I begin this post more than a year apart with great disappointment and a recent experience which reminded me how things might look like in the future. Why disappointed? The recent outcome of COP17 at Durban just makes it clear that even though with such visible changes about the environment, countries are still willing to fight over petty things. Although some say that this conference did somewhat have a positive outcome but nonetheless it reminded me of a similar conference that was held two or three years before where all the countries were in a rush to come up with a decision and in the end a three-page document was created containing absolutely nothing solid about proper climate change mitigation targets.
For rich countries, climate change sure does not seem like a big issue considering the current economic crises, and I understand that but for LDCs its a major dilemma. Least to say that they are the worst affected; such countries are stranded in the middle of a ping-pong court, just bouncing from one side to another. Hence I come to the point that reminded of a personal experience that I had recently.
I live in a supposedly posh area in Dhaka, and in such an area it is expected to get continuous water, electricity and gas supply or just to say the basic utilities. I never had complains about any of these issues unlike places in Dhaka where you would to wait in line to get water from the water authority.
So I was having this water shortage at my place and I remember that every time I would wake up from sleep to head to office, I knew if i was lucky that I could get a nice proper shower but that was not the case. I remember when I switched on the tap, it was clear only drops of water would fall, so I would quickly find a bucket to save as much as I could. From whatever water I saved, I would brush my teeth and manage to have a shower.
When I would get back from office, I could not even wash my hands, since there was no water. It became more than a necessity to me than anything, and not for lavish purpose of taking a nice long bath, but doing the basic things, like brushing your teeth, having a shower, washing your clothes, all of these things. Later eventually we bought water bottles, so that we could at least manage the basic necessities. It then popped in my head that buying water was cheap in Dhaka, hardly less than a dollar, if I consider a 5 liter water bottle. I know abroad that water is expensive.
For Bangladesh, water crisis is a norm, where a majority of people are used to it. Although not many rich countries are accustomed to such situations, with the effects of climate change, things will change.
So I started to imagine that the water shortage I had in a week, not having enough water to do the basic necessities will become a usual activity in the future. Water will become an expensive commodity and the people rich enough will have money to buy whereas for those who are poor would not be able to afford it. It might begin first with water territory issues then slowly will lead to war and so many more issues, and water is just of many problems we will face with climate change.
Hence with all of this disappointment and rabbles going on inside my head, I came to a realize that I almost gave up on the fight for climate change and with such outcomes at COP17 just made it clear that, the fight must go on and should never give up…