Friday, October 12, 2007

Glossing Over Climate Change

An opinion poll conducted by a leading newspaper asked the poser - 'Neither our policy makers understand nor care about climate change'. Pat came the response from the readers; 93% agreed whereas only 5% disagreed with it. Interestingly, the newspaper carried the same day a photograph of a group of school children staging a street play on global warming. The message from the events is clear. The politicians do not put their hearts into such mundane issues as they are obsessed with much more serious matters like how to expand their respective vote banks. Climate change can take care of itself whereas they have very limited time to feather their own nests before the edifice built by severely compromising social and national interests crumble because of their own infightings. There was one more shocking news relating to increasing pollution in cities. Despite directions from the Supreme Court to take measures to curb pollution, the city of Kolkata is chocking due to a lax administration and the city has a maverick Transport Minister who fires salvos unfailingly whenever courts deliver any judgement putting restrictions on the irresponsible and undisciplined public transport operators. It is reported that the mandatory emission tests of vehicles averages a mere 14% for 1.3 million vehicles belching their polluting fumes at will throughout the city. No wonder, Kolkata city has the highest incidence of lung cancer in the country. If only our policymakers understood that they are as much susceptible to health hazards caused by high pollution, they would perhaps divert their attention from power games to climate changes and fighting pollution which will benefit common man.