I was born in Pali, a small town in Rajasthan, the largest state of India with a major portion of the Thar desert. Although it is located around the desert region, once every few years it also receives its share of wetter than usual Indian monsoon. And this year in 2016, this part of India is once again flooded as are several other parts of India including Mumbai, Delhi, Kolkata and in the recent memory, many other parts such as Kashmir and Chennai. These intense weather patterns in India are of course not isolated incidents as they are matched with similar examples of droughts, hurricanes, typhoons, floods, and other natural disasters throughout the world.
While it is common to read analyses by scholars in which the rise of global terrorism is at least partially blamed on American foreign policy, how can the rise in recent natural disasters be explained? It is true that unplanned and mismanaged urbanization has insufficient ways to deal with natural disasters in most of the African and Asian countries. The effects and the response for these disasters will definitely need to be handled by the local administrations but is the underlying cause for the increasing disasters?
As we know, natural disasters are not new phenomena for our planet and for millions of years, humans have survived them but the underlying cause for the recent upsurge in these disasters is indeed rooted in the recent human activities. Here is how the Nobel prize winning scientists of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change are cited on the NASA website:
Climate change may not be responsible for the recent skyrocketing cost of natural disasters, but it is very likely that it will impact future catastrophes. Climate models provide a glimpse of the future, and while they do not agree on all of the details, most models predict a few general trends. First, according to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, an increase of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere will probably boost temperatures over most land surfaces, though the exact change will vary regionally. More uncertain--but possible--outcomes of an increase in global temperatures include increased risk of drought and increased intensity of storms, including tropical cyclones with higher wind speeds, a wetter Asian monsoon, and, possibly, more intense mid-latitude storms. (For more information, see Global Warming: Potential Effects of Global Warming).
Until recently, USA has been the leading country for the greenhouse gas emissions thus the biggest reason for climate change and yet, very little change in American lifestyle or energy consumption or food habits has been accepted in the USA even as America continue to directly or indirectly preach other countries how to "develop." American appetite for beef (cattle meat) is another leading cause for massive deforestation across the world, fueling further the climate change and thus more natural disasters and yet no foreseeable change in decreasing the beef craze in America.
For the majority of the scientists and environmentalists, the above underlying cause for the upsurge in natural disasters and climate change is now common knowledge but for the American administration, this still seems like a blind spot. Sooner, they realize the problem, sooner they will begin to address it and prove their accountability not only to the American taxpayers but also to the mother earth and mother nature.
Several scientists in the late 20th century had coined a phrase the butterfly effect. It explained rather poetically that even flapping of a butterfly in one part of the world can cause hurricanes in other remote parts of the world. We in America are certainly much more significant players than a mere butterfly as far as our carbon footprints are to be counted as the cause for climate change and natural disasters.