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Climate change an existential crisis for Pakistan

The Year 2022 brought the record-breaking heat waves in Pakistan that is affecting the lives of the masses. According to The New York Times, the study says, the chances of such a heat wave increased by at least 30 times since the 19th century.

Our world is facing a severe climate change crisis. It is somehow because of the negligence of humans that our planet is not safe. Our today’s action will make our dearest planet suffer tomorrow in terms of heat waves, severe storms, increased drought, loss of species, lack of food, health risks and in many other ways.

Pakistan ranked as the 8th most affected country by climate change, between the 2000 to 2019 Global Climate Risk Index released by the public policy group German watch.
The question arising in our mind is, what “climate change” is basically, and how is it affecting our everyday lives?

According to the UN, climate change refers to long-term shifts in temperatures and weather patterns. These shifts may be natural, such as through variations in the solar cycle. But since the 1800s, human activities have been the main driver of climate change, primarily due to burning fossil fuels like coal, oil, and gas.
Intense heat across Pakistan and neighboring India exposed more than a billion people to blistering temperatures well above 40 Celsius (104 Fahrenheit). “This heatwave is likely to kill thousands,” noted Robert Rohde, lead scientist at Berkeley Earth, a climate science research non-profit
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The drastic heat waves have almost shut down the businesses in the country and devastated the agriculture set up in the country. The country depends excessively on its agriculture sector which plays a major role in the economy as it contributes 18.9 % to GDP and carries the largest amount of labor force of 42.3 %.

People of Pakistan are avoiding going out because of extreme weather condition which is affecting the businesses. A small businessman talked with us and said “We are sitting here empty-handed for the whole day and only one to two people are coming and buying otherwise, there is no way to fulfill our essential household expenses”.

Today Pakistan is facing a threatening situation, the country’s economy is depleting and the major source of the country’s (agriculture department) to bring out of the crisis is encountering the major climate crisis.

Pakistan’s wheat requirement is around 30 million tons but agriculturalists and authorities worry that country’s wheat production may not surpass 26 million tons due to drastic depletion and severe high temperatures in March 2022. Pakistan is already struggling to meet domestic demand for wheat and this loss will further worsen the situation.

Furthermore, the consequence of climate change is also evident in the case of mango production. Due to the harsh weather, Pakistan will miss the production target this year. Apart from these, the shortage of water has had the worst impact as many parts of Pakistan are suffering from chronic shortages. Cholistan is one of the most affected areas, which is going through acute water scarcity.

It is an alarming situation for Pakistan where the population is increasing and food security is decreasing day by day, as a result, we will see a major food shortage crisis in Pakistan in the future which will cause malnutrition, premature births & many other health issues. Our government should take immediate action to take control over these major problems.

The Ministry of Climate Change said on World Environment Day, “Let’s not ignore Climate Change, biodiversity losses, or pollution that our country faces at this very moment let’s pledge to be a responsible citizen of this state”.

Urbanization is the major cause that is depriving the eco-friendly nature of our country. We should plant more and more trees, in my view as that is the most effective way to beat this climate change crisis in the country. The greener the country, the healthier the life would be.

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