Pollution deaths

Even though many critics remain skeptical, it is becoming clearer by the day that we are staring death in the face

Editorial December 22, 2019

The age of Anthropocene marked the beginning of a new epoch where humans have become a geological force — our actions drastically change and affect the geological sphere. Psychologically it represents the affirmation of a geological crisis that threatens our very way of life. This new epoch shakes our unconscious morality by making us question what our lives mean in the face of death. Even though many critics remain skeptical, it is becoming clearer by the day that we are staring death in the face.

According to a recent report by the Global Alliance on Health and Pollution (GAHP), India tops the list of the most pollution-related deaths while Pakistan remains in the top five. The report also claims that 8.3 million pre-mature deaths around the world are caused by pollution — which is just one of the causes of global warming. Increasing pollution leading to increased global warming eventually exacerbates the effects of climate change. Its effects are not localised to the actions of a specific region which means that increased carbon emission from some countries affects the geological conditions of others — specifically those that are near the equator. The problem is truly universal and can only be solved as such.

Even though the effects of climate change are witnessed across the globe as the top 10 death-related countries include the largest and wealthiest alongside the poor, there is a stark difference in intensity since death rates are the highest in some of the most impoverished countries. As resources start getting contaminated, basic necessities such as clean food and clean water become scarce. The global food crisis is a case in point. It is evident that the rich and powerful are in control of these resources through monetary means while those on the fringes of society are adversely affected.

The fact is that we are all too well aware of the causes and the effects of pollution and global warming, yet we have not been able to work towards a united cause. The situation is beyond political or economic as the whole of humanity is at risk. It should be treated as such.

Published in The Express Tribune, December 22nd, 2019.

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