Climate change was chosen as the month’s WiserLocal topic in reference to the “Connect the Dots” event organized by 350.org and scheduled a few days later: on the 5th of May 2012, actions happened all around the world to highlight the connections between our lifestyle, different extreme climate events and climate change. Facilitator, Laura Burger Chakraborty sums up the event.

But what is climate change for the common man? Do we feel concerned? Can we do something about it? The topic was catchy and the room full.

Why climate change in the Indian sub-continent? Because according to a study done by Maplecroft, Bangladesh is the world’s most vulnerable country to climate change, India the second and Nepal the fourth. Moreover, they share similar ecosystems and are likely to be similarly affected by climate change.

During the meetup, four short videos were screened, presenting testimonies of local people about their local climate changing. In the first video, Bangladeshi farmers explain that they can no longer recognize the traditional seasonal patterns. The second video is set in Nepal, where new and growing glacier lakes caused by the melting of the glaciers pose an increasing threat of outburst and thus of flushing away the downstream villages. In the third video, a scientist working on modeling the changes of the monsoon explains this complicated phenomenon and the effects in India. Finally, the last short-movie highlights the questions, the doubts and the feeling of helplessness of the concerned Asian youth: If the predictions are true, what will happen? Why are people still debating instead of finding a solution? Who is going to pay for the damages?

The videos were followed by a discussion amongst the participants. Is climate change happening? Yes, but…

While most of the participants agreed that climate change is a reality, they did not agree on its extent. ” It is presumptuous to believe that we humans can change the planet, although we are in fact so insignificant” claimed a participant. ” Climate change is an issue, but more important and more certain is the fact that our resources are being depleted ” said another. A third responded that ” the scientific evidence is clear: climate change is happening “.

The discussion highlighted the complexity of climate change and the fact that many of us still do not grab the full dimension of the issue. Providing simple and transparent information on climate change is crucial to make the people understand the numerous connections between our lifestyle and our planet. 350.org recognized this need and lauched a campaign named “Connect the dots”. To conclude this WiserLocal meetup on a concrete note, Ayesha D’souza, the Asia coordinator of 350.org, was invited to introduce this campaign with the help of a short video and to invite everybody to participate in their own way.

India is vulnerable to climate change. But it does not mean that people are going to wait and see. Young people take their destiny in their hands and speak out to make the change happen. They are calling for justice and responsibility. Because climate change is a reality, and we all need to get ready to face it.

Find out more about future WiserLocal Delhi events:

http://www.wiserearth.org/group/india
http://facebook.com/WiserIndia
http://twitter.com/WiserInd
or contact Yatin or Laura.

 

Thank you Laura Burger Chakraborty for writing this blog!

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