Although the BJP and Congress, as a sign of a rare consensus, refused to link the deluge in Chennai with the phenomenon of climate change, India's environment specialists attending the ongoing summit on climate change in Paris said the excessive downpour in the southern city has been caused by global warming.
As per PTI, Chandra Bhushan, Deputy Director General of Delhi-based Centre for Science and Environment, said, "We are now experiencing the full-blown impacts of climate change. The extreme rainfall that Chennai is experiencing is a direct outcome of our ever-warming planet."
He also warned that if the situation could take such a serious turn at the global average temperature's increase by less than 1 degree, one can well think what it could be if the increase is by 2 per cent.
Harjeet Singh of Action Aid India said if one looks at the disasters that have happened in the last five years, from Kashmir to Uttarakhand; the trend certainly hints at climate change. Singh even showed during a presentation the devastation that has been caused by the abnormal rainfall in the capital of Tamil Nadu.
The torrential rain there has broken a 100-year-old record with one day's downpour covering a month's average.
Carbon use & de-carbonising can't go hand in hand
Now whether the politicians intend to give the issue a touch of "correctness" or not, the ground reality doesn't change.
While the entire world is desperately looking for a common policy to deal with the threat to this planet's climate, India, one of the fast growing economies of the world, is clearly caught in a dilemma.
It speaks on de-carbonising on the one hand but cannot rein in the ambition of going after boundless growth. But the dream of a glittering development is bound to demand a cost and India of late is paying it dearly in various corners: Uttarakhand, Jammu and Kashmir or Tamil Nadu.
Growth: But how?
Growth is a term that has massive implications today. It is not easy to ignore this elephant in the room today but it is equally key to think that this growth is not going to be sustainable in the long run as the very existence of life on the this planet will be threatened.
Today, we are feeling worried to think what if the global average temperature increases by two per cent. Forget two per cent, unless we script a miracle in Paris, even a four-degree increase cannot be ruled out in the future, which will mean the coastal cities of Chennai, Kolkata and Mumbai will be under a grave threat.
Carbon is not the only problem
The problem doesn't end with carbon, either. We are yet to address the problem of our declining water sources effectively. Both the country's groundwater and surface water levels are seriously threatened.
Even if we are talking of floods in Chennai, drought conditions in the southern states of Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh are common newspaper headlines nowadays.
Along with water, comes our usage pattern of land. Like most or all Indian cities, Chennai, too, has been crippled by reckless land use which blocks all channels of water movement, resulting in a disaster during excessive rain.
Wanton destruction of greenery and careless drive for development and growth have left urban life in India cursed. Global warming or not, such irresponsible craving for a developed nation is slowly pushing us to a point of no return.
No amount of paperwork in Paris can save us from the impending danger if there no reality check on the ground.