At the GSG Summit held late last year, former US Vice President and environmentalist Al Gore made an impassioned plea to act now to deal with global warming and its adverse effects.
For a while now, Al Gore has been a proponent of sustainable environmental practices that keep in mind the looming climate crisis. Most of us have watched the former US Vice President and Nobel Laureate’s film An Inconvenient Truth and woken up to dangers facing our planet. That was in 2006, but Gore’s crusade against climate change is far from done.
At the GSG Summit held in New Delhi late last year, the 70-year-old environmentalist took to the stage to compel the audience to create enough noise world over to mitigate the global warming crisis.
According to a report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, a UN body to assess the science related to climate change, global warming should remain at 2.7 degrees Fahrenheit for the next 15 years. We only have the next 12 years to cut our fossil-fuel use by half and eliminate its usage for the next 30 years, and take other precautionary and revolutionary steps towards global energy infrastructure to limit global warming effects.
Al Gore, who has been a climate crusader since 1976, said,
Our mistake has been in believing that we are different from the rest, separate from nature and one another. We have to realise that we are interdependent and we are much more dependent upon the ecological balance that has given rise to the flourishing of civilisation.
It’s a hot, hot world
Highlighting the heat trappings caused due to global emission, Al Gore said,
We are all in a sense trapped inside this shell of atmosphere.
This level of heat energy disturbs the living conditions on the planet and kills vulnerable people and those organisms that find it difficult to adapt to climate change.
Africa and Syria are among the most vulnerable countries faced with climate crisis: while the former battles climate variability in the backdrop of poverty, the latter’s war is affecting farming, economy and livelihood. And these conditions in these countries have birthed “climate refugees”, people who are forced to flee their land due to dangerous changes in the environment.
The 2015 Paris Agreement, where 103 countries pledged to keep their global temperature below 3.6 degrees Fahrenheit (2-degree Celsius) above pre-industrial levels, saw a common desire to cut down CO2 emissions.
Of energy conservation and groundwater depletion
Stressing on the urgent need for government interference, Gore said, “We have to connect the dots and note the actions because these events that sound crazy are happening as we speak. Fifty percent of the animals are already at risk or at the risk of being endangered in this century. Some nations, are challenged even in the best of climates, in the best of conditions, but when you overlay these burdens then the risk of chaos and violence increases significantly.”
Energy conservation, therefore, is the need of the hour. Sustainable choices and innovations will do for earth what Morse Code did for computing. It is staggering to a point where sustainable electricity is cheaper in a few regions than electricity from burning fossil fuels,” Gore said, adding that we are on the brink of a ‘sustainability revolution’, bolstered by tech advancements, namely IoT, machine learning, big data, AI, blockchain, and supercomputing.
Bringing the spotlight to India, Gore called to mind the recent news of groundwater depletion, which is causing Bengaluru to join Cape Town in a battle against this shortage. “In spite of the actions being taken to address this issue the impending threat of groundwater shortage cannot remain unaddressed as time can cause suffering,” he added.
Change, to tackle climate change
Gore, who has spent almost half a century advocating steps to curb climate change, admits that the path to mitigate the crisis is not an easy one,
This journey will not be easy. There will be bottlenecks at every stage, but we must change because it is the right thing to do.
Where there is a will, there is a way, and Gore concluded that that applies to political will in the face of life-altering environmental challenges as well.