Contemplating mitigation measures

Global Warming
Contemplating mitigation measures
Md. Atikur Rahman
All things that make up the environment are interrelated. The way in which people, animals and plants are related to each other and to their surrounding is known as
ecology. The ecosystem is a complex web that links animals, plants and every other life form in the biosphere. By altering any one part of the web you can affect all
other parts. For example, the destruction of forests may have serious ecological consequences for humans and animals.
It is our responsibility to prevent the environment from being spoilt. To make life healthy and comfortable we should keep the environment clean and danger free.
But often people spoil the environment by doing unwise things and as a result, endanger their own lives. In recent years, many alarming reports provide strong evidence
that world temperatures are increasing day by day. This increase in global warming is caused by increased amounts of carbon dioxide around the earth.
This is exemplified by the destruction and burning down of tropical rain forests, by traffic that clogs up city streets, by the rapid growth of industry, the use of
chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) in packaging and manufacturing, the use of detergents and so on. The oceans are also said to be affected both human waste and because of
pollution caused by industrial waste products, oil seeping from damaged supertankers and from other maritime disasters. However, the main culprit for global warming is
carbon dioxide gas, produced by the burning of fossil fuels and forests and pollutants such as methane and chlorofluorocarbons.
Climatologists predict that by midway through the next century temperatures may have risen by as much as 40C. This could catastrophically reduce mankind’s ability to
grow food, destroy or severely damage wildlife and wilderness, raise sea levels and thereby flood coastal areas and farmland, the lower southern part of Bangladesh
included.
If the world is going to prevent dangerous human interference with the climate system, we must agree to limit emissions so as to respect ecological limits. In order to
avoid the most dangerous impacts of climate change, the latest science tells us that carbon emissions in industrialized countries will need to drop by at least 90
percent by 2050.
The United Nations aims to get countries to reduce their emissions of climate changing gases via the Kyoto Protocol. But the target for CO2 reduction is currently set
at only 5.2 per cent below 1990 levels by 2012 for the industrialised countries. Countries have still not achieved consensus on a way to move forward past 2012.
From another perspective, while the use of fuel increases to keep up with modern demands, the world is becoming more vulnerable to environmental hazards and disasters.
At present, oil provides above 40 to 43 percent of all energy used by the world. Oil and coal each account for 40 percent of global warming emissions from fossil fuels
worldwide. In the United States, energy use accounts for 82 percent of our global warming emissions, with oil counting for 42 percent of those emissions. Countries in
the tropics and the small island states are likely bear the brunt of the consequences.
Developing country economies are harmed when they are dependent on volatile oil imports. And when the oil is finally burned, and the carbon contained in it released
into the atmosphere, it contributes heavily to decreased agricultural production, increased droughts, human health impacts, environmentally related refugees and other
already observed and predicted impacts of climate change.
One of the most effective solutions to these environmental hazards is to raise the price of fuel. The use of petroleum releases toxic chemicals into our atmosphere.
These chemicals escape into the air during refilling, from the gasoline tank and carburetor during normal operation, and from engine exhaust. Transportation sources
account for about 30-50% of all harmful emissions into the atmosphere.
Raising the price of fuel would mean that people would use less petroleum. They would find other alternative means of transport to save money, which would mean using
less high priced fuel for everyday purposes. For example, cycling is a healthy activity and it saves the earth too. Also for a long journey, people could try to find
friends together for car-pooling. Car-pooling saves a lot of fuel and would save a lot of money too.
Many environmental hazards like “smog” are increasing around the would due to excessive use of petroleum in our daily lives. Raising the price of the fuel may make all
the difference to the environment. It would force people to use petrol in more responsible way and use it less, and thereby provide one of the most effective solutions
to the problem of ever-increasing environmental hazards.
We feel the government and its specialised agencies, non-governmental organisations, industries, educational institutions and individuals should act immediately to
counter the on-going degradation of the atmosphere.
Target for energy-efficiency and energy supply improvement should be fixed. The desired reduction in carbon dioxide emissions will also require switching to fuels that
emit less carbon dioxide; reviewing strategies for the implementation of renewable energy, especially advanced biomass conversion technologies; and reviewing nuclear
power. If safety, radioactive waste and unclear weapons proliferation problems can be solved, unclear power could play a role in lowering emissions of carbon dioxide.
There must be vigorous application of existing technologies to reduce emissions of acidifying substances, other substances that are precursors of troposphere ozone,
and greenhouse gases other than carbon dioxide.
Products should be labeled to allow consumers judge the extent and nature of atmospheric contamination arising from the manufacture and use of the product.
Resources for research and monitoring efforts within the world climate programme, the international ecosphere-biosphere programme, and the human response to global
change programme should be increased. It is particularly important to understand how climate changes on a regional scale and gets related to an overall global change
of climate, and how the oceans affect global heat transport and the flux of greenhouse gases.
Funding for research, development and the transfer of information on renewable energy should be significantly increased, and technology transfer should be extended
with particular emphasis on the needs of developing countries.
Funding for extensive technology transfer and technical cooperation projects in coastal zone protection and management should be expanded.
Deforestation should be reduced and afforestation increased through establishment of a trust fund to provide adequate incentives to developing nations to manage their
tropical forest resources at a sustainable level.
Technical cooperation projects to allow developing nations to participate in international mitigation efforts should be developed and supported.
Funding may be increased to non-governmental organisations for establishment of environmental education programmes and public awareness campaigns that would aim at
changing public values and behaviour with respect to the environment.

