A report by the United Nations Environment Program and the World Meteorological Organization in 2011 said: “They (soot and urban smog pollution) disturb tropical rainfall and regional circulation patterns such as the Asian monsoon, affecting the livelihoods of millions of people.” A neighbor’s father visiting from Seoul was complaining bitterly the other day; of the soot and acid rain and pollution raining down on them from the giant coal burning plants in neighboring China, destroying their air quality. Increasing urbanization and populations needs massive amounts of energy, and we have to make some hard choices on how renewable forms can be increased with minimal pollution. This year an unusual pattern of the monsoon advancing towards the west of South Asia; confronted strong westerly winds for an unusually long time and with an extraordinary intensity, which resulted in days of torrential rains. The westerly and monsoons do not normally coexist and the war between such massive weather systems ;brought devastating floods as currently faced, in India’s Uttarakhand state, Nepal and areas of Pakistan.
Variations in monsoon precipitation are predicted for the coming decades; and while no one points to global warming, the amount of rain and snow that falls will become more difficult to predict reliably. We see similar random events happening all over the world; as seen in the torrential cloud bursts and downpours in Canada, China and we can look at the ominous black dots spreading across the USGS flood mapping system, for more proof. Black means the high flood levels that streams and rivers have reached in the current records. The realists will say that this is the weather, and there is no way to predict how the massive Eco-systems of the Earth will behave. The long droughts in once green lands of Africa, Nevada and Australia are just symptoms of an earth deciding what to do, with its human provided power, and she is sending us subtle signals like a good mother. Warming oceans have a belligerence; we do not want to experience, as they unleash typhoons, cyclones, hurricanes and tornadoes rushing down on hapless populations. A majority of these storms rise and fall in the seas and we do not experience them first hand; and only occasionally when they make land fall, do we seek shelter in awe and pray for them to pass with minimal damage to life and property. While the global warming will aid the growth of crops and fauna when the weather gods are kind; it will be when in their fury they unleash their awesome power, that we will come to know the Pandora’s Box we have opened.
There is still time to reverse some of this; but it will take years of dedicated effort as a yearning multitude has to be fed, housed and cared for at the same time. The earth is gracious and kind to allow us to exist and grow on it, but it is also our responsibility as its children, to take care of our mother or else she may turn on us, and make us homeless. We live in this garden of earthly delights, and our decisions and actions today will decide whether our future generations will continue to live in this paradise, or the mother banishes them to burn in hell. Unfortunately the rich conservatives are busy fighting the wrong wars, and leading us down the wrong path. We have the technology and can come up with innovative ways to solve our problems, but the allocations of resources are controlled by the few, who remain clueless to our progeny’s plight.