Mocking Sustainability – A Fossil Fuel Project

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A project of a coal-based power plant is set to be implemented. News like this gives sudden death shock to a few people remaining on this planet who are genuinely concerned about their homeland, Earth. Our Earth’s been exploited and severely damaged by human beings in various ways, and the destruction caused by development tops the list. The worst damage is the result of emissions of harmful gases mainly greenhouse gases that disrupted the natural balance of the ecosystem. The manmade emissions peaked after World War II and the industrial revolution that happened after 1960. The greenhouse gases (GHGs) keep on warming the Earth by not letting long wave radiations to escape in the space. The disturbed concentrations of atmospheric components then cause various terrible effects. The most important phenomenon is climate change that is about the changed patterns of rainfall and increased global temperatures. Climate change and global warming have become undeniable facts that need to be combated before it’s too late and the existence of the human race comes at stake. From the increasing level of temperatures, floods, glacial melt to the worst effects of rain pattern on crops and biodiversity; we just can’t get away from the outcomes of the luxury we are enjoying today.

Talking about the anthropogenic greenhouse gases (GHGs) emissions, it’s now a well-known fact that the world’s average temperature has been increased to 0.9oC due to unsustainable development actions since last century. The inter-government panel on climate change (IPCC) has suggested that the global mean temperature is likely to rise about 2oC if no mitigation measures are taken. We may blame the most developed nations for creating this trouble but we can’t run away from the responsibility of playing our role for the sustainable and green environment. It has now become the sole responsibility of every person alive to fight and struggle against climate change and global warming. Pakistan being a developing country may escape the charge of causing high emission but it is held responsible for the initiatives and steps to-be-taken for the world’s green future. Pakistan is being suffered from severe energy crises, causing effects to the economy, the lifestyle of the population, and industrial breakdown. The current situation demands the immediate actions for the energy production to carry out the development projects. CPEC (China-Pakistan economic corridor) has been considered a boost for Pakistan’s declining economy. An important component of the project is energy production that includes various power plant projects.

A coal-based power project at Gwadar has been proposed by the government that will rely on imported coal adding the footprint of shipping in overall damage. Coal power plants possess a massive environmental footprint caused by extensive use of fresh water, emissions of GHGs and other harmful gases, and generation of excessive heat. Gwadar, an important seaport of Pakistan, is located in Balochistan and is a significant part of the CPEC plan. It does demand a huge amount of energy that would be provided by this coal-based plant that is aimed to provide 300MW. The project costs the US $6 million that means we are investing this much amount for a dark future. This enormous amount can be a lot more useful if utilized efficiently on renewable energy sources that often are avoided due to their cost. For a versatile country with huge potential for renewable energy, an option to go for the coal-based plant is nothing but a joke. Sadly it is more than a joke as the content of the joke will be imported from different countries. I, realizing my responsibility, strongly condemn this proposal and request Pakistani government to opt for a renewable energy plant. The alternates can be hydel power systems, tidal power systems, and wind turbines. Considering the location of Gwadar the tidal and wind power systems can be employed and the breezes of the coast and tidal energy can be utilized effectively.

Discussing the problems and raising questions on such projects is not common in our country due to lack of awareness and proper knowledge. An energy stressed country only sees one side benefit that is energy production from these projects, the other side of the coin is always unexposed until it becomes reality. We as a nation look up to the successful states that have developed so much but fail to understand that what they have the gifted to the whole world in terms of pollution and harmful emissions. The Inter-government panel on climate change (IPCC) initially targeted developed countries only to ask them for reducing emissions and implementing solutions, but finding the need of cumulative efforts, the target has been expanded to all countries, all nations and all individuals. Anyone who can contribute even a little drop to fill up the sea should come forward and do what s/he can.

I am aware of the consequences and want to have a safe and secure world for my future generations. I am playing my little role for a green world. Are you?

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