By: M. Shaheer Khan
United Nations was introduced as an international organ for the maintenance of international peace and security between states, free from any discrimination and addressing other non-traditional security paradigms that could have threatened lives of the wellbeing of an individual human being. United Nation does have a history of plausible success from eradicating smallpox and polio to assisting more than thirty four million refugees and providing vaccinations for fifty eight percent of the children in the world, however, her failures are very grave and alarming, and if not addressed at an early date, the relevance for the international organ might lose its credibility.
Though corona virus was not a result of climate change, it does highlight the urgent need of the world to overcome the challenges of non-traditional means of security, among which climate change is at the top of the list. Scientists have warned of other alarming consequences of global warming. Already the human species has failed to combat the corona virus combat, which has directly been responsible for the death of more than a million people alongside a global recession. Scientists have warned deforestation will cause future pandemics which will be even worse than the corona virus episode itself.
The risk of new diseases from wildlife to human emerging in the future are even higher as a result of animal populations being under conditions of severe environmental pressures. The Ebola, AIDS, Sars and Zika viruses are open examples of what might happen due to human exploitations of natural habitats.
Furthermore, another team of scientists made a shocking discovery during their expedition of the Siberian glaciers. The report warned global warming is melting permafrost soils that have been frozen for thousands of years. Beneath these layers of permafrost soils lives ancient viruses that were responsible for the extinction of ancient species that lived before human civilizations.
These viruses are so big they can be seen through ordinary microscopes. If the glaciers keep on melting and the viruses are released, one can only imagine the level of destruction they may cause to both the human civilization and the natural ecological environment.
WWF has also stated 60-70% of the new viruses that have been introduced to human beings since 1990s has been a result of human intervention of wildlife. With the ongoing corona episode and the viruses that have been exposed due to man’s exploitation of wildlife, one can only imagine what more destruction could mother nature bring to mankind if the issue of climate change is not addressed at a proper time and with appropriate measures. The world economy needs an innovative thinking, a replacement of current economical thinking that should recognize that human wealth depends on nature’s health.
In terms of state system, the impacts are already being felt, and if not addressed at a proper time and an early date, the consequences will go out of hand. Droughts and floods have been responsible for within state mass migration; many have opted to settle in urban areas. And as for any urban area where overpopulation becomes the norm, unemployment becomes common and criminal activities becomes widespread. As a result, the state has to invest more on law and order and security within the state instead of human capital development. Overpopulation also causes scarcity in basic utilities such as water and electricity supplies.
Such circumstances forces people, especially those with privileges, to migrate abroad or somewhere where overpopulation is not a problem. Since not everyone can opt for the option of moving abroad, mass immigration crisis can force leadership levels to take unfavorable decisions which can lead to future conflicts.
In case of Syria, for example, the world knows about the deadly ongoing civil war, yet few know the reason that initiated the war. Syrian rural areas faced water shortages, and as a result mass migration towards urban areas took place. The government failing to provide basic utilities and the mismanagement of Syrian water resources initially sparked the deadly violence that is happening till this day.
Same goes in case of Pakistan. The floods of 2010 caused massive damages to agricultural sector of Pakistan and saw a wave of IDPs and mass migration from rural areas to urban areas. Nothren region of Pakistan known for their high altitude, natural water supplies, and since the impacts of climate change is already being felt by melting of glaciers.
To conclude, climate change is a grave issue which needs collective collaboration from individual to international level. Man is not capable of reversing the impacts of mother nature, they can only overcome it with innovative envoirment friendly economical reforms where human wealth depends on nature’s health. Mankind has already failed combating the novel corona virus which has resulted in direct global recession. Deforestation and the melting of permafrost glaciers of Siberia will only get things worse. Example of Syria is first hand of what might happen to states if the issue of climate change is not addressed in an appropriate time. All in all, the world needs to make collective collaboration to fight, halt and reverse the impacts of climate change.