So how will this world end, with a big bang or a whimper? If we are to believe that Mad Don in the White House it will not end at all unless he nukes the entire planet to the strains of the Stars and Stripes. If this world had one more like Trump who blows [...]


This mad, mad world we live in


The melting of Himalayan glaciers has doubled since the turn of the century

So how will this world end, with a big bang or a whimper?

If we are to believe that Mad Don in the White House it will not end at all unless he nukes the entire planet to the strains of the Stars and Stripes.

If this world had one more like Trump who blows his own trumpet at what he calls his military successes incinerating foes — and friends — from thousands of miles away, then it will ultimately be another big bang that blows us apart.

Just last week the Washington Post reported that the White House wants to change the environment rules to speed up highway projects, pipelines and more as though he was in some mighty hurry to get nowhere. Maybe he is in search of another Qassem Soleimani to kill like his Saudi friends did to journalist Jamal Khashoggi. But then the Saudis dismembered the man from an arm’s length unlike the courageous Trump who let others do it from thousands of miles away.

In the same week in the southern hemisphere, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison, whose country has been burning as never before, is preparing to dig for more coal so that more carbon emissions could add to the global warming and pollution that is already threatening this world we live in.

The environmental degradation that has polluted the seas, destroyed ecosystems that have sustained life in many areas of the world and the melting Arctic ice that any person could clearly see unless he/she was blind as a bat seem to be of little or no concern to the Trumps and Morrisons of this world.

International treaties are ignored or discarded as though they were last month’s hamburgers. World leaders frame their heads in the small screen and make promises and set targets that are never achieved or in fact reversed.

World conferences on climate change set out in glorious splendour how to mitigate global warming and halt the depletion of essential resources. At the end they produce nothing but a parody of inaction.

But there are other polluters. These are not the only leaders that stoke climate change and destroy nature in the name of economic progress and social wellbeing.

Our own friends and neighbours contribute to world ecocide as do inhabitants of the White House. As is known China and India are two of the worst global climate destroyers.

For years, if not decades, we had been warned of the dangerous consequences of climate change and global warming. There were many deniers of climate change among some scientists, ecologist and prominent writers.

There were those who saw the current changes as recurrent phenomena that happen every century or so and nothing to be feared.

One journalist, Simon Winchester was not at all that pessimistic as some scientists and writers. In his book “Pacific”, Winchester wrote that the vast Pacific Ocean will act as a “gigantic safety valve” to global warming. Archipelagos may be overwhelmed and coral reefs die, but in the end, Winchester intimates, the Earth will survive because of “the dominant entity on the planet” — all 64 million square miles of it.

But such optimism is not widely shared as there are increasing signs of the breakdown of our climate. What might not be widely known publicly is that shrubs and grasses are sprouting around Mt. Everest and across the Himalayas reportedly one of the most rapidly heating regions of the planet.

The melting of Himalayan glaciers has doubled since the turn of the century with most of the ice lost over the last four decades.

The effect of this on water flowing from here which feed the several rivers in the region could be severe particular as the sharing of river waters has been a matter of contention among neighbouring states.

In fact, during my journalistic years in Hong Kong I remember writing that a future source of conflict between and among nations would not be over oil as it was then, but water. That was nearly 30 years ago and it certainly is turning out to be a major issue. Attention could well focus on the Rivers Nile and the Ganges, for instance as well as crucial water resources elsewhere.

What is so damning of our recent world leaders and the countries they head is that it has taken a 16 year old Swedish girl, a Nobel Prize nominee, to stir the conscience of the world with her clarion call to save the planet from disaster and quite possibly annihilation.

Her address to the United Nations might have awakened many to the calamity facing mankind. Whether it had any impact on the leaders of the big powers and small that contribute to climate change is another matter.

Judging by the attitudes of marauding politicians and corporate criminals that prosper by thumbing their filthy noses at those who warn against the unimaginable dangers facing mankind, they could not care a jot what happens to the planet for they would not be around when calamity strikes.

The leaders elected by democratic nations and others that usurped power by fair means or foul seem more desirous of showing what they believe are their achievements, never mind that these so-called achievements pauperised the nation or pauperised the planet we inhabit.

But did the politicians and the corporate world listen? Did some of the scientists in the pay of the corporate world listen? No. The scientists bought over by big business and politicians listen? Of course not! There was still money to be made.

Our own leaders paid little heed because there was still money to be made. Coal-fired gas still filled pockets. They are not going to be around when the safes and safety boxes in their banks melt under intense heat with all the loot they did not have time to spend.

Sri Lanka might be a small country. But it is one country that is going to suffer badly from global warming.  How much of our rain forests and forest cover is now left? Certainly less than 20 percent of what we had say 50 years ago.

Our seas are polluted, our rivers are polluted. I read that Gotabaya Rajapaksa has ordered that Beira Lake be cleared quickly. That is a start. But let it not be the end.


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