The writer is Librarian, BGMEA University of Fashion & Technology (BUFT) atik@bift.info

Article originally published on The Daily Star

Related News

Waterways disappear as rivers die

World River Day today Rashad Ahamad Inland waterways, once the prime mode of transportation in Bangladesh, have declined fast as many rivers, canals, and other water bodies have disappeared in riverine Bangladesh over the past decades. Due to geographical location, inland waterways were the main mode of transportation in Bangladesh, a country part of the ... Read more

Chattogram city produces 249 tonnes of plastic waste every day

Will generate 428 tonnes by 2052 News Desk : dhakamirror.com Chattogram city produces 249 tonnes of plastic waste every single day — 56 percent of which remains uncollected and littered in the environment, according to a new study. “Of the plastic waste, the most are sachets, single-use utensils, and personal care items, ” the study ... Read more

Non-stop river pollution threatens water security

World Environment Day Non-stop river pollution threatens water security Laws, rules, HC directives go in vain Rashad Ahamad No pragmatic step is yet to be taken to protect the four rivers surrounding Dhaka even after declaring them ecologically critical 13 years ago. In September 2009, the Department of Environment declared the four rivers Ecologically Critical ... Read more

Air pollution takes 3 years off life in Bangladesh

Impact on life expectancy in Bangladesh worse than in India, Pakistan, Bhutan Mohammad Al-Masum Molla Air pollution cuts the average life expectancy of a person in Bangladesh by almost three years, said a global report. It is higher than in India, Pakistan, Bhutan, and Afghanistan. Nepal, with air pollution-linked life expectancy loss of 3.05 years, ... Read more

Rain at the summit of Greenland for the first time on record

Something extraordinary happened recently. On August 14, 2021, it rained at the highest point on the Greenland Ice Sheet for several hours — the first rainfall event in recorded history, and air temperatures remained above freezing for about nine hours. The record-breaking rain is the latest in a string of warning signs about how climate ... Read more

Emissions of CO2 driving rapid oceans ‘acid trip’

The world’s oceans are becoming acidic at an “unprecedented rate” and may be souring more rapidly than at any time in the past 300 million years. In their strongest statement yet on this issue, scientists say acidification could increase by 170% by 2100. They say that some 30% of ocean species are unlikely to survive ... Read more

Warming trees limit warming – a little

Warmer temperature prompts trees to release aerosols which in turn stimulate cloud formation. And that can help to cool the temperature, at least modestly. Trees may provide the Earth with a little shade from global warming – indirectly. European and Canadian researchers report that they have found what engineers like to call a negative feedback ... Read more

Evaluating services of forest

Biodiversity contributes considerably to economy and environment Dr. M. A. BASHAR In developing countries, the necessity of publicising services of forests is severely lacking. This sector must be given attention with special emphasis. The country like Bangladesh has to be very serious in all respects to understand and exercise the services offered by the forests. We ... Read more

What the outcome yields for Bangladesh?

