World Environment Day does not only call for awareness about the need to revive our ecosystem, which otherwise might lead to the inevitable extinction of our planet; But it also begs for pro-active actions in the climate front that lately has been the cause for many natural disasters in the world. We've been very much remiss in mitigating the pollutants degrading our environment during the Covid-19 pandemic that swept through the world.

Climate disasters are a natural progression in weather cycles. We’ve always had hurricanes, droughts, flooding in the world.  However, due to the damage to our ecosystem, we are currently witnessing a scale of destruction and devastation on our planet that is unprecedented and quite terrifying. Let's take a look at a few Climate disasters that led to the deaths and devastation in the world.

  • Hurricane Harvey hit parts of Texas and Louisiana in August 2017, and it was an extremely destructive Atlantic hurricane that flooded areas with over four feet of water and displaced tens of thousands of people from their homes.
  • The floods that ravaged  India in 2019, the typhoon Lekima in China, Hurricane Dorian in the United States,  typhoon Hagibis in Japan and the California wildfires all led to deaths and displacement of hundreds of thousands of people in the world.
  • In 2017, across South Asia, at least 43 million people have been hit by heavy monsoon rains and intense flooding. More than 1,200 were killed in Bangladesh, India and Nepal. This was the worst monsoon that these countries had ever seen in30 years.
  • Hurricane Irma in 2017 was a catastrophic flooding event that led to the destruction of homes and crops in the Dominican Republic, Haiti, and across other several Caribbean islands.
  • India in 2021 witnessed destruction at an unprecedented scale havoced by  Cyclone Tukatae and  Cyclone Yaas in India. Hundreds went missing while thousands were displaced from their homes.

Covid-19 claimed the lives of millions of people in the world. The pandemic highlighted the poor health infrastructure facilities in many nations that might have contributed to the death at an exponential scale. If our environmental pollution prevails, it will only accelerate the number of casualties on this planet due to the lack of adequate health infrastructure in many countries. If the pandemic has thought us anything it's that protecting our ecosystem cannot be put on the back burner. Especially when the worlds poorest are disproportionately affected by the consequences of climate change.

“The great tragedy of climate change is that it is the poorest and most vulnerable who suffer the most, despite us doing the least to cause it,” said Dr Adelle Thomas from the University of the Bahamas, and one of the lead authors of the IPCC’s 6th Assessment Report published in 2019.

India for example is at the precipice of such disaster. Hindustan Times reported that Data from the Centre for Science and Environment (CSE)‘s annual state of environment report showed, there is a 78% shortage of medical human resource and 32% of health infrastructure in villages as compared to urban areas.  Covid-19 pandemic supplemented with the polluted environment can lead to unprecedented devastation in rural India due to poor health infrastructure, the report added.

Considering the importance of ecosystems on this planet restoration efforts should be the top priority of any nation to combat the challenges of climate change, natural disasters

(The above story first appeared on LatestLY on Jun 05, 2021 11:55 AM IST. For more news and updates on politics, world, sports, entertainment and lifestyle, log on to our website