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LETTER TO EDITOR
Year : 2007  |  Volume : 11  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 86-87
 

Global warming: Need to sensitize general population


Department of Community Medicine, Dr. D Y Patil Medical College, Pimpri, Pune - 411 018, India

Correspondence Address:
Harshal Pandve
Department of Community Medicine, Dr. D Y Patil Medical College, Pimpri, Pune - 411 018, Maharashatra
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/0019-5278.34536

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How to cite this article:
Pandve H. Global warming: Need to sensitize general population. Indian J Occup Environ Med 2007;11:86-7

How to cite this URL:
Pandve H. Global warming: Need to sensitize general population. Indian J Occup Environ Med [serial online] 2007 [cited 2020 Sep 30];11:86-7. Available from: http://www.ijoem.com/text.asp?2007/11/2/86/34536


Dear sir,

Global warming has emerged as one of the most important environmental issues ever to confront humanity. This concern arises from the fact that our everyday activities may be leading to changes in the earth's atmosphere that have the potential to significantly alter the planet's heat and radiation balance. [1]

Recent report of intergovernmental panel on climate change (IPCC) stated that global warming is leading to rise in temperature by which is much more than expected earlier. [2] Glaciers are melting, sea levels are rising, cloud forests are drying and wildlife is scrambling to keep pace. It's becoming clear that humans have caused most of the past century's warming by releasing heat-trapping gases as we power our modern lives. [3]

Global warming could do more to hurt your health than simply threaten summertime heat stroke. Although heat-related illnesses and deaths will increase with the temperatures, climate change is expected to also attack human health with dirtier air and water, more flood-related accidents and injuries, threats to food supplies, hundreds of millions of environmental refugees and stress on and possible collapse of many ecosystems that now purify our air and water. [4]

According to IPCC report, global warming will have major impact on Asia and India is at high risk amongst the Asian countries. The major rivers of India like Ganga, Sindhu and Bramhaputra has their sources in Glaciers of Himalaya. Global warming is leading to melting of glaciers; this will lead to reduction of water level of these rivers and ultimately lead to scarcity of water. There will be increased mineralization of water due to which the fertile planes of these rivers may become sterile leading to food scarcity to millions of people. On the other hand rise in sea water level poses major threat to long coastalline of India. The population on coastal margin will have to migrate to safer places. Global warming will also lead to major health threats for millions. Incidence of waterborne as well as vectorborne diseases tend to increase remarkably. As floods and droughts will be more frequent the incidence of various epidemics may increase. A study, by scientists at the World Health Organization (WHO) and the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, determined that 160,000 people die every year from the effects of global warming, from malaria to malnutrition, children in developing nations seemingly the most vulnerable. These numbers could almost double by 2020. [4]

So far work done related to global warming is mainly confined to research, conferences, seminars and workshops. But in India, the general population has very little knowledge about the burning issue of global warming. Efforts must be taken as early as possible to create awareness about it. Government authorities and NGOs should take the initiative in this matter. It is a difficult task to change the human behavior but as remarked by Dr. Shigeru Omi, Regional Director of Western Pacific region of WHO, at the Consultation on Social Determinants of Health in the Western Pacific Region, Beijing, China, "Global warming is a good example of the need to change our mind-sets. We have already seen that global warming has resulted in more floods and more droughts. Global warming may even lead to the desertification of the Amazon forest. We know that the solution lies in the reduction of greenhouse gases, such as carbon dioxide. The Kyoto Protocol provides an international instrument to reduce greenhouse gases. But some of us seek short-term gain, instead of achieving the long-term goal and global benefit. Changing people's mind-sets and values is, of course, a daunting task. I do not have immediate answers as to how it will be achieved. However, one thing for sure is that we need to be bold and innovative in our thinking. We can no longer afford to engage in business as usual". [5]

Most importantly efforts must be taken to teach school children about global warming and climate changes due to it more extensively. Love and affection about the nature should be created amongst them, for that frequents trips and visits to natural places are important. Human resource department of India encourage the educational research centers in India like National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT), Central Board of School Education (CBSE) and the State Education Boards to include the issue of global warming and climate change in more scientific way. Emphasis must be given on practical aspects to prevent global warming (for example encourage child about growing trees and protecting them). It is important because behavior of children can be easily changed in early childhood and hence education about global warming and its effects should start in the earlier years of schooling.

Time has come to change our mindset to protect our planet and for this noble cause every individual should take his share of responsibility. It is our moral duty to give our coming generations a safe and healthy future.

 
  References Top

1.Available from: http://www.india-seminar.com/2000/486/486%20patwardhan.htm.  Back to cited text no. 1    
2.Available from: http://www.ipcc.ch/"Climate Change 2007" the IPCC 4 TH Assessment Report.  Back to cited text no. 2    
3.Available from: http://green.nationalgeographic.com/environment/global-warming/gw- overview.html.  Back to cited text no. 3    
4.Available from: http://www.ecobridge.org/content/g_tht.htm.  Back to cited text no. 4    
5.Available from: .  Back to cited text no. 5    



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