Decoding one of the least-talked about subtopics of climate change!

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Starting from where I left off in my last blog – we’re talking about climate change again!

But, this time, we’re shedding the spotlight on a subtopic of climate change that is perhaps not known or understood fully by the masses.

Climate finance.

No, I haven’t meshed two completely different words together. It is a thing and you can look it up!

On second thoughts, don’t because as soon as you read the next paragraph, you will understand what it is.

‘Climate finance’ refers to the investments that support significant reductions in greenhouse gas emissions and financial measures that help adapt to the current and future impacts of a changing climate.

So it is right to assume that if the world wishes to become climate-neutral by 2050, then enormous amounts of investments (both from the public and private sectors) are required.

Climate finance is important to systemically combat climate change. After all, there needs to be a proper system in place for whole continents like Europe to invest substantially in climate change mitigation and adaptation.

And, as you can imagine, climate financing is never going to be about hundreds or thousands of Euros. The investment needs will be totalling hundreds of billions of Euros per year.

There’s another important term that you should be introduced to, at this point.

Sustainable climate finance. It aims to channel private investment into the transition to a climate-neutral, climate-resilient, resource-efficient and fair economy.

Private investments, when combined with public money from Europe and other continents may make a huge impact on the climate.

Next, we move to the topic of the European Economic Area ( EEA ) which includes EU countries, Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway.

It is continually assessing the connections between climate action, including current and future measures to reduce emissions and adapt to the impacts of climate change, and the financial and fiscal systems.

This organization has been contributing extensively to the initiative of sustainable climate finance for five years and counting.

It has also helped develop recommendations for identifying economic activities that can make a substantial contribution to climate change mitigation or adaptation. The recommendations also address how to ensure that climate investments avoid significant harm to other environmental objectives such as sustainable use and protection of water and marine resources, transition to a circular economy, pollution prevention control, and protection and restoration of biodiversity and ecosystems.

My parting thoughts on the EEA are that it is also a part of the EU Platform on sustainable finance, set up as a permanent expert group under the EU Taxonomy Regulation.

Signing off by saying that climate finance needs more attention, both as a topic and act, to shape a carbon-neutral and eco-friendly future.  

Who is a ‘climate activist’? Come, meet some of my favourites.

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A climate activist campaigns and supports positive change in regards to the global climate crisis. He/she also leads wholesome discussions, spreads awareness and motivates others to take appropriate action.

At present, many young people are contributing to this social cause. What they are doing is simply noble because in reality, it’s not the young people who are the cause of climate change but many of them are still doing everything in their power to improve the current situation.

‘Climate change’ as a term on its own is scary and troubling. Its meaning invites more fear into the hearts of those who understand the dire consequences.

RECAP: ‘Climate change’ occurs when greenhouse gasses such as carbon dioxide and methane are emitted from the burning of fossil fuels (coal, oil, etc.). As a result, the gasses become trapped in the Earth’s atmosphere and heat it, thus disrupting the weather patterns in all kinds of ways.

The situation has worsened since the Industrial Revolution and to add insult to injury, it’s a man-made disaster.

Therefore, it’s imperative to read about and become inspired by youth climate activists who have risen as the voice of reason at such tender ages.

1. Tahsin Uddin

A 22-year old climate activist from Bangladesh who fully understands the unfair impacts of climate change on vulnerable groups of people in his country.

He promotes cycling as an eco-friendly vehicle, plants trees and organizes clean-ups.

2. Russell Raymond

A 17-year old reporter from the Caribbean nation of Dominica whose motivation to combat climate change rises from a personal experience.

When Hurricane Maria made landfall in September 2017, he was devastated to see the state of the island he once called home.

Hence, he used photography as a medium to capture grief and highlight the fatal effects of the crisis.

3. Mitzi Jonelle Tan

Mitzi belongs to Manila, Philippines and ardently campaigns for ‘climate justice’ – a term that I came across a short while ago.

Her fight against climate change can also be attributed to a personally-lived experience. Which happens to be the two back-to-back hurricanes that hit the Philippines in 2020.

During this difficult time, she and her organization made it a mission to feed the hungry, ask them in-depth questions about how the storm had impacted them and help them in every way possible.

4. Greta Thunberg

Perhaps, I saved the most infamous climate campaigner for the last.

She is the 15-year old girl who protested outside the Swedish parliament in 2018.

While holding a sign that said “School Strike for Climate”, she demanded that the government meet its carbon emissions targets.

Her small act led to big changes around the world. Students from the UK to Japan emulated her driven actions.

She was also nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize for climate activism.

Her most heroic act which inspires me is when she sailed the Atlantic in a solar-powered yacht to attend a UN conference in New York.

At the end of the day, we cannot measure a youth climate activist by the number of achievements but by the sentiment with which they promote climate awareness and justice.

So, if you were looking for a sign to build a cleaner and greener world, this blog is it. 

We’ve already been impacted by climate change and it’s just the beginning.

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Climate change is a real, palpable problem – a man-made phenomenon whose effects we all are experiencing but doing little to curb.

In this blog, I would like to attempt to pin down some of the impacts which the climate crisis has already had on planet Earth so that my observations can generate a level of awareness and a certain sense of accountability in my readers.

Before we start, I’d like to assert that the more apt. the term is ‘global climate change’ since the alterations in our surroundings are not only being felt in India but also in the rest of the world.

I digress but it’s important to note here that the effects of climate change are unevenly felt around the world. The effects can differ between communities as well as individuals.

While the heat-trapping process has resulted in a rise of about 1.98°Foffsite link (1.1°C) from 1901 to 2020, it has also led to sea levels rising, droughts, floods, etc.

In theory, the consequences of climate change may seem one-dimensional but upon a closer look, they are far more disturbing once decoded.

For instance, a drought will disrupt human life even more in the sense that food production and human health will be impacted.

Floods will result in the spread of diseases and damages to ecosystems and infrastructure.

Such instances will interfere significantly with worker productivity as well.

This is why it’s important to examine the impacts of the global climate crisis before it’s too late.

1. No improvement despite lockdowns

The two most debilitating greenhouse gasses (carbon dioxide and methane) continued to wreak havoc on the atmosphere in 2020 despite the worldwide socio-economic lockdown in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The above statement reflects how deeply the climate crisis has percolated into the planet and how necessary it has become to understand what we can do to avoid its further escalation.

2. Water resources take the brunt

Did you know that a snowpack (a mass of lying snow that is compressed and hardened by its own weight) is an important source of fresh water for many people?

So, as the snow from a snowpack melts, it becomes freshwater which is a valuable resource for the masses. Especially those residing in the Western United States where precipitation is unpredictable in warmer months.

But when temperatures rise, the amount of snow reduces overall meaning snowpacks may not be very reliable sources of water during warm and dry seasons.

3. Human health is compromised

It’s common knowledge that these heat-trapping gasses lead to hotter weather and heat is a deadly phenomenon for the human body.

The dry season can also fuel wildfires. Events such as lightning and strong winds have been recorded as contributing factors to the California wildfires.

Long-standing equity exists here wherein underserved and vulnerable groups will be impacted the most by climate change.

People struck by poverty, the elderly and individuals with preexisting health conditions may be the first in line to experience the aftermath of this crisis.

Therefