Chapter – I
Introduction to Global Warming
WHAT IS GLOBAL WARMING
As per Webster Dictionary, Global Warming is “an increase in the earth’s atmospheric and oceanic temperatures widely predicted to occur due to an increase in the greenhouse effect resulting especially from pollution”
Global average air temperature near the Earth’s surface rose 0.74 ± 0.180C during the past century is a cause of concern for human kind. The climate system varies due to external factors of solar activity, volcanic emission, and variation in the Earth’s orbit. It also varies due to the Green House Gases (GHG’s), which are created due to the internal activity of Man.
Automobile engines, power plants and other fossil fuel – burning industries contributed significantly to rise in the temperature of Earth’s atmosphere, by emitting GHG’s.
What paved to Global Warming
Prior to industrial revolution, there was no use of machines in the human lives. Industrial revolution was took place in the Europe. It was stimulated by the agriculture revolution in England.
Initially, renaissance had changed the attitude of the human beings. Renaissance preached the courage, rationality, questioning etc. to the Europeans. They started discovering the new places to meet the demands of their material needs. These discoveries gave impetus to trade and commerce in the European continent. In order to increase the trade and commerce with the newly discovered places, Europeans need to produce more resources, food grains etc. consequent to the agricultural revolution in the England, it had provided the requisites to the industrialization, such as cheap and educated labour, convenient political system, scientific community, surplus in trade and commerce, peaceful conditions, agricultural surplus, natural resources etc.
Consequently, mechanization and industrialization had occurred. Initially it took place in the textile sector and later spread to steel and cement sector. Subsequently, it spread to the total European continent. Prior to industrialization, the existence of CO2 and other GHG was in equilibrium in atmosphere, since emission and perishing or transfer of those gases were equal.
But, industrialization had paved the way for the pollution and release of GHG’s in many ways as under:
1. Machines released the large scale pollutants and GHG’s into atmosphere
2. Transportation sector was developed due to increase in the trade ad commerce, which caused further pollution.
3. Many forests were cut down for setting up of industries. Many agricultural lands were also converted in to industries.
4. Commercialization and establishment of stores, shops further decreased the area of forests and agricultural lands.
5. Population growth was at large due to improved health services after industrialization.
6. In later stages, dangerous chemicals, artificial gases were produced resulting to more pollution and GHG emission.
WHY WE SHOULD WORRY ABOUT GLOBAL WARMING?
1. Due to the Global Warming the Himalayan Glaciers have been retreating twice as fast during the 1990’s as in the previous decades. It is known fact that the North Indian Rivers of Indus and Ganges are perennial due to the Glaciers. About 50 Crore people are dependent on these river systems for the purpose of Irrigation and Drinking Water needs, etc.
2. Further, if the same situation continues, there is every possibility of disappearance of Himalayan glaciers, Due to which, we cannot hear of cultivation of two crops a year in Ganga delta. It will certainly put pressure on the food security. More importantly drinking water will also not available to the most of the people in North and East India. Average 40C rise in global temperature would cause nearly all of the world’s glaciers to melt resulting in rising sea levels.
3. The Global mean Sea level has risen 10-20 Cm in the past century, which is 10 times faster than the average over the past 2000 years. At this rate, it is predicted that the Mean Sea level will rise by another 47 Cm in the next 100 years. Due to the rise in Mean Sea level the low-lying Coastal areas have been submerging and devoid the land to the people. The situation on the coast of Orissa is alarming. In future, scarcity in drinking water will increase due to rise in Mean Sea levels.
4. It is also pertinent to remember that the cities of Bombay, Madras, Vizag, Calcutta, etc are on the banks of Sea Coast. It will also cause a lot of destruction to the infrastructure of ports and towns. It will be a heavy burden to the Developing countries like India.
5. The two other unforeseen troubles are that Bangladesh has got many low-lying areas and submergence of it will devoid land and water for them and cause migration of Bangladesh population to India resulting population pressure. (The Indians are the only kindest human beings on the earth to allow the foreignness to enter into its territory, with out permission).
6. So many Indian Origin persons and Non – Resident Indians are living in the Island countries. In case of submergence, naturally, they look at their mother country as their destination again. This also causes pressure of population.
7. Globally, the annual number of storms has been increased to 18 from 8. The Katrina in 2005 was the 6th largest storm causing damage over $60 billion. The recent storm, which hit Bangladesh, instead of Indian East Coast has devastating effect. If it would have hit Indian Coast, the damage may not be less than $25 billion.
8. As the Global Warming increases the vaporization also increases, resulting the heavy rains. It creates the vicious cycle.
VICIOUS CYCLE OF GLOBAL WARMING
Heavy Rains, clouds Vaporization increase
Explanation: As the atmospheric temperature increases due to the global warming, it increases the vaporization of water. We may observe that on increase of temperature of the boiling water, the vapor generated is more.
The accumulation of water vapor in atmosphere, itself, causes global warming by absorbing the insolation. It also accumulates to form the clouds, which interrupts the out going radiation and results to global warming. More vapor results to torrential rains and results to floods. Floods cause damage to flora, fauna and infrastructures, wasting many resources, leading again to global warming. Thus, global warming results to vicious cycle.
It is pertinent to remember that Water Vapor also causes Global Warming. On the other hand rains in some areas are diminished resulting to droughts. The rains are also taking place at different times in different quantity. It also causes heavy floods and loss of crops.
9. The United Nations projects that 30% of World’s land surface will turn into desert in future. Again it will have impact on the agriculture, as per hectare yield will decrease resulting burden on the food security and drinking water.
10. Other impact on the agriculture is that pest cannot be easily controlled and new pests will appear in the scene. It further decreases the yield and controlling the pest will be a costly affair. The poor farmers cannot sustain such burden of spending more money, when agriculture is already profiting less. According to WHO report Global Warming could lead to a major increase in Vector borne diseases. The mosquito borne diseases such as Dengue, Chicken Gunya, and Malaria have been increasing in Urban and tribal areas in the past five years. Out burst of Chicken Gunya in kerala is the best example for it.
Global Warming is evident from the long summers and short winters. It is also causing melting of glaciers, rise in mean sea level, and rise in storms, torrential rains, more importantly in climate change. One of the reasons for the recent Californian forest fires is global warming. Increased temperature in the material pushes the electrons into the excited states and the chemical reaction would be easier, fire is also one of the chemical reactions. Hence the rampant fires thorough out the world.
SPECIFIC PROBLEMS TO INDIAN TOWNS
1. Basically Urbanization is result of Agricultural surplus in rural areas. Due to Global Warming the agricultural produce will decrease certainly, making the food unavailable to most of the population. Global Warming increases heat, drought conditions, untimely rains, floods in certain areas, lack of ground water. It also increases pests. All the above causes reduce the yield of food.
2. Water also becomes Scares. Water has to be transported from long areas. It makes the water more costly.
The two above phenomens will push the population to resources available areas. In other words it is de-urbanization.
ENERGY RELATED VICOUS CYCLE
Energy consumption Water Transport
Explanation: Due to global warming, drought conditions prevail in most of the places. Ground water availability would come down. To mitigate such conditions, there is need of transportation of water from far off places. Similarly, there is need of drilling of new bore wells and deepening of bore wells. All the above activities require energy, which is made mostly in thermal plants. Generation of energy results to global warming. It also requires new resources. Manufacturing of new resources also causes global warming. Thus, global warming results to global warming, i.e. vicious cycle.
3. Coastal towns will face the music as the Mean Sea level has been increasing. It also causes erosion on the coastal areas. Hence, it will devoid the land for many people. Urban administrators have to take responsibility to relocate them.
4. Number of storms in Coastal areas is already on increase. It will further increase in future. It not only causes the losses of caused by Mean Sea level but also cause heavy damage of infrastructure such as roads, buildings, street lights, street light poles, communication system, ports, water supply systems, etc.
5. In addition to above losses by storms, the heavy rains in urban areas demand up gradation of infrastructure of drainage. It was visible that the most developed cities of Bombay and Calcutta could not evacuate the water for 7 days. It is unimaginable to the smaller towns to mitigate the problem of torrential rains.
6. It is not embarrassing to recognize that most of the towns in India could not upgrade its infrastructure of drainage system in the recent past. In case of torrential rains these systems won’t cater needs at all. Torrential Rains also demands a lot of maintenance cost and problems with in sanitary conditions. The problem of mosquito menace will increase when water is stagnated. All these problems naturally lead to imposition of heavy taxes or subsidization from Government.
7. Global Warming could also cause with famine like conditions. In some of the towns, there is need of drilling the earth for more than 500 feet, even without certainty. Drilling of bore wells, transportation of water and providing of infrastructure for transportation of water needs a lot of money and work.
8. Certainly these will be more deceases in urban areas due to Global Warming in future. In India presently 50% of villages lack the necessary medicines. In case of emergence of new and rampant deceases, the situation will be certainly alarming.
9. All the urban specific problems demands up gradation of facilities for providing Water, Sanitation and health measures. It requires a lot of money and time. Hence, the pressure on the administrators will be increasing for providing facilities.
Prevention is better than cure. Hence, before situation goes bad, we should worry rather get up to curtail the Global Warming with determination, enthusiasm and efficiency. Urban Administrators are Lynchpins in this struggle.
CAUSES OF GLOBAL WARMING
I would like to classify the causes as
2) Direct and
We do not have any role to play in curtailing natural reasons. We have much role in direct causes, where as long-term measures are required with regard to Indirect causes.
1. Changes in the earth’s orbit around the sun, known as Milankovitch Cycle, are believed to be pace maker of the 1,00,000 year ice age cycle.
2. Plant respiration and decomposition of organic material released more than 10 times of CO2 released by human activities, but these releases were in balance the centuries leading up to the industrial revolution.
It is pertinent to mention that man just cannot combat against the natural causes. Our concentration must be more on the man made mistakes.
Industrial production is responsible for 57% of all CO2 emissions. Largest quantities of CO2 emitted by energy producers and energy intensive industries. Due to globalization and free trade, the production of goods has been increasing. In the recent past, China is rapidly industrialized and expected to surpass the production of U.S.A, and even the GHG’s emissions.
2. FOSSIL FUEL:
The combustion of fossil fuel releases about 24 billion tones of CO2 in to atmosphere result is that there has a 26% increase of these gas in the atmosphere since start of the Industrial revolution. Presently, the atmospheric CO2 concentration is rising at about 0.4% per annum and this rise is caused almost entirely by combustion of fossil fuel (Coal, oil, and natural gas).
27% of all man made CO2 emissions are transportation related. 750 million cars in the world emit a total of about 2.25 billion tons of CO2 every year. Due to increase in the trade and commerce, improvement of transportation and infrastructure, Globalization, etc. the number of vehicles has been constantly increasing. Due to the decrement in the prices of vehicles, many people are using their own vehicles instead of public transport systems. Inadequacies in the public transport systems induce the people to purchase their own vehicles. Thus, the vehicular traffic and global warming are increasing.
Agriculture sector is a huge source of methane and nitrous Oxide, and responsible for 15% of world wide green house gas emission. As the population is increasing, the stress on the agriculture has been increasing to use for pesticides, machines for increasing the production. Prior to the industrialization there was equilibrium of release and consumption of GHG’s existed.
5. POWER PLANTS:
Burning of fossil fuel for electricity generation causes emission of CO2. Coal emits around 1.7 times as much CO2 per unit of energy when burned as dose natural gas and 1.25 times as much as oil. Indian coal consists sulpher and causes more pollution and even acid rains. Lack of use of super critical boilers for production, which produces about 40% of energy, wastes about 10% energy, since; ordinary boilers produce about 30% energy from coal.
In the recent past, percapita power consumption has been increasing. Rapid electrification of villages has been taking place even in developing countries. Due to increasing population the resource utilization such as power has been increased, causing the global warming.
It is responsible for 25% of all carbon emissions entering the atmosphere, by the burning and cutting of about 34 million acres of trees each year. Industrialization, expansion of commercial activities, extension of housing and extension of agriculture due to increasing need of food grains are the reasons of the deforestation. Even today, people are dependent on the forests for firewood. Many rich people spoil the forests for their wooden furniture requirements.
In addition to above, the increasing forest fires through out the world are causing the decrement in forests. Recent forest fires in Greece and California have devastated the lakhs of hectares of forest.
Building structure account for about 12% of CO2 emission. In the recent past, the number of buildings in a unit area has been increasing. Even the number of persons living in a unit area is also increasing in the recent past. This increased density and congestion induce the people to use more energy and the use of material such as concrete, cement, glass, and iron causes use of more energy leading to emission of GHG’s.
CAUSES IN MUNICIPALITIES
1. BURNING OF GARBAGE :
Public health workers, due to lack of training, and even people, use to the burn the garbage, without knowing the damage caused to the environment. Burning releases the CO2 immediately into atmosphere where as decomposition is a slow and study process of releasing the CO2.
Another problem with the burning of Garbage is that the plastic burning releases the poisonous gases in addition to Green House Gases. Hence, the number of cancer cases has been on increase and also resulting to unwanted hair growth in women.
2. UNTIMELY DISPOSAL OF WASTE :
Untimely disposal releases foul smell and causes a lot of damage to the health of the citizens especially to children and women. In addition to this it also releases the GHG’s and poisonous gases in the habitable area causing a lot of health problems.
3. THROWING OF GARBAGE INTO DRAINS:
It also causes the decomposition of waste release of CO2 and methane. It also stagnates the water in drains and become breeding centers for mosquitos.
4. IMPROPER DISPOSAL OF SOLID WASTE:
Only as late as, year 2000 the Solid Waste Management Rules have been formulated in our country. Earlier, nobody had the vision for scientific disposal of Garbage.
The administrators, who are collecting and segregating the waste, are also unable to dispose the Garbage scientifically and in consistence with the SWM Rules – 2000 for various reasons. (Annex SWM Rules – 2000)
5. MUSQUITO MENACE:
In sanitary conditions and stagnation of water is the causative factor for mosquito breading. It compels us to use chemicals resulting to pollution and Global warning. Other aspect of the mosquito menace is that mosquitoes are becoming vehicles for the dangerous viruses such as aeidis egypty causing dengue and chicken Gunya. It is also predicted that in some years mosquitoes may be capable of carrying the AIDS Virus. It is dangerous even to think.
Such dangerous situation is due to the flexibility of mosquitos’ own life cycle (Annex mosquitoes life cycle for understanding to curtail menace of mosquitoes)
6. STAGNATION OF WATER:
Stagnation of water results in breading of mosquitoes and its consequences. When people throw garbage in drains, certainly leads to decomposition and results emission of gases such as CO2 & CH4. Existence of potholes and lowlying areas also cause stagnation of water.
7. USE OF VEHICLES :
Municipality generally uses tractors for lifting of Garbage and for supply of water through tankers. In most of the cases due to lack of maintenance, the vehicles lack self. Most of the vehicles are in degradable conditions even if large amounts are spent. Old vehicles lack the Hydraulic systems, which decrease the number of trips of the tractors. Ultimately it results in the unsanitary conditions and release of poisonous Gases. Improper maintenance of vehicles consumes a lot fuel, resulting to global warming.
8. WASTAGE OF ENERGY THROUGH STREET LIGHTING:
It has pointed out the age old practices causing much loss of energy and funds of municipality as well as under.
a. The ratio of electric switch operators, who are performing on/ off of the street lighting switches, is very high. This results to a lot of wastage of energy by delayed switches on / off operation.
b. Needlessly high voltage bulbs are used at some places. Mismanagement of central lighting is causing drain of wealth of municipality.
c. Using of incandescent bulbs instead of CFL’S or LED’S is causing wastage of energy.
d. Continuous burning of lights for days together due to line faults and lack of conductor wire, wastes the energy and increases the global warming.
