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Life on the Earth

Book Review : Climate Change- We and our future





Climate change is not only an environmental issue but now it becomes a serious global political issue. In the last two decades, in most countries, including the United States of America, United Kingdom, Germany etc, political leaders placed the issue in their election promises too. Many debates have been going on across the world. But time for debate has gone, now it is the time for action. Still some developed countries, large amount of CO² emitters – particularly the USA and China are reluctant to agree the recommendations of International Treaties. It is very unfortunate. The scientific communities have already proved the impacts and in various localities of the world people started to experience it. Most of the people still unaware of the climate change and it’s impacts because most of the people do not find readable materials on the topic in local languages. In Assam, a northeastern state of India, one can rarely find an Assamese book on Climate Change. The Assamese language media – print, digital and electronic, often neglect the climate change issue due to ignorance and relevancy of the topic.

K K Chatradhara, well known as Bhai, among the environmental activists, communities, policy-makers and environmentalists, recently wrote a book in Assamese on climate change – Jalabayu Paribartan Ami Aru Amar Bhabiswat (Climate Change – We and Our Future). This book will definitely help for those who do not know any major languages other than the Assamese.

No doubt, the Assamese is one of the most logical and beautiful languages in the world but the vocabulary is a little bit poor to define some terms related to climate change. The author worked hard and able to distribute it to the Assamese readers. K K Chatradhara has been working with the environmental issues for last two decades. This is his second books written in Assamese; while the first was a voluminous “Swarna Upaityakar Mritu Upaityakaloi” (From the Golden Valley to the Valley of Death). He contributed many research based articles to various books and journals. Articles written in Assamese also carried out by some Guwahati based newspapers. Chatradhara is a hardcore anti-large dam campaigner. Therefore, Bhai is a popular name from Dibang of Arunachal Pradesh to Narmada in Gujarat.

When we talk about climate change, several questions arise – “what is climate change?” “Is the issue of climate change real or rhetoric?”, “What are the major drivers of climate change?”, What is global warming and why it happens?”; Who are responsible for the emissions of greenhouse gases?” and so forth. Chatradhara delineates the answers of these questions unambiguously in very simple language so that any reader can understand the core of the subject of the book. For those who are quite novice to the subject “climate change and it’s impacts”, the author is trying to simplify the book by dividing it into small chapters. Each and every chapter of the book reveals the in-depth study of the author and carefully analyses and

quotes the findings of reputed, dependable and authentic scientific studies published in books, reputed newspapers and journals. It might be mentioned that Chatradhara attended many climate change related workshops and conferences held in India and abroad. It helped him to see the changing scenario of climatic events in the Northeast and in particular in the Brahmaputra basin.

The book is written in Assamese, therefore, excluding other parts, the author primarily focuses more on the Brahmaputra basin. The Brahmaputra is the lifeline of as Assam and the Assamese culture and livelihood of some people directly or indirectly depend upon the river. He asks, what about the

Brahmaputra and it’s tributaries? Due to massive deglaciation of the glaciers and erratic precipitation, the rivers behaviourial pattern will change and water regime will fluctuate frequently. The people of the Brahmaputra valley will definitely experience severe droughts and catastrophic floods which resulted in crops yields. The farmers will face massive set back. Other water bodies such as ponds, fisheries, wetlands, swamps etc will disappear; soil moisture, humidity in atmosphere will also be low. Mosquito-borne diseases may much higher. Climate change will also affect upon the agrarian economy, migration, livelihood, food crisis, internal conflicts, physical health and mental health too.

The future becomes more unpredictable when global temperature continues soar, but we have to embrace it. Chatradhara is saying here about adaptation and resilience and urges everyone to do something which can help in reducing greenhouse gases. Yes, the climate change is the global issue but it’s impacts are local. For this global issue, local action is very essential. Sensitisation and community mobilisation also important part and collective work is must.

The Earth Summit ( United Nations Conference on Environment and Development) was held in Brazil’s Rio de Jenerio in 1992. This was not the starting of works began against climate change. For years earlier, in 1988, Inter-governmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), consisting of scientists from various countries, was formed to study the various aspects of climate change. The book also says about the Kyoto Protocol held in 1997 and the opinions of the world leaders on it. Under United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) annual meetings Conference of the Parties (CoP) have been organising in various cities of the world to highlight the issues pertaining to climate change among the concerned global leaders. This year, the CoP- 25 Will be held from December 2 to December 13 in Chile. Many national and international organizations are working on it on various levels.

Almost all the nations, including some poorest countries of the world are spending money through various government departments on mitigating and coping up with climate change impacts. Conservation of forests, water bodies, wildlife, afforestation, natural resource management, less fossil fuels combustion, enforcement of strict laws for polluting industries are major activities in curbing greenhouse gases. In India, the government has Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC), Ministry of Jal Shakti, Central Water Commission (CWC), State Pollution Control Boards (SPCB)s are taking various initiatives to tackle the situation.

This book will be a major tool for the students, environmental activists of the new generation and those who are interested and want to learn the most discussed topic – climate change. But it is very important that everyone should read the book and understand seriousness issue.

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