And monsoon rains hit the state a full month early this year.
This is not normal. This is the result of man-made global warming and its impacts are hitting India hard. That's why we need to elevate this issue in the national dialogue so people everywhere are discussing it and pushing our Government to act. Join us in calling public figures to connect the dots between global warming and extreme weather in India.
Rainfall and floods have devastated the state of Uttarakhand. Bridges and roads were destroyed, causing tens of thousands to be stranded, and nearly 6000 have been presumed dead.
The Uttarakhand floods have shaken the nation, with people across India sending relief to help the victims. A debate has sparked as to what caused these floods. Dams, poor infrastructure, and tourism have all been cited, but one issue has been noticeably missing: global warming.
Dams and poor infrastructure may have made the floods worse, but they don't explain the fact that monsoons came to Uttarakhand a month earlier this year or that the state received 847% excess rainfall between 13 June and 19 June.
These facts point to a climate that is rapidly changing, and we as a country need to have an honest discussion about all the reasons why this is happening. But this will never happen until global warming enters the mainstream dialogue. That's why we're calling on prominent figures to publicly acknowledge the connection between global warming and extreme weather in India.
As little as a tweet from them could get national media coverage. And if we get more of a response, we could transform the global warming conversation in India. Join us by signing this petition.
The hesitation to connect the Uttarakhand floods to global warming comes from looking at it as an isolated event, but it is just one of the extreme weather events that has hit India this year. This past January, Maharashtra was battling its worst drought in 40 years. There were fears that even drinking water would become scarce!
The states of Assam and Andhra Pradesh have also been devastated by floods in the past month. In Andhra, 200 villages and 100,000 hectares of farm land were under water as of 22 July. In Assam, over one lakh people living in over 400 villages have been affected.
Join us in asking prominent public figures to take a stand on global warming today. We don't know when the next devastating extreme weather event will hit our country. India needs to have this conversation now.
Who are these public figures that we're targeting?*
Why? Because he has been very active in raising fund for the victims of the Uttarakhand floods and is a prominent activist for social change.
One of India's leading journalists and host of the pro-democracy talk show "We The People." Named by Time Magazine one of the 140 best Twitter feeds.
He has been honoured by a Green Globe award for "outstanding efforts by a celebrity" to fight climate change.
Author and youth icon who has spoken about environmental issues. Time magazine has named him one of the 100 most influential people in the world.
The cricketer was stuck in flood areas for a couple of days, and has seen the devastation first hand. He has donated a sum of 10 lakh rupees to help the victims.
It’s clear from the actions of many of these public figures that they care deeply about what has happened in Uttarakhand. They’ve collectively raised crores of rupees to support the victims. However, in the long run, such disasters will continue to happen and will only get worse unless we as a country talk about why they’re happening and address the root cause. And climate change has played a role in this disaster. These public figures can also play an important role in helping shift the national conversation around global warming. Ask them to do so by signing the petition today.
*Any other figure who wants to make a public statement connecting the dots between extreme weather and global warming, is of course more than welcome to. :)
Q1. Uttarakhand has faced similar floods in the past. This is not a new phenomenon. How can we connect this to global warming?
a. It is true that the state has had a history of heavy rainfall. Even reaching 900mm a day in 1965. But the problem with that argument is when we look at Uttarakhand in isolation! Global warming is having devastating impacts with record breaking weather in India and around the world. This timeline below highlights some of the extreme weather events that we have witnessed in 2013 so far. The frequency and the severity of extreme weather is on the rise and its now beyond doubt that man made global warming is behind this.
Q2. It’s not climate change, its the dams, tourism and poor policy that caused the floods?
a. Certainly. But these are reasons that magnified the destruction and not the massive rainfall that preceded the destruction.
Q3. Even scientists are hesitant to connect the floods to global warming. Most scientific reports that have come out do not blame global warming.
a. Several surveys of scientists have proved beyond doubt that scientists believe in manmade global warming and know that it poses a grave threat to mankind. This known danger cannot wait for a full empirical evidence on the influence of global warming on one particular extreme weather event. We know that the costs of inaction on global warming are much higher than if we decide to act now!
Q4. What needs to happen?
a. As an issue, global warming is hardly discussed in the mainstream. Such discussions are needed to raise public opinion and push policy makers and politicians for action that takes into consideration the impending and growing impacts of global warming. The chief minister of Uttarakhand is now welcoming tourists back but another disaster is in the waiting line if we do not adapt to global warming.
Sign and share this petition for elevating the issue to the mainstream in India.