9. WASTAGE OF ENERGY IN OFFICE:
a. While leaving the office or during the lunch hours, staff in many municipalities doesn’t switch off the lights and fans, even computers.
b. In some municipalities, officers don’t allow the natural light to come in consequently they use the electrical appliances.
c. The water coolers and air coolers are being used even during the winters without recognized the bad effect they put to the metabolism of the human bodies.
d. It is pertinent to mention that working in air condition requires a lot of energy to maintain the body temperature constantly at 98.40 F. It is enhancing the cases of diabetes and sunstrokes. Air coolers release the worst GHG’s i.e. CFC’s.
e. Some Municipalities being at the issuing end, still uses the incandescent bulbs in their offices instead of CFLs (Compressed Fluorescent Lights).
f. Construction of building of Municipalities is not in conformity with the green building concept. More ironically, most of the modern buildings are with a defect that it is made up of glasses requiring a lot of energy since it is very hot in summers and very cool in winters
10. WASTAGE OF ENERGY THROUGH WATER SUPPLY:
It is well aware to every administrator that energy consumption involves in water supply during the supply from the source to filters and sump to distribution network.
The cost free method of water supply from source to filter bed is gravitational pumping. In some cases wherever the gravitational pumping is feasible, using precious energy does mechanical pumping. It also drains the resources of Municipality. The same is the case with the distribution network.
The ironical fact is that there are a lot of leakages are visible in many Municipalities losing the confidence of people; consequently switching over to mineral water supply.
Moreover people do not like to stop the flow of water through, taps and valves, resulting duly misusing of water. The excessive supply of water unnecessarily is a burden both on Municipality and citizen. This wastage always requires more quantity of energy and money resulting levy of more water-cess.
Other misuse of energy in the water supply is misuse of power bores, especially in drought areas like Bhainsa, Jangoan and Mahaboobnagar etc. Thus power bores are available to the people round the clock draining the precious ground water and energy resources.
The public stand posts lacks the on / off system resulting the wastage of water. It definitely adds to the cost of water and requires more energy.
Due to lack of distribution networks, Municipality has to supply the water through the tankers even adequate source is available. There are many classical examples are available in the list of Municipalities of Andhra Pradesh. But the Municipality known to me is Kamareddy in Nizamabad district with the spent expenditure, for transportation of water, it is very much easy to lay the pipelines.
Due to not maintaining of the trees, plants and parks, atmospheric CO2 do not decrease and results to Global Warming. It also leads to erosion of soil and floods in general in all areas and in particular in hilly and mountain areas. Even the construction of check dams won’t stop above phenomens when the check dams silt up.
We use to hear about the land sliding in the Himalayan region and worst floods in the U.P, Bihar, West Bengal and Bangladesh. The reason attributed by environmentalists is nothing but deforestation of Himalayan Mountains. All these aspects add to the Global warming.
Narrow Roads do not allow the vehicles to move freely creating the hindrances to the Conveyance. It not only wastes a lot of time but also cause pollution and leading to Global Warming.
13. USAGE OF PAPER EXCESSIVELY
Paper is made up of trees. Using of excessive paper always leads to cutting down of trees (Deforestation). It is already explained as point no. 11. Fortunately, every office is provided with the computer and it offers several options in saving the paper.
14. BACKUP GENERATORS
Municipalities use the generators as a backup power in Water supply when power supply is stopped. We also use it in some Municipalities for the office use.
These Generators in most of the cases emit high pollutant gases as those are run with the diesel. Each liter of diesel emit 2.46 Kg CO2 into atmosphere. 1 KW of electricity only emits 0.87 Kg CO2. It is very much less emission and economical also.
15. NOT MAINTAINING THE WATER TABLE
Due to uneven drilling of bore wells in towns and rural areas have been exploited the ground water. On the other hand, wells are leveled to earth and no new wells are digged. Even the tanks are silted up to contain less quantity of water. All the above mistakes have all together made the situation of ground water table worst.
16. EXTRA WASTE GENERATION IN TOWNS
In the normal conditions Waste generated in the urban areas are higher than the rural areas. The percapita Solid Waste Material generation is ranging from 0.2 Kg to 0.6 Kg in different towns.
Another significant feature is per capita Solid Waste Material generation in the same cities and towns have been increasing.
The generally accepted fact is that percapita Solid Waste Material generation is higher in developed countries.
This means that either a rich person or richer countries are generating a lot of waste and causing harm to the environment. More ironically urban man do not show concern to the environment, except in few cases.
1.POVERTY: PERSONS WITH THE EMPTY BELLY CANNOT FOLLOW THE ENVIRONMENT FRIENDLY HABITS. For instance, poor people cook with the wood available in the near by forest, which emit more smoke and causes pollution. But, they cannot buy the LPG cylinders.
2.IGNORANCE: Due to ignorance, people don’t recognize what is environmentally friendly and what is not. Some people don’t understand the relation between the global warming and glowing of lights unnecessarily. People don’t follow the environmental friendly habits, unless they are enlightened.
3.MARKET ECONOMY: Market economy induces the production of many materials for consumption and increases the percapita consumption. Most of the businessmen produce the material in a cost effective manner, with out caring for the ecology. The waste generated is also more in the rich countries, which are market economies. This induces the global warming.
4.URBAN SLUMS: push and pull factors are attracting the people to the urban areas. But inadequate employment opportunities, under employment push them to live in the slum areas. Here, people lack the basic amenities, infrastructure such as roads, drains, water supply and health facilities.
5.URBANISATION: laziness, excessive use of food, material. Water import, lack of plantation, mechanization,
6.POPULATION GROWTH: As the population grows, the percapita consumption of resources grows and finally put pressure on the resources and causes the global warming.
Excessive growth of Population of any country hampers the development. Increase in population increases the Global Warming. It has so many devastating effects on the society. Every disadvantage induces the global warming. The disadvantages of the population growth with respect to global warming and other aspects are as follows,
DISADVANTAGES of population growth
1. As the population grows, the per-capita income decreases and per-capita consumption decreases. It has direct impact on the health, standard of living etc.,
2. As the population grows, the problem of unemployment grows. It leads to many anti-social activities.
3. As the unemployment grows, people in rural areas rush to cities for employment, leading to proliferation of slum areas, in the towns and cities.
4. as the per-capita income decreases, the availability of personal needs such as electricity, toilets, etc., would not be available to people.
5. As the population grows, Government has to provide more schools, hospitals, houses, infrastructure etc. It devoid the land for forest and cultivation effecting the food security also.
6. In order to ensure the food security, people cutoff the forests to make it agricultural fields, ultimately leading to Global Warming.
7. As the health standards depreciate, it leads to increase in anemic people. Presently, about 50% of Indians are anemic. It has direct impact on IMR, MMR and life expectancy.
8. As the population grows, the consumption Oxygen grows and emission of Carbon dioxide grows, leading to Global Warming.
9. As the population grows, more resources are required for Consumption.
10. Consumption of more resources wastes more resources and generates more garbage, leading to Global Warming.
11. As the population grows, Government has to control the population. It may lead to anomalies in the male, female sex ratio.
12. As the size of the family grows, it causes stress on the head of family to earn more. Increased stress may leads to more health problems. In Bhainsa town, I observed more heart attacks, heart failures among the family heads. The increased size of the family may be one of the reasons for ill health of family heads.
13. In case of irresponsible family heads, children have to take up the employment activities by becoming child labour. It spoils their future and left the human resources undeveloped.
14. As the poverty increases among the certain sections of the people, they imagine that Government is not taking adequate measures for their welfare and sows the seeds of anti government and anti patriotism, leading to anti-social and terrorist movements. It disturbs the national integration.
15. Some resources such as water and food are not available to all the people equally, in case of increased population.
16. As the population grows the per-capita availability of land decreases and it creates the disparities among the people, leading to social unrest.
17. Per-capita living space in the house also decreases with the increased size of family.
18. With increased size of family, all the facilities are not equally distributed to all the children, creating disparities among the family in future.
19. All the above repercussions of population growth leads to under development of human resources and India, our most beloved nation ranked 126th among the 177 countries.