Climate change is one of the most discussed topics in the present world. I have been working on a small aspect of climate change for over two years and have been reading a lot on it recently. Workers around the world have understood the trick and those who haven’t aren’t being published, I guess. Words like anthropogenic activity, global warming, climate change, changing weather patterns have been heavily demonized. In fact, the term Anthropogenic activity is a synonym to the action of rubbing the magic lamp that unleashed a wicked genie called global warming that will kick this floating ball called Earth one day (and very soon) and will bring about apocalypse. The question is of our survival and hence of utmost importance. Hence, all the governments have made climate change as a priority area of action.
I had been searching for Universities to join as a PhD student and realized that not even a single University in any part of the world is devoid of the honour of studying the health of our mother Earth and help us know how BAD is this thing called climate change. I guess we all know by this time that climate change is bad and will affect all of us and especially our children – oh did somebody say that climate change affects our perpetuating power. Billions of dollars (converting all the currencies into dollars) are being spent to study this demon. Like any business, scientists study what is of utmost importance, or to put it in harsher language, scientists study what sells in the market. Journals have to publish what people want to read and hence they accept only what sells. Climate change is the number one selling topic. Every university can get enough funds if it can propose a research topic that studies climate change. If you don’t study climate change then you have to tweak your justification that includes “ will enable us to understand the effects of climate change” and there comes the stamp – ACCEPTED.
Billions of dollars are spent on re-searching climate change and what does common man know of all the recent findings? It’s just this that climate change is bad, plastic is bad, we have cut enough trees so as to catalyse the end of our civilization, enough vehicles on the road – it’s time to walk, extinction is increasing, biodiversity is sacred – protect it and the list goes on. Every research, by and large, comes to the same point. The reason – the more is the fear, more is the sales. Fear of death is ultimate and our mythologies are testimonials to the fact that humans have always wanted to be immortals. So, do I mean to say that studying Climate change is useless? No, I don’t want to say that but it’s time we accept that climate change is going to affect everything and we stop proposing silly projects that propose to find out if Climate change is going to have any effects on society/locality or a particular species. Biggest effect of climate change would be on poverty ridden areas and what we are doing by studying useless projects on climate change is just wasting that money which could have bought some ration for those refugee camps and U.N. camps where malnourishment is a glaring curse on the present developments of whole scientific community and declare that efforts of world super powers to help Afro-Asian poor in nothing but a sham.
Ecologists want to prevent extinctions – but why? Hasn’t Earth changed since it had formed from the big bang? Haven’t organisms died since then or should humans (anthropogenic activity) be held responsible for the death of dinosaurs, death of crocodile ancestors, continental drift. Of course, we are a part of vast food web and any shift in it is going to have effects on us but we are humans – perhaps the most evolved of all organisms on this planet and we do not have this huge inertia that we cannot survive some changes in our climate. If not rice, then lichen, if not lichen then some other grass can be cultivated by us and we would survive. If not a particular species of our favorite fish then we can develop taste for some other animal too. Believe me, we are not going to die because of scarcity of food that would arise from climate change but the deaths would be due to rising prices of food grains if the developed nations continue to fight for oil wells and keep diverting cheaper grains for bio-diesel and cheap fish to feed their pets as animal feed instead of passing this to hungry mouths and shrinking stomachs. Nature is smartest of all and knows how to cleanse its system and allow only the best to survive so let the incompetent die and just focus on how to make ourselves competent. Heavy inertia of some people who just don’t like change would certainly be distressed to find a new species overtaking an extinct one but that’s what nature does – upgrades the versions and we name it adaptation. Human population has certainly added to the woes of nature and that’s why it devised a virus that would kill humans if they copulate and we know it as HIV. AIDS is perhaps a nature’s warning to us and a reminder that we are humans and should behave in a civilized manner in accordance with the rules of nature or else we would kill ourselves.
Plastic is another compound that is frowned upon by ecologists and the people who say their first love is nature. But, plastic is perhaps the most important invention; look around and swear that you could have lived without this compound. Only thing required is ethical use of it. Problem is not that plastic is bad, problem is that we do not know how to dispose our waste. We are irresponsible and that’s it. It’s just that nuclear energy is bad because it killed and continues to affect thousands in Hiroshima and Nagasaki but the intention behind unleashing the hidden energy in an atom was not to kill people but was to bring a new source of energy that could be used for human welfare. Science is not good or bad, it is the end users of it who malign the intentions of the hard work of scientists.
So, what should our research focus on? The priority should be adjusting our agriculture, fisheries, and animal husbandry practices to the changing scenario. Better varieties of plants can be developed so as to overcome the challenges (which can be studied using computer models). Developing better strains of animals is difficult hence species or varieties can be identified that would survive better in the changed conditions so that food supplies are always in accord with the demand. Wasting money on making present species more adaptive is a waste of time and money. Different animals can survive in different conditions hence identifying suitable species from the existing ones and developing proper husbandry practices is a better approach. Climate change studies should focus on making agriculture plants more fit for drought or changed conditions. Any study that does not have socio-economic implications should be taken up only after other priority research projects. A positive air regarding climate change is needed as this phenomenon isn’t this bad and may have positive influences on many regions like cold areas may have less frigid conditions and can have more days for cultivation. More money should go on educating people about the health of our planet. Making people understand their responsibilities towards their planet is is of utmost importance and should be taken as a priority by the Governments world over. Investing in cleaner technologies is required but not at the cost of poor people. Producing bio-diesel from maize to run cars in the USA isn’t more important than the lives of people in Africa.
Therefore climate change research is not a farce but needs to be made less dreadful and every aspect of physiology and environment study should not be labeled as a climate change research just to get the findings. At the present time when world economy is going through a tough time it s necessary to identify some real problems that face us other that holding on to those dying species around us labeled as unfit for survival by nature, herself.