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Nandini Roy

16 July, 2023

“Environment is no one’s property to destroy; it’s everyone’s responsibility to protect” – Mohith Agadi.

This quote has become a reminder of our responsibility towards the environment which has become of utmost importance with the grave destruction that has already been caused to mother nature. Living in the 21st century, characterized by various industries, automobiles, and whatnot, is both a blessing and a bane. This is a blessing because these industries, whether it may be a technology industry, or an automobile has made various resources available due to the rapid wave of globalization around the world. However, it is a bane due to its adverse effect on the environment, particularly the climate. Besides this massive fire of industrialization engulfing the globe, the wave of globalization has also come accompanied by a tremendous increase in global warming which in turn has led to an obnoxious increment in the temperature of the atmosphere hence, adversely affecting the water cycle, the carbon cycle, the nutrient cycle, and leading to various environmental calamities. 


Various parts of the world have been subjected to forest fires since the beginning of 2023. Forest fires adversely affected the South American country Chile in January 2023 causing about 406 individual forest fires and several casualties in the country. 

Following the Chile wildfires, the world witnessed the Canadian wildfires. According to a report by the New York Times, “The wildfire season, which is usually during the summer, came early with an unusual vigor” affecting various parts of Canada. The smoke from the fires adversely affected the air quality of not only Canadian cities but also reached the American nation, sending us a reminder of how the climate has been irreparably damaged. The Canadian wildfires were because of both natural as well as man-made reasons, reported the New York Times as the fire caused in Alberta was the result of vehicles bursting into flames, while those elsewhere were due to lighting. Furthermore, the same report hinted at the involvement of climate change leading to such fuming fires around Canada. “Canada has the world’s largest intact forest ecosystem, and many parts of the country have experienced drought and high heat recently. That can make trees vulnerable to fire and can dry out dead grass, pine needles, and any other material on the bottom of the forest floor that can act as kindling” stated the New York Times article.

As news concerning different climate-related tragedies occurring around the world spread, floods in North India were also reported. To begin with, the monsoon came late to the Indian subcontinent causing many regions of the nation to experience intense heat without any relief from the lack of rain. Additionally, when the monsoon hit the subcontinent, it negatively impacted the north of India, causing landslides and flooding. The heavy rainfall in North India was a result of western disturbances and the monsoon trough both of which created a low pressure zone over the northern part of the subcontinent leading to heavy rainfalls. The deforestation carried out in the hilly regions and the Himalayan foothills further aided landslides that left 16 dead within days of the onset of the monsoon. Several red alert warnings were also issued to various Indian states following heavy rainfalls.

The flash floods in North India were accompanied by minimal rainfall in the East of India, where plateau regions like the Chotanagpur plateau are experiencing minimal rainfall this monsoon mainly due to the excessive deforestation carried out in the city for urbanization.

The South Korean floods that have left more than 30 dead and hundreds missing have also become an example of the effect of climate change and destruction. An article by the New York Times reported how climate change in South Korea could be a possible reason for the deadly floods with summers being warmer and monsoons being more intense.

However, while the East has fallen victim to deadly monsoons, the West has fallen victim to heatwaves and searing temperatures leading to forest fire alerts being issued in various counties across Europe. Thousands have been evacuated from Spain’s Canary Islands amid the forest fire warnings being issued due to the heat wave across Europe. “The Spanish regional government has also issued an official alert for the neighboring islands of Tenerife and Gran Granaria for the risk of first fires” stated a report by the Guardian. Italian cities too have been put on alert due to the extreme temperatures with various tourist destinations such as the Acropolis being closed from 11:30 A.M to 5:30 P.M to protect the tourists.

This news about the scorching heat in Europe has come along with the report of an earthquake of magnitude 7.2 hitting the Alaskan peninsula in North America, triggering Tsunami warnings across the United States and Canada. However, fortunately, the risk of a tsunami being triggered was then reduced to an advisory with some regions still experiencing small sea level changes as stated by ABC News.  

These recent environmental events dominated headlines throughout May and June, and they have now made their way into July. This has served as a reminder that we cannot avoid the repercussions of uncontrolled devastation of the environment under the guise of urbanization. The unmanaged environmental destruction created in recent years has now raised the likelihood of worldwide conflicts due to a scarcity of resources, with one such fight projected to be over water. As pointed out in the article “Warming World” by Joshua Busby, despite the numerous wars fought between India and Pakistan, the two countries have never clashed over the Indus River which flows through a disputed treaty owing to the 1960 Indus Water Treaty, which established a system for them to jointly manage the river. However, increased demand and scarcity for water and various other resources have heightened tensions in the Indus between the two countries and could potentially lead to a conflict between the two countries.


These constant reminders of how badly the climate has been harmed, with the consequences of the scarcity of resources, drought, flash floods, forest fires, and earthquakes, force us to question the rapid urbanization that is taking place around the world at the expense of the environment. Hence, as the quote by Mohith Agadi reads that it is our responsibility to protect not damage the environment, the world must band together to find ways to rectify the harm done to mother nature as “We won’t have a society if we destroy the environment”.

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