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EnvironMental 'MELTING AWAY'

'Melting Away' Sarah Mariam Koshy

We've heard all, too, much about melting glaciers due to global warming but do allow me to explain how and why this is a major concern and the immense effects it has on our planet. Did you know that our ice caps actually form a protective layer over our earth! They reflect back the excess heat into space and keep our planet cool.

The advent of the industrial revolution brought about a lot of changes, in not only building and culturing human habits — for the better or for the worse, that's another debate, entirely — but also those that have impacted our environment adversely: emissions of greenhouse gases being one of the biggest threats. Emissions of greenhouse gases have risen significantly, causing higher temperatures, and consequently melting the glaciers at a worrying pace.

Scientists predict that even if immediate action is taken to curb these effects due to our activities, over a third of our glaciers will vanish before 2100. Now, this is alarming. And that is not the least of our concern. It is that "immediate action" is still a distant dream, and therefore the chances of more than a third of our glaciers melting before 2100 is most likely the case. In such a situation planet Earth will also be a stranger to us with many unforeseen disasters striking us in the form of diseases, droughts, floods and such, making her uninhabitable for all.

So, what happens when glaciers melt? How bad could it be?

When glaciers melt sea levels would rise significantly changing the world's coastlines, dramatically, with sinking land, coastal erosion and temperamental storms. Besides, when salt water mixes with freshwater aquifers, it threatens sources of drinking water, too, and makes crop cultivation hard. The rising temperature completely disrupts the patterns of ocean circulation. As a result it creates extremely disruptive hurricanes and storms, destroying industries and businesses thriving on ocean health. Its impacts on us aside, the animal and plant life that are already suffering the ruinous effects of this is immeasurable. Animals like the polar bears and walruses have already started losing their habitats. Scientists have raised concerns about the depleting habitats of polar bears and of their plastic consumption, too.

I am no scientist but as an artist I do believe that we are one with Nature, and evidently, environmental calamities have had serious repercussions on us, too, if not more. So, to learn from the scientific community that the world ocean circulation (now called the ocean conveyor belt) mimics the human circulatory system was reaffirming that belief, and a compelling enough nudge that we ought to live in harmony with our nature.

Let us not overindulge in our wants selfishly. Come to think of it, our needs are minimal, and some of us have been told that early on, remember? Although not a polar bear, our Baloo from Disney's version of Rudyard Kipling's The Jungle Book did sing such a tune. I'd like to leave you with Baloo's song by Phil Harris and Bruce Reitherman. So, sing along:

Look for the bare necessities
The simple bare necessities
Forget about your worries and your strife
I mean the bare necessities
Old Mother Nature's recipes
That brings the bare necessities of life
Wherever I wander, wherever I roam
I couldn't be fonder of my big home
The bees are buzzin' in the tree
To make some honey just for me
When you look under the rocks and plants
And take a glance at the fancy ants
Then maybe try a few
The bare necessities of life will come to you
They'll come to you!
Look for the bare necessities
The simple bare necessities
Forget about your worries and your strife
I mean the bare necessities
That's why a bear can rest at ease
With just the bare necessities of life
Now when you pick a pawpaw
Or a prickly pear
And you prick a raw paw
Well, next time beware
Don't pick the prickly pear by the paw
When you pick a pear
Try to use the claw
But you don't need to use the claw
When you pick a pear of the big pawpaw;
Have I given you a clue?
The bare necessities of life will come to you
They'll come to you!
"So just try and relax, yeah cool it
Fall apart in my backyard
'Cause let me tell you something, little britches
If you act like that bee acts – uh-uh
You're working too hard
And don't spend your time lookin' around
For something you want that can't be found"
When you find out you can live without it
And go along not thinkin' about it
I'll tell you something true
The bare necessities of life will come to you


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