Doha Climate Conference What the outcome yields for Bangladesh? Md. Mahfujur Rahman Thirty-seven industrialized countries had been accused of releasing Greenhouse gases in Kyoto Protocol under United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). Signatory members to the UNFCCC have been meeting annually in Conference of the Parties (COP) to assess progress in dealing with ... Read more

Down with the hills!

Probir Kumar Sarker Though Bangladesh is prominently a plain land, its Chittagong, Cox’s Bazar, Rangamati, Khagrachhari, Bandarban and Sylhet have hilly areas with forests and rich biodiversity. These areas are full of natural resources fulfilling needs of the people and other living species. But at present, the destruction of hills in every area has become ... Read more

A prerequisite for sustainable development

Natural Resource Governance A prerequisite for sustainable development Rukshana Sultana The constitution of Bangladesh — article 143– illustrates that all natural resources on land and underground minerals and other things of value underlying the ocean within the territorial waters, or the ocean over the continental shelf of Bangladesh, are the properties of Bangladesh. In general, ... Read more

Save Savar from further degradation

Probir Kumar Sarker Over the recent years, Savar is experiencing immense pressure of new industrial, commercial and residential establishments. But most of these have already been done or are underway indiscriminately haphazardly, and by violating the environmental laws and ignoring overall public convenience, not to speak of the care for future growth. It has been a ... Read more

Save Sonadia, save Sundarbans

Sourav Mahmud Sonadia Island is one of the biodiversity hotspot of Bangladesh. In 1995, the Government of Bangladesh included a provision for the declaration of Ecologically Critical Area (ECA) in the Bangladesh Environment Conservation Act. Twelve sites are classified as ECAs and guidelines exist to control further damage to these areas. Sonadia is considered ecologically ... Read more

Ramsar Convention: Our obligation

Dr. M.A. Bashar It is learnt from newspapers very recently that in the Sundarbans area three large constructions will take place which are very dangerous and detrimental to normal functioning of the mangrove forest ecosystem. It means that the interactions between biotic and abiotic factors will be seriously hampered in the ecosystems conservation. The projects ... Read more

Legal response to loss and damage

Climate Change Legal response to loss and damage Hafijul Islam Khan The adverse impacts of climate change have continued to devastate the lives and livelihoods of millions of people and inflict large economic losses. According to the Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, there has been a global increase in weather ... Read more

Corals of St.Martin’s at stake

Global Warming and Over-Exploitation Corals of St.Martin’s at stake Dr. Anisuzzaman Khan Honey comb corals around Saint Martin’s island are under stress due to coral bleaching. While the COP 17 — UN climate convention — was being held in Durban of South Africa, a Nature Watch Team (NWT) of Ekattor Television watched that a noticeable ... Read more

Environment: Future farmers hold key

GLOBAL food demand will double by 2050, according to a new projection, and the farming techniques used to meet that unprecedented demand will significantly determine how severe the impact is on the environment,  researchers say. The study researchers warn that meeting the demand for food will clear more land, increase nitrogen use and significantly add ... Read more

Getting a consensus in COP 17

How close the world is? Shammunul Islam The 17th United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP 17) will be held in the city of Durban, South Africa from November 28 to December 9. The world is waiting with hope that this time a fruitful and effective guideline will be made towards mitigating and adapting ... Read more

Pollution of rivers around Dhaka

Increasing threats to life Mohammad Tareq Hasan With a population of over 15 million Dhaka is one of the most congested cities of the world. This rapidly growing city is located on the northern bank of the river Buriganga and surrounded by other rivers, namely, the Turag to the west, the Tongi Khal to the ... Read more

Tiger Conservation: Reality, recognition and rights

Dr. Mohammad Ali Tigers are maverick animals. They are supposed to live long in this world. Instead, they are disappearing rapidly. No doubt celebrating ‘tiger day’ will raise awareness to safeguard this majestic animal; however, we hope the affiliated institutions will continue creating a congenial environment for safety and sustainability of tiger population. Commonly such ... Read more