Monday, December 13, 2010

Climate Change and a limitless earth; we are just ignorant!

The earth has always provided for its people and there is no reason to believe that one day the earth can no longer fulfil its duty. This earth will only cease to function, in my opinion, at the command of God who created everything including the earth, just by commanding them to come to being! Different challenges arise at various times and the earth has always risen to the occasion. The real issue then becomes not the inability of the earth to provide for its inhabitants, but the ignorance of its inhabitants to know where to find what.

Increasing food production to feed a projected over 9 billion people in the face of changing climate is one of the greatest challenges of the 21st century. Success in meeting this challenge will undoubtedly require a steady stream of technical and institutional innovations in adapting to changing climatic conditions. Climate change is being made to look like a monster that has come to kill all of us. But the truth is climate change will not kill all of us; in fact, it cannot! It is just a challenge we must overcome to prove our usefulness to this earth as a people and re-emphasise our desire to live and enjoy the earth.

Man’s love for hearing of disaster and threats of disaster makes it is so easy for us to get carried away by the alarm of negative climatic effects being sounded all over the world; thus preventing the world from seeing the benefits such changes may be presenting to us. Regardless of the extent of negative effects, there may be some positive effects and taking advantage of the least of the positive effects is a sure means of reducing vulnerability and enhancing adaptation to climate change. The ability to carefully identify the risks as well as opportunities that climate change presents and maximise the benefits of the opportunities is major step in reducing our vulnerability to climate change.

There are reports of likely positive climatic changes in the highland tropics and in temperate regions; that changes in temperatures and precipitation forecast by the standard models of climate change will actually benefit agriculture in some parts of the world; climate changes may also provide opportunities for agricultural investment, rewarding early action taken to capitalize on these options; rising atmospheric concentrations of CO2, increasing atmospheric CO2 levels, driven by emissions from human activities, can act as a fertilizer and enhance the growth of some crops such as wheat, rice and soybeans; and some estimates suggest that higher CO2 levels could increase crop productivity substantially, by 50% or more. These are all pointers to show that the earth is limitless and when we look deep enough, we will find where the resources are to cater for its people. Inadequate consideration of adaptation options, including not taking advantage of potential benefits, could result in the vulnerability to climate change being significantly over-stated. The earth is limitless and constantly provides opportunities for its people to survive but mostly such opportunities are either overlooked or only seen in the last minute when many people would have already lost heavily. It is time to make conscious effort to always look out, first, for the opportunities in every seemingly unfortunate development.

It’s time to kill our ignorance of climate change issues and be optimistic. We have heard enough of the negative impacts. It’s time to identify and fully utilise the opportunities climate change presents to us. We can’t lose the opportunities and sit crying over negative impacts. A lost opportunity can be as bad as a negative impact and such lost opportunities add up to swell the negative impacts.

“O come let us reason together …”

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