Oct 20, 2007

Nobel Prize recognizes the environment

According to Alfred Nobel's will, the Peace Prize should be awarded "to the person who shall have done the most or the best work for fraternity between the nations, for the abolition or reduction of standing armies and for the holding and promotion of peace congresses. "

Cut to 2007.

The Norwegian Nobel Committee has decided that the Nobel Peace Prize for 2007 is to be shared, in two equal parts, between the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and Albert Arnold (Al) Gore Jr. for their efforts to build up and disseminate greater knowledge about man-made climate change, and to lay the foundations for the measures that are needed to counteract such change.
The Nobel committee in no small measure recognizes the primacy of environment vis-a-vis political and peace issues. The politics of peace (or its absence) threatens nations...the fallout of global warming thretens our very planet.

Global warming is ‘The Topical Theme’, which shows no sign of cooling down. And why not, as the earth gets hotter and progressively hotter with each passing year.
For a long time now the effect of man's industrialization and technological progress has quietly yet continuously eked away at the delicate balance of the planet's atmosphere and ecosystem, but within the last 30 or so years the pace of this damage has markedly accelerated. Within our lifetime we are experiencing change in weather patterns manifested in hotter summers, hurricanes, deluges brought about by cyclonic rains, increased incidences of diseases to name just a few. Is it realistic to blame it all on global warming and should we be concerned?
It is not easy to decipher to what extent this human-induced accumulation of greenhouse gases is responsible for the global warming trend. Other factors—natural climatic variations, changes in the sun’s energy, and the cooling effects of pollutant aerosols—affect our planet’s temperature, and understanding in these areas is incomplete. Nevertheless, evidence states that there is a discernible human influence on climate. There is new and stronger evidence that most of the warming observed over the last 50 years is attributable to human activities. It is without doubt that we are sitting on a volatile time bomb, one that could send the entire planet into a tailspin of destruction.

Is their a panacea for this ill plaguing the planet. The answer is in the affirmative. But it demands universal cooperation and universal sacrifice. We cannot afford to wait for our neighbor to take that first step. We have to step up, for the cure lies in individual and civil action. It’s a veritable race against time and for the moment we are running against the clock.
Thankfully, today there is much greater empathy towards the environment. There is a heightened sense of awareness. The known and unknowns of our world have put up their hand and stepped up to save the planet from the proverbial apocalypse. These modern day ecological evangelists have managed to push the environmental agenda to the very top of political deliberations. The Kyoto protocol was a direct fallout of universal concerns. The challenge though seems to be in arriving at a global consensus. For that man will have to challenge his own greed. That remains the BIG ‘Q’.

Earth will survive global warming but will we? Maybe…but the only place we call home may not look the way we know it.

(This article is a commentary on an archived news article...some content is quoted from there)

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