Addressing Climate Change
The COP on Climate Change in Paris saw Sri Lanka make pledges on the global stage, that we will be a responsible nation when it came to the issue of climate change. The president has gone on record that we will develop towards a fossil free future. Dr. Ranil Senanayake examines the questions posed by the Paris COP in November 2015. Here are some excerpts from the full document presented here: Addressing Climate Change
The first question : Carbon
Carbon (C), the fourth most abundant element in the Universe, after hydrogen(H), helium (He), and oxygen (O), is the building block of life. It’s the basic element that anchors all organic substances, from fossil fuels to DNA. On Earth, carbon cycles through the land, ocean, atmosphere, and the Earth’s interior in a major biogeochemical cycle (the circulation of chemical components through the biosphere from or to the lithosphere, atmosphere, and hydrosphere). The global carbon cycle can be divided into two categories: the geological/ancient, which operates over large time scales (millions of years), and the biological/modern, which operates at shorter time scales (days to thousands of years). Read more...
The second question: Temperature Rise
The second question raised by Sri Lanka’s position at the COP on Climate Change in Paris was on the danger to agricultural productivity by the rising temperatures. This was not a simplistic knee jerk reaction like ‘is is better to hold the temperature under 1 degree or 2 degrees,?’ but address the alarming real danger of food insecurity that will be brought to most tropical nations by the phenomenon of ambient temperature rise. Read more...
The third question: The Value of Photosynthetic Biomass
The third question was on the value of Photosynthetic Biomass (PB). It is basic high school knowledge that the production of Oxygen, sequestering of Carbon, water cycling and ambient cooling is carried out by the photosynthetic component of biomass. It is these very same actions that are being accepted globally as Ecosystem Services with recognized economic values. But the thing that produces these services is being lost at an exponential rate, due to the fact that these Ecosystem Services have not been valued, nor economically recognized. Read more...
“I have come to the frightening conclusion that I am the decisive element.
It is my personal approach that creates the climate.
It is my daily mood that makes the weather.
I possess tremendous power to make life miserable or joyous.
I can be a tool of torture or an instrument of inspiration;
I can humiliate or humor, hurt or heal.
In all situations, it is my response that decides
Whether a crisis is escalated or de-escalated,
And a person is humanized or de-humanized.
If we treat people as they are, we make them worse.
If we treat people as they ought to be, we help them become
What they are capable of becoming."
~ Johann Wolfgang von Goethe