Thursday, October 6th, 2022 03:08:59

What if we also become victims like Europe ? : Another question with eat or heat is if not now it will be never

By Viral Desai
Updated: September 15, 2022 4:42 pm

The regions east of the Atlantic Ocean are known for the industrial revolution and social equality, and the people of this region known as Europe have influenced the social, cultural or political history of the entire world over the years. But the continent is now facing far-reaching effects of climate change, effects that its people have not faced in the past five hundred years. The war between Russia and Ukraine is also having a negative impact on the whole of Europe, due to which the economy of Europe is becoming very poor and the people there are being bullied from all sides. The situation has become so bad that one fearful question is constantly scaring the people of Europe and the question is  ‘Eat or Heat?’

If we delve deep into the reasons why this question has come up before the people of Europe, we will realize that this question is not only for Europe, but this problem and the consequences of the problem may also plague us tomorrow. And tomorrow is fine, but we are indirectly involved with the situation of Europe even today. However, we will discuss later how we relate to the crisis in Europe. First let’s look at some horrible statistics, which if we know about the statistics, we will realize how much torture a large human community living on another part of our planet is facing.

Media reports are saying that the water of mighty rivers like Rhine, Po, Loire, Thames or Danube, which can be said to be very important in Europe, have dried out and reduced to a very shocking level. So in a report presented by the Global Drought Observatory, 47% of the region of Europe comes under the alert. Also 17% of Europe’s vegetation is under threat. This also means that the status of biodiversity in these 17% areas will also be in jeopardy. It is true that due to this drought, the agriculture of Europe has also been greatly affected. One figure for agriculture is that corn production in Europe has fallen by 16% over the past five years. Soybean production has decreased by 15% while sunflower production has decreased by 12%.

Agriculture figures in Switzerland and France have affected almost 90% of the geographical area. Agriculture is affected in 83% of geographical areas in Germany and 73% in Italy. The Global Drought Observatory is saying that by November the situation will worsen in Germany, Switzerland, Portugal, the Netherlands, Ukraine, Ireland and the UK.

When trouble comes, it comes from all sides together. And the problems of climate change are so severe that no accurate prediction or planning can be done about it. Something similar has happened with this year’s drought in Europe, where drought is not only affecting biodiversity and agriculture, but is also having a devastating impact on business and economy. Due to the decrease in the level of rivers and reservoirs, in some places there is a situation where the water level in the reservoirs is less than one meter, due to which large vessels cannot be used for shipping routes, agriculture, energy supplies or even drinking water. This is affecting trade as well as coal import, which is directly affecting power generation. Due to this, electricity has become very expensive and people are forced to suffer in the heat due to their financial constraints. Inflation due to fall in agricultural production and war in Ukraine has also hit Europe. At the same time this decelerated trade of Europe affects our trade also and influences us to a greater extent.

Now let’s look at this whole issue from the point of view of climate change. The consequences of this famine in Europe are severe, but the worrying thing is that this is the second famine in Europe in the last four years! That is, a situation like drought which once happened once in a decade and a half has now started happening twice in five years. And the surprising thing is that not only drought or only heavy rainfall, but many natural calamities simultaneously strike at different times in a period of five years. In which the economic loss is billions of dollars, but it is having very dark effects on humans and ecosystems.

At such a time, it becomes very necessary for all of us to re-assess our existing action plans and roadmaps for carbon emission, energy conservation or nature conservation. We all have to revise once again how much more we need to prepare for climate change. Ultimately we all have to accept climate change as a priority in our lives or our country, or we will see a much more severe and worse situation like Europe. This is actually a form of climate change. Heavy rains, landslides, floods or many diseases are standing in front of us, problems that directly question our lives. So, through this article, I want to say one thing that just as the question of ‘Eat or Heat?’ is facing the people of Europe, a very serious question is also facing us and that is the question, ‘If not now, then never.’


By  Viral Desai

(The author is a known environmentalist and the Pioneer of Satyagraha Against Pollution movement.)

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