WION Edit: Global warming threat continues to grow

NoidaUpdated: Sep 19, 2019, 07:16 PM IST
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Firefighters extinguish a fire in Amazon jungle in Porto Velho, Brazil. Photograph:(Reuters)

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Air is polluted, the forest cover is dwindling at a rapid rate, and it has become a public health crisis.

From Amazon to Indonesia to Malaysia to Singapore to Thailand - it's one story. It's a climate emergency.

And the rally to tackle climate change must be global and concerted because the effects are global.

The raging forest fires in the Amazon wild forests, as well as Indonesia, are two snapshots of our future which must concern all of us.

The most important problem is the global ineptitude in preventing such climate disasters from happening.

This is because these fires have become annual events. Every year, Indonesia sets late-summer fires to clear forests.

The smoke from the fires has been disastrous for several neighbouring countries. 

Malaysia, for instance, is paying the price for Indonesian fires.

The 1997 fires in Indonesia alone burnt nearly 20 thousand square miles of forest cover.

In 2015,  the fires caused premature deaths of nearly one lakh people.

Yet, the apathy continues.

The sad truth is, countries view offers of help as external interference. For instance, Indonesia has declined offers of assistance from Malaysia and Singapore to tackle forest fires 

Just like Amazon fires, in Indonesia too, there is zero accountability. Even after the order from the country's top court, the Joko Widodo government has not released data on plantation ownership, boundaries and licenses.

Such data would help the government identify the origin of fires.

But countries are not willing to fix the problem. Their focus has been damage control but knee-jerk reactions and stop-gap solutions will not work anymore. 

The effects of climate change are being felt by the people. Air is polluted, the forest cover is dwindling at a rapid rate, and it has become a public health crisis.

Rampaging fires are slowly making life difficult in this planet and failure to act against global warming will accelerate the extinction of life as we know it.

(Disclaimer: The opinions expressed above are the personal views of the author and do not reflect the views of ZMCL)