Introduction to Blog

I launched the website and the Blog after having spoken to government officials, political analysts and security experts specializing in South Asian affairs from three continents. The feedback was uniformly consistent. The bottom line is that when Kashmiris are suffering and the world has its own set of priorities, we need to find ways to help each other. We must be realistic, go beyond polemics and demagoguery, and propose innovative ideas that will bring peace, justice and prosperity in all of Jammu and Kashmir.

The author had two reasons to create this blog. First, it was to address the question that was being asked repeatedly, especially, by journalists and other observers in the U.S., U.K., and Canada, inquiring whether the Kashmiri society was concerned about social, cultural and environmental challenges in the valley given that only political upheaval and violence were reported or highlighted by media.

Second, the author has covered the entire spectrum of societal issues and challenges facing Kashmiri people over an 8-year period with the exception of politics given that politics gets all the exposure at the expense of REAL CHALLENGES that will likely result in irreversible degradation in the quality of life and the standard of living for future generations of Kashmiris to come.

The author stopped adding additional material to the Blog once it was felt that most, if not all, concerns, challenges and issues facing the Kashmiri society are cataloged in the Blog. There are over 1900 entries in the Blog and most commentaries include short biographical sketches of authors to bring readers close to the essence of Kashmir. Unfortunately, the 8-year assessment also indicates that neither Kashmiri civil society, nor intellectuals or political leadership have any inclination or enthusiasm in pursuing issues that do not coincide with their vested political agendas. What it means for the future of Kashmiri children and their children is unfathomable. But the evidence is all laid out.

This Blog is a reality check on Kashmir. It is a historical record of how Kashmir lost its way.

Vijay Sazawal, Ph.D.

Monday, April 27, 2009

A Kashmiri Scholar Writes About Global Warming

Mushtaq is concerned that global warming may lead to extinction of the mankind

(Dr. Mushtaq A. Wani, 49, was born in Ajas village in the Bandipora District (erstwhile Baramulla District) and started his elementary school education in Ajas and finished at the Nadim Memorial Higher Secondary School in Bandipora. He completed his B.Sc. in Agriculture from the Government College of Agriculture Wadura in Sopore, securing the third position on the merit list. He obtained his post-graduate degrees (M.Sc. and Ph.D.) in Soil Sciences from the Sher-e-Kashmir University of Agricultural Sciences and Technology (SKUAST), securing the perfect GPA of 4.0/4.0. His Ph.D. research was conducted in collaboration with the Indian Agricultural Research Institute (IARI). He started as an officer in the Government Agriculture Department, joined SKUAST (Kashmir campus) in 1998, and was promoted as Associate Professor in 2007. He is currently the Deputy Director Research of the Research Directorate of the SKUAST, Kashmir campus. He has received numerous meritorious awards for his scholarly excellence.)

Global warming: The threat is real

Humanity is about to face the most devastating catastrophe since the Bubonic Plague of the Middle Ages. This catastrophe is global warming. Some people are still debating over if global warming is a reality and what actually are the long term effects of pollution in the environment, but the general consensus among most scientists and researchers is that global warming has started and is going to increase at an uncontrollable rate in the very near future.

The effects and consequences of global warming are both frightening and overwhelming. Currently, global warming has resulted in modest increase in the average temperatures throughout the world. However, this temperature increase will continue to spiral upwards and cause massive climate changes throughout the world. For instance, these temperature changes will increase the average worldwide rainfall yet decrease rain in some areas, thus negatively affecting farming everywhere. Seasons to grow foods will shorten in some areas and lengthen in other areas, while few farmers will have to adapt to these changes quickly. Farmers will be unable to properly change the types of their crops, because the local climate changes will be too unpredictable and changing too quickly.

Eventually, both polar ice caps will start melting at a very fast rate because of global warming. This will cause the world's oceans to rise rapidly. Not quickly enough to cause tsunami like conditions to drown thousands of people, but rather people will be forced to evacuate coastal cities, where most of the world's population now lives, to higher ground that is more inland. No one knows, how high the world's oceans will increase; but whatever the height, global warming will decrease the amount of land available for human use. This will decrease the amount of farm land available, thus further decreasing the amount of food mankind can grow. Since a large percentage of the world's population already does not grow enough food, this will cause mass starvations. The sudden increase in population densities in smaller cities not prepared for a surge in population growth will cause huge sanitation issues and diseases will spread much more rapidly, especially with food becoming scarcer. Furthermore with the ice caps melting, the amount of sunlight reflected back into space will decrease thus increasing the temperature of the Earth even faster. Underneath these receding ice caps and glaciers is dead organic matter that when thawed will release even more heat trapping greenhouse gases (carbon emissions) into the environment. While all this time, humankind will continue to produce an ever increasing amount of carbon emissions via pollution into the environment.

Eventually, global warming will melt enough of the polar ice to modify the world's oceans in two ways. First, the oceans will start to desalinate, in other words the salt in the sea water will be more diluted by the fresh water from the ice. Second, the oceans' water temperature will drop because of the cold melting ice, and this will cause the oceans' currents to change. Since the world's ecosystem is regulated by the oceans’ currents, this will cause another ice age. That's right, global warming will start another ice age. Human civilization is not equipped to survive an ice age that will last a few years let alone a few thousand years. No one knows when this ice age will start, but the world's agriculture can not sustain the world's population during an ice age. This may even cause the extinction of mankind.

No one knows when this ice age will happen, but it is coming. We know that the cycle of temperature increases are followed by ice ages, but this time the changes are not natural. These changes are caused by man-made greenhouse gases released in the environment. Therefore scientists believe that the next ice age will start much sooner than the scientific evidence has proven to have happened in the past.

Global warming is the effects of greenhouse causing gases released into the environment that increases the average temperature of the world, thus adding more energy into the atmosphere. This increase in temperature and energy will cause an increase in rain and hurricanes, and wreak havoc to the agriculture of the world. Eventually, enough of the world's icecaps will melt to increase the world's sea levels, thus further destroying the world's agriculture land. Furthermore, the melting ice water will disrupt the world's oceans that regulate the world's temperatures and cause an ice age. And finally, human civilization can not survive an ice age.

As a result, our world leaders have to recognize global warming as a real threat to humanity. They need to both try to slow down global warming and prepare for its eventuality. If they do not, the collapse of the human civilization is almost certain, and the entire human race is at risk of becoming extinct.

No comments: