CLIMATE CHANGE : The monster in our midst – Williams Charles Oluwatoyin


On June 1, 2017, United States President Donald Trump announced that the U.S. would cease all participation in the 2015 Paris Agreement on climate change mitigation. Before now, the American president bfore becoming president has on numerous occassions.

In November 2012, he tweeted that the whole thing was a Chinese hoax. “The concept of global warming was created by and for the Chinese in order to make U.S. manufacturing non-competitive.”  In 2014, Trump tweeted that the idea of man-made climate change was costly nonsense. “This very expensive GLOBAL WARMING bullshit has got to stop. Our planet is freezing, record low temps,and our GW scientists are stuck in ice.”

American’s worst in recent time and the most intense Atlantic hurricane to strike the United States since Katrina in 2005, and the first major hurricane to make landfall in the state of Florida since Wilma in 2005. Hurrican Irma left Florida on Monday, after  triggering severe flooding in the northeast part of the state while authorities along the storm’s 400-mile path struggled to get aid to victims and take a full measure of the damage.

The monster hurricane that hit the Florida Keys on Sunday is the ninth named storm, a fourth named hurricane, and second major hurricane of the 2017 after hurrican harvey

However, with the hit of Hurricane Irma and its devastating effect on the state of florida, Donald Trump and other world leaders, who have seeminglly assumed the same position either by ommission ot commission would now sit tight and get down to business of facing the reality of climate change.

According to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) defines it as a change of climate that is attributed directly or indirectly to human activity, altering the composition of the global atmosphere.

Human activity includes the pollution that arises from industrial activity and other sources that produce greenhouse gases, such as burning of bush farm, emission from generator sets and many others, such as carbon dioxide, have the ability to absorb the spectrum of infrared light and contribute to the warming of our atmosphere. Once produced, these gases can remain trapped in the atmosphere for tens or hundreds of years.

The greenhouse effect is the cycle by which these gases become trapped in the atmosphere and heat the planet intensly, more reason why places all over the planet are extremly hotter than ever at the moment, most especially my darling town, Lokoja. The term was coined in 1827 by Joseph Fourier, a French mathematician and physicist, who envisioned that the warming process of the Earth acted in the same way as a greenhouse traps heat – a process of visible light and invisible radiation, with Earth’s atmosphere acting as the glass barrier.

Therefore, increasing temperature, increasing climate variability, increased rainfall and snowfall, changes in earth systems and severe weather events is having serious damaging effects on our environment.

Nigeria is not left out from the devasting effect of climate change. More prominet is the flooding of various major towns and states cpitals, from lagos to Benue and Kogi state. This is due to abnormal weather caused by climate change that led to massive downpour, which in turn wrecked masive disaster, through flooding, which led to the  destuction of homes, farmlands and rendering the people homeless or temporarily displaced.

Benue state has an estimated 110,000 people displace and homeless people, while three were confirmed dead by the flood that sacked some communities in Benue State penultimate week. Apart from rendering thousands homeless, the disaster also washed away villages, farmlands and food storage facilities among others.

The The National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) has released a Briefing on the Flood Situation in Nigeria on Wednesday 14 th September, 2017. The information shows that since 1 September, 2017, a yellow alert on water level was reached at the hydro-metric station of Niamey. This yellow alert was said to have lasted 7 days until 7th September, 2017 with a progressive increase of water level until reaching the yellow level limit of 580 cm.

In addition, the Nigeria Hydrological Services Agency (NISHA) confirmed that Jebba and Kanji Dams have started to release water from their dams to accommodate the inflow from Niger River upstream.

Therefore there is a looming flood incident that is gravitating towards Kogi State, which will invariably affect States downstream Kogi State, all as a result of climate change . Governments and stakeholders at various levels in the States of Kogi, Anambra, Delta, Rivers, Imo, Rivers, Bayelsa that may be affected by the flood should be warned to take appropriate measures to forestall colossal damage to life and property.

Nigeria thrives on two major sectors. Petroleum and agriculture, making the country highly vulnerable to the effects of climate change. Nigeria is also a thriving market for fairly used or old vehicles from other countries and these vehicles emit huge volumes of carbon into the atmosphere, making automobiles a major source of air pollution in the urban areas. Also, motorcycle riders in Nigeria add engine oil to their petrol, and this turns the petrol into gasoline, which emits more carbons. Added to these, is the issue of gas flaring.

Worse still, inadequate and epileptic supply of electricity by the distribution companies force people to use diesel or fuel power generators, which emit carbons in large quantities into the atmosphere. In the rural areas, major activities that contribute to climate change include bush burning, illegal felling of trees, a means of livelihood for the production of fuel wood and charcoal.

If Nigeria can would reduce to the bearest minimum effects of climate change. It has to Consequently adopt radical changes, it is evident that solar energy will be taken more seriously into consideration along with actively developing electrical, hybrid, and hydrogen-powered vehicles. This concept of ‘smart electricity’ is intensively created and implemented in many countries all over the world now, to reduce to the bearest miniumu, the use of combustible equipments.

Finally, there is a need for agressive enligthment of the people, rendering information of ecology problems to the population from climate change, which to some extent is caused by human factor, will be very helpful.

Our future is rigth in our hands.

Williams Charles
Lives in Lokoja