Given the nature and magnitude of the challenge, national action alone is insufficient. No nation can address this challenge on its own. No region can insulate itself from these climate changes. That is why we need to confront climate change within a global framework, one that guarantees the highest level of international cooperation, said by Secretary General of the United Nations, opening address of the High-Level Event on Climate Change, 24 September, 2007.
Asian countries including Pakistan face the greatest risk from severe climate change, which could force millions of people to flee their homes and trigger environmental migration, according to an Asian Development Bank report. The report titled “Climate Change and Migration in Asia and the Pacific” says Bangladesh, India, Maldives and Pakistan face the greatest risk, but Indonesia, the Philippines, Thailand, Vietnam, Japan, China and South Korea are also especially vulnerable.
Publics of the Pakistan in recent years have largely disapproved of how the Government of Pakistan totally ignored the grave climate change issue. China, the U.S. and India seem to be most reluctant to sign up to the EU’s “road map” pointing towards the next climate treaty that expires the next year, have refused to commit to legal targets. This has raised the prospect that no country will have the right targets to cut emissions after 2012.said Artur Runge-Metzger, the EU’s lead envoy on the environment.
From the World Bank commissioned report in 2009: “Public attitudes toward climate change: findings from a multi-country poll”,comes this interesting look at country wide attitudes to climate change.
Another study, conducted by the NOAA and colleagues at the Cooperative Institute for Research on Environmental Sciences (CIRES), was published in the Journal of Climate and says that climate change from greenhouse gases explains close to half the increased dryness in the region. Observations and model simulations show a shift to drier conditions in the Mediterranean beginning in the 1970s. It might be pertinent to mention here that Asia was the worst hit area due to most severe change in climate. Pakistan is one of the countries that have been severely hit in the recent years by disastrous effects of climate change including flash floods and devastating earthquakes.
“Developed nations are not guilty of causing the climate change that developing nations claim to suffer”, said Tom Harris, executive director of ICSC which is headquartered in Ottawa, Canada. “Climate changes all the time—both warming and cooling—due to natural causes and there is nothing that we can do to stop it. However, to the degree possible, and considering our economic circumstances, developed nations still have a moral obligation to devote a proportion of their foreign aid to helping the world’s most vulnerable people adapt to natural climate events.”
Human activities have caused the extinction of plants and animals at some hundreds or thousands of times faster than what the natural rate would have been as Mr. Kiyo Akasaka, Under-Secretary-General for Communications and Public Information, in the Japanese city of Kanazawa said.
“We cannot reverse extinction. We can, however, prevent future extinction of other species right now. For the next 10 years our commitment to protecting more than eight million species, and our wisdom in contributing to a balance of life, will be put to a test,” Mr. Kiyo Akasaka said.
Species can adapt to gradual changes in their environment through evolution, but climate change often moves too quickly for them to do so. It’s not the absolute temperature, then, but the rate of change that matters. Put simply, if climate change is large enough, quick enough, and on a global scale, it can be the perfect ingredient for a mass extinction.
We can’t tell the future of evolution, but we can look at the past for reference points.