Guest essay by Eric Worrall
Journalists in Pakistan have condemned government inaction with respect to climate change, which they blame for unusually harsh winter weather, and heavy snowfall.
According to The Express Tribune;
Swept under the carpet: Climate change remains little-known threat in K-P
Climate change is a subject that is not widely discussed in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa even though spending in this regard has increased by 88% over the last four years from Rs13 billion to Rs24.4 billion.
While this matter is brushed under the carpet, weather anomalies under the El Nino effect have drastically increased. Through this phenomenon, when the surface temperature in the Pacific Ocean rises, more rain and snowfall is expected in winter.
The effects of this phenomenon are likely to grow manifold in 2016.
However, this has not encouraged officials of the provincial government to put their heads together and come up with a workable strategy to address the effects of climate change.
Winter has become particularly harsh and the precipitation levels have also been affected.
Snowfall that was expected in February began in November. Erratic patterns of rainfall have caused flooding. This has resulted in a considerable loss to life in urban areas and dealt a heavy blow to the provincial exchequer.
According to estimates, each spell of rain in urban areas across the province has resulted in the death of at least three people.
Floods triggered by the glacial lake outburst phenomena (GLOF) phenomenon have killed more than 90 people across Malakand Division. And yet, there are a series of doubts as to what has caused these events.
Here I was thinking that the Himalayas were melting away. Luckily journalists on the scene have corrected this misapprehension, and helped us to understand that global warming causes harsher winters and a massive increase in snow accumulation. Though placing the blame on local politicians seems a bit unfair – perhaps the politicians are simply holding back, keeping their UN climate money safely deposited somewhere on behalf of the public, until next year, when global warming will cause the end of snow.