanization often affects the vulnerable coastal areas.
The situation of our country has worsened this year due to severe flood and crops have been damaged by heavy rains and for this we had to import rice to meet the demand of the nation. The reality of kitchen market has become so adverse that the coarse rice price goes up to Tk 60 per kg and we still do not worry about it!
Is the thing mentioned above is the cause or result of climate change? Everything mentioned above is related to electricity. For electricity we are doing unwise things wisely as 40% of the nation is still in the dark!
So, what is our responsibility? Why are we not talking about climate change? Why are our people not much aware of the climate change? I asked more than 100 people about climate change and its effects, they answered that the issue is none of their business and pointed at the policy makers for doing the necessary things.
But have we ever thought how our irresponsible activities affect largely in the sense of climate change? Is heat increasing day by day in the country at a higher rate than before? Is the rainy season longer and rainfall more than the previous record this year? Is the winter getting shorter now-a-days because of climate change? Do these questions pinch our mind? I know we do not care much about the climate change!
According to recent research named, ‘Increase of Heat Index over Bangladesh: Impact of Climate Change’ emerged by the analysis indicates the long-term climate records of an increase in the frequency and duration of extreme temperature events in all over Bangladesh particularly during summer. Summer season has prolonged while winters have become shorter in Bangladesh.
The summer has become hotter and thus affecting the lives of the people engaged in outdoor activities during scorching sunny hours. In 2003 around 62 people died due to hot spell across the country. In the aforesaid paper Bangladesh has been divided in four regions and heat index has been calculated from 1960 to 2010.
The aim of the research paper was to identify the spots most vulnerable to heat strokes and hot spells due to high heat index. The results showed upward trend of heat index in almost all the regions of Bangladesh. The highest increase in heat index value has been observed in areas of southwest and northwest region of the country. The highest change in average heat index has been found in Jessore by almost 5.5 degrees Celsius.
In the past few years it has become difficult to distinguish between autumn and rainy season. Summer is hot and jumpy, almost all of the time of autumn. The Department of Meteorological Department said, rainfall in the autumn was found at reduced rates too. The capital received 155mm rainfall last week. If this amount of rainfall is kept in a container, its height will be approximately 16 centimeters.
That means about 6 inches. The department said, in recent years this is the highest rainfall during this time. In collaboration with the Norwegian Department of Meteorology, Bangladesh Meteorological Department published a detailed research report titled ‘Climate of Bangladesh’ last year.
The study said, from 1981 to 2010, precipitation of Teknaf (southern region of the country) increased by 36 percent, 22 percent in Cox’s Bazar and 15 percent and 10 percent in Patuakhali and Barguna respectively. At the same time, the average temperature of Cox’s Bazar increased 0.5 degrees Celsius.
On the other hand, the rain dropped 28 percent in Madaripur, 20 percent in Bhola, Khulna, Bagerhat and Satkhira respectively and 25 percent in Feni district. Climate scientists say that heavy rainfall in Asia will increase by 20 percent in the next 30 years. Bangladesh is already one of the worst victims climate change in the world, and global warming will bring more floods, stronger cyclones in upcoming days.
Climate victims are moving here to there for living peacefully and most of them are coming to Dhaka as there are potentials to earn money. Oxfam says, “Every day, 4,000 Bangladeshis are moving to cities in search of a safer life, away from the challenges of increasingly extreme weather”.
On the other hand, we have a very long cry for electricity empowerment throughout the country that includes all above. The government’s setting up new power plant destroying forests and natural bio-diversity. According to the Power Sector Master Plan (PSMP)-2010, it is planned to generate 40,000 MW power by the year 2030.
In line with the implementation of the PSMP-2010, the government has undertaken 24 coal-fired power plant projects, including public, private, joint venture and commercial initiatives, having electricity generation capacity of 21,785 MW in the country.
But in the long run it will create more devastating situation in climate aspect as we have planned a coal power plant near the Sundarbans and the coast will remain undefended and climate change will affect Bangladesh more severely.
But if we look at Europe, America, India, China, Nepal, Bhutan, Sri Lanka and other countries, they are giving up plans for making power plants. In recent time China stopped more than 100 power plants as they found it harmful for their next generation in a worst way.
Climate change has brought permanent alterations to Earth’s geological, biological and ecological systems. The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that 160,000 deaths, since 1950, are directly attributable to climate change.
So what can we do as the citizens of the country? I think we don’t have much to do by ourselves. But if I can try to leave the bad habits like unnecessary wastage that may reduce the need for some amount of energy.
I should be aware of the light I use to keep on, or the tap of bathroom that remains open and flood the bucket whole the day! I shall not dry my cloths in gas oven and let it burn all the day for saving a matchstick spending natural resource that is going to be extinct within not a very long time.
We shall talk about the climate change and create awareness at the grassroots level of the country. Popular social media like facebook, Twitter can be used now-a-days to share our thoughts about climate change. We should start the digital process just now!
And to get some fresh air, we need to go for gardening at our rooftops and balconies to defeat carbon dioxide that is broadly produced by the developed world and make innocent victims of climate disaster.