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Obstacles To Counter Global Warming And Climate Change

By Abdul Basit

26 August, 2007

As natural calamities like hurricanes, floods, earthquakes and droughts continues ceaselessly on one hand and endless and inconclusive discussions and debates about the reasons of climate changes on the other, the time for firm action to counter climate change is getting shorter and the options for slowing the impact of global warming are getting lesser.

Further to my article ‘Manifesto to counter global warming and climate change’ in which I stressed the importance of sustainable development, I would like to further address some of the challenges and hurdles that are slowing the implementation of policies and programs to counter climate change.

Sponsored Intellectuals

One of the main hindrance to climate change resolution are the frequent reports released by climate change deniers sponsored by certain Oil Corporations which are creating confusion among the general public. These sponsored intellectuals of the establishments and the business corporates are trying to find new reasons to prevent actions to counter climate change, seldom realizing that by their action they are endangering the very existence of mankind for meager monetary inducements. Some of the most common arguments of these sponsored intellectuals are that these natural disasters are part of the cyclical process and all measures to counter it are futile.

The ruling establishments, corporates, decision makers and their sponsored intellectuals are not convinced about the scientific research and conclusions by prominent scientists and organizations attributing human factor for the present natural calamities. Nor are they satisfied about the historical perspective of the extinction of past civilizations. Above all, neither do they take into consideration the Holy Scriptures, which have mentioned in details the causes for the destruction of civilizations and societies of the past. We have to note that Holy Scriptures, scientific research and history have explicitly stressed a common factor that all tragedies and natural calamities are in fact caused by the excessiveness and corruption of mankind.


The other greatest impediment in implementing policies to counter climate change is the magnitude of the change in lifestyle that is required at the least period of time. As we all know changes in the individual thinking and social way of life is moulded over a period of years and decades. The concept of progress that is embedded in the mindset of the modern society and the conditioning that they received through education: have all ingrained a vision about the present materialistic lifestyle and progress in their minds. This process has been continuing ever since the Industrial revolution for the last two centuries. Further the capitalistic view of life; consumer culture and globalization; have only enhanced their belief in this model of progress. The advancement in science and the technological growth in different sectors like manufacturing, telecommunication, construction and medicine, which are the major contributions of the capitalistic system, enhanced the belief of the society in this system. Further, man’s journey to the moon and further to the endless space and new developments in this regard overwhelmed the people. Despite the great strides that seemed to make man omnipotent with the complete control over nature, seldom did he realize that he was unable to control his own mind. As a result of this, lack of self-control, extravagant lifestyle and the universally accepted and unquestioned capitalistic model of reckless progress have caused severe impact on the nature. So the greatest challenge faced by the green movements and environmentalists around the world is to convince the importance of change to a society, which since generations have been following this model of development.

Secondly, the enormous disparities between the rich and the poor and the concentration of wealth among a small percentage of the global population have created vast inequalities in the distribution of opportunities in the society in general and a feeling of insecurity among the common people. The poor and deprived that are facing the brunt of the natural calamities due to climate change are unable to ignite change as they are always on the receiving end. At the same time, the middle class of the society that are making a hand to mouth sustenance are not prepared for a huge transformation, since it will effect their only source of income. This feeling of insecurity and uncertain future played an important obstacle to change. Hence, to overcome the new challenges and crises that mankind will face due to the new policies to counter climate change, the governments will have to implement essential policies that will provide financial security and take necessary confidence-building measures in the society.

Moreover, in the race to attract foreign investment and to ensure so-called economic growth, the governments are rarely concerned about the consequences of the capitalistic model of economic growth on the environment. In the scramble to attract the huge business corporations, they don’t even consider the negative affects of the projects to the environment, which have further aggravated the climate crises. The governments have their own compulsions like addressing the massive unemployment and improving the standard of living of its citizens. But the economic consequences of the natural calamities and diseases due to the pollutions only deteriorate the lives of the citizens. In order to prevent this, along with regulations in the economic activity that was mentioned in my previous article, the governments and nations must implement necessary regulations to prevent projects that are detrimental to the environment and encourage investments in eco friendly projects.

As mentioned in my previous article, we cannot diminish the role of wars and conflicts that have taken a great toll on humanity and the environment. But along with preventing wars and conflicts, we have to overcome the infinite physical and mental boundaries that have divided mankind into many nations, religions and creeds, which is the basic reason for these conflicts. As we know the current crises of climate change will affect the humanity as a whole. The natural calamities and disasters know no borders and boundaries and strike all the countries irrespective of creed or race. So, humanity as a whole must be united in countering this threat for well being of all.

Finally, again emphasize the importance of taking immediate action to counter the threats of climate change and promote sustainable development by groundwork at the grassroots level. Inaction is not an option. If we postpone and continue to debate, we will reach a stage were the only viable topic to debate will be whether we are headed for the end of the modern civilization or we are passing through sunset of human existence on the face of the earth.

The silent shores of Acheh in Indonesia have a message and a warning for the whole of humanity. Once upon a recent time there flourished a society that was vibrant with life and culture with all the diversities, relationships and traditions to relish. On one December morning in 2005, this beautiful society vanished when it was wiped by the sea. No word is enough to express the magnitude of this incident. Let this remain in our hearts….

For you feedback and comments, you may contact me on the below email [email protected]

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