India must have a Renewable Energy Law by 2010. Will our government do it? Only if ordinary Indian Citizens like us apply enough pressure, this will happen. Go on, save the climate. Be a Green Idol.
In just a week, over 13,000 ordinary citizens have already asked the Prime Minister for a Renewable Energy Law. But it’s going to take a lot more than that before he acts. That’s just the way it works. If you haven't already signed up then please do so. Now, if every one of you got just five more people to sign up today, we could show Dr. Manmohan Singh what public opinion looks like outside a voting booth.
Ask your friends, family and colleagues to join the Green Idol campaign as well. If they haven’t accepted your invitation as yet (hey, some people get a lot of mail) simply re-invite them. Go on. Save the climate. Be a hero.
Climate change in a nutshell
Climate change isn’t just about a few degrees here and there in some intellectual debate between scientists. It’s about real effects on real people, and it’s happening faster than anyone expected. To avoid a total catastrophe, we must have a Renewable Energy Law in India by 2010.
Climate change is real. It’s right here. It’s right now. And it’s happening faster than anyone expected. For India to do its bit to avoid catastrophic impacts, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh must take urgent action now! He can start by announcing a Renewable Energy Law by 2010. And the only way he’ll do that is if a million ordinary Indian citizens write to him.
The impacts of climate change
Climate change isn’t just about a few degrees here and there in some intellectual debate between scientists. It’s about real effects on real people.
As CO2 emissions increase, global temperatures rise. As a result of this global warming, the Gangotri glacier is shrinking at the rate of 34 metres per year. If it shrinks any faster, the Ganga could dry up in just another 20 years, threatening the very survival of over 500 million people (or every second person) in India.
CO2 emissions are acidifying the oceans, with potentially disastrous consequences for marine life. The oceans currently absorb one third of all carbon emissions, but they're reaching a saturation point. Which means no fish to eat. With most of India’s population concentrated in coastal cities like Bombay, Trivandrum, Madras and Calcutta, what will all those people eat if the fish disappear?
Diseases like dengue and chikungunya are only a dress-rehearsal for the kind of viral diseases that are to come. As the planet gets hotter, ancient species of viruses (kept at a safe distance from human populations by temperature “buffer zones” for millions of years) will run rampant through thickly populated urban areas.
New studies are predicting sea level rises of over a metre or more by the end of this century, more than double the predictions made in 2007. A number of low-lying areas in India, from the Sunderbans to the Andamans, are already under serious threat. Where will all these people go?
Typhoons and cyclones.
Cyclone Aila has killed over 350 people, displaced another 1 million, and placed over 20 million at risk of post-disaster disease. If global temperatures keep rising, such extreme weather events will only increase in frequency and intensity. How many of our cities can withstand such havoc, year after year? Not one. Remember, a single tsunami shut down Madras, a single flood shut down Bombay, and a single cyclone shut down Calcutta.
No food security.
Already, farmers are suffering from failed crops due to erratic monsoons and increasing droughts in large parts of Orissa, Maharashtra and Bihar. If climate change continues unchecked, India’s food security – built painstakingly over the years – will face a threat greater than any terrorist act known to this nation.
Go on. Save the climate. Be a hero.