Saturday, 14 December 2019

Climate Crisis Part 4

Climate change is THE biggest challenge facing the human race currently. We need to take action and we have to take it now. We cannot afford to lose any more time.

Having said that it's probably the most complex environmental crisis human kind has ever faced. The solution/result is not going to come in a short time period. As humans, we are always concerned about our near future. It's not a natural tendency to think beyond that and take actions accordingly, even if we don't see immediate results. So we have to be patient.

There are many steps that we need to take right away to halt the climate change process. Among so many of them, I think the most important are reducing fossil fuel use and creating more green space /carbon sink.

Every time we drive a car, we are emitting greenhouse gases. Greenhouse gases have been scientifically associated with air pollution, climate change, acid rain and many more serious environmental issues. This could have been compensated if we had enough green space. However deforestation at an alarming rate has made the recovery next to impossible. Trees don't just photosynthesize and create food for the entire living world. They also produce oxygen and remove harmful gases such as carbon dioxide or carbon monoxide from the atmosphere. Every living tree removes a massive amount of carbon from the environment and locks it inside. When we cut a tree, not only we stop the additional carbon removal process, we also release a massive amount of carbon that was stored inside a tree through photosynthesis.

Friday, 13 December 2019

Climate change part 3

We cannot live independently, we depend on nature for food, water and oxygen. Climate change is impacting every living being in our surrounding. Apart from the obvious perils of climate change, there are other implications as well.

Changing rain patterns affect our food and water sources. Too much rain causes flood, drowns our crops and pollutes our drinking water sources. Too less rain causes drought, dries up the crops and drinking water. Rise in sea temperature causes coral bleaching. Coral reefs are one of the most important habitat for thousands of marine species including fishes. When millions of fishes die due to loss of habitat, we lose an important food source. 

One of the biggest impacts of climate change is on food and water security in almost all countries around the globe. Poorer countries are already suffering due to loss of crops, fishes, and clean drinking water. Even in developed countries, food prices are increasing. Unexpected incidents of drinking water source poisoning are on the rise. 

Our population is increasing and food, water sources are depleting. If that is not a reason to be concerned, what is?

Thursday, 12 December 2019

Climate crisis part 2

Climate change affects our everyday lives in more ways than we know. Climate change doesn't just increase temperature everywhere. It messes with the temperature and rainfall patterns of a place to make it hotter or colder, drier or wetter. The change in temperature does not just cause discomfort. The untimely rain is not just an inconvenience. These changes are impacting survival of many species.

Every living being in the world have their ideal environment for survival. Some are more resilient than others. But when the environment becomes too inhospitable too quickly, every living being struggles, including us.

Let's assume that human beings can survive a range of temperatures from -50 to 50 degree celsius. The places where temperature was already close to the extremes, is now almost becoming uninhabitable.

But if temperatures keep rising, how long before other places also cross the threshold? We have been experiencing increasing incidences of flood, cyclone, and other extreme weather events. Our population is constantly rising and our habitable area, our own 'habitat' is constantly shrinking.

Can we still ignore climate change?

Wednesday, 11 December 2019

Climate Crisis Part 1

The climate change is already real and it has started impacting every single place all over the world in some way or the other. Starting from irregular rain and unpredictable, extreme weather events to sea level rise, sea temperature increase, it's everywhere. It is already impacting everyone, some more than the others. The poorer countries are feeling the heat way more than the developed countries. But even for the developed countries, it's not too far anymore.

Few days back we posted that in the scientific community, we have a tendency to be 'conservative'. Whenever someone predicts a grim or devastating or a drastically different future, they are dismissed saying it is too radical. So most of our predictions on climate change and its impacts have always been conservative. But the actual change and the impact is actually happening much faster than we ever predicted or expected.

This year we saw the Amazon rainforest burning. We have been hearing about melting polar ice and polar bear habitat shrinking. Great barrier reef is struggling to cope with the mass coral bleaching due to rising sea temperature. These are just a few examples from the biggest and greatest natural wonders on earth. 

Now climate change is a full blown crisis that needs to be dealt with and we need to do it NOW, aggressively. No more room for conservative measures, doubts or no action. 

Tuesday, 10 December 2019

No need for Slavery

Zoos at the end are just a profit making business. Some may advertise conservation as their agenda but at the end, when a consumer is paying to enter and be entertained by the animals, the welfare of the said animal generally is given the least consideration.

We have been born into a society that accepts animals in zoos as commonplace but the invention of the zoo dates back thousands of years — to an era when people who looked different were also put on display. We now have unlimited options for entertainment, not to mention a greater understanding of animal sentience and needs. In today's society, ogling at animals in zoos behind glass seems crudely outdated. Certainly it's unnecessary and rarely (if ever) in the animals' best interests.

Let's recognize this as an inhumane practice and stop putting animals through lifetime of torture for our momentary entertainment.

Monday, 9 December 2019

Psychological Trauma

The animals always look miserable in captivity. The notion that animals think and feel may be rampant among pet owners, but it still makes many scientists uncomfortable and still not taken very seriously. Philip Low, a prominent computational neuroscientist, masterminded an unprecedented document, The Cambridge Declaration on Consciousness in Human and Nonhuman Animals”. It was signed by a group of leading animal researchers in the presence of Stephen Hawking. It asserted that mammals, birds and other creatures like octopuses possess consciousness and, in all likelihood, emotions and self-awareness.

A profusion of recent studies has shown animals to be far closer to us than we previously believed — it turns out that common shore crabs feel and remember pain, zebra finches experience REM sleep, fruit-fly brothers cooperate, dolphins and elephants recognize themselves in mirrors, chimpanzees assist one another without expecting favors in return and dogs really do feel elation in their owners’ presence.
Animals in captivity across the globe have been documented displaying signs of anxiety and depression. In fact, psychological distress in zoo animals is so common that it has its own name: Zoochosis.

Zoochosis can include rocking, swaying, excessively pacing back and forth, circling, twisting of the neck, self-mutilation, excessive grooming, biting, vomiting and copraphagia (consuming excrement).

Animals in the wild hardly ever exhibit these behaviours. When kept in captivity, animals are deprived of the ability to express their natural desires and this can often have an impact on their mental and emotional health.

Sunday, 8 December 2019

Lapse of Humanity

Animals in zoos are caged for life and deprived of the opportunity to develop and fulfill the full range of their interests and needs. They lose control over their lives and the environment they live in. Social animals are often forced to live in the misery of solitary confinement. Animals who would prefer to live alone are often forced into close contact with others. 

If you know anyone who has a dog or a cat as a pet, ask them if the animals liked to be locked indoors and you will hear a definitive no as an answer, why can't we extend same courtesy to other animals. At least most breeds of cats and dogs are domesticated, while for the other wild animals being caged will prove to be even worse.

Animals suffer in zoos. In zoos, animals such as dolphins and sea lions are ridiculed in demeaning and embarrassing performances, animals can get extremely stressed by screaming visitors. They are subjected to camera flashes and the hordes of hundreds of people. The animals get depressed, psychologically disturbed, frustrated, they harm each other, become ill, go hungry, and are forced to endure extreme and unnatural temperatures. These animals cannot live as they would wish to live.