In California, thousands died of heat-related illnesses. Many lost homes due to wildfires and landslides. Thousands of people are suffering from severe asthma and heart disease as a result of air pollution and inhaling wildfire smoke. The most affected are low-income communities and people of colour.
The condition is not favourable in India, too. Climate change or global warming triggers a series of issues which directly affect people. The primary cause of climate change is the burning of fossil fuels, which emits greenhouse gases into the atmosphere – mainly carbon dioxide. Deforestation and other human activities destroying nature also result in the emission of greenhouse gases that cause global warming. Increasing temperatures, uneven rainfall, extreme weather events and loss of agricultural land due to drought and floods seriously affect production and availability of food around the world. The rate of child malnutrition has gone up in the recent years. Agricultural distress due to climate change impacts food manufacturing, availability and access to basic food grains, fruits and vegetables. Price rise compel people to shift to cheaper, unhealthy and processed foods and beverages. Climate change also affects food quality, reducing the nutritional value of some popular crops. Higher carbon dioxide leve
ls in the atmosphere potentially decrease the protein and mineral content of plant foods like wheat, rice and soybeans while raising their carbohydrate levels.
A study also reveals that switching to active or public transportation is environmentally sustainable and can help reduce an individual’s Body Mass Index. Over the last few years, large areas of forest land across the country have been converted for commercial, residential, agricultural, and other purposes. Substantial deforestation results in soil erosion and fertility loss, which in turn leads to temperature rise, floods and landslides, and other weather extremes, all of which are associated with lower crop productivity in a particular region. Deforestation also results in the reduction of biodiversity, which affects food supply.
Considering that climate change is threatening the whole planet, what steps must be taken to bring it under control? Are we taking enough measures to control it? Since factors like climate change attribute to issues like malnutrition, what must be done to avoid it? Isn’t it high time we started using zero-emission vehicle technologies to reduce air pollution and greenhouse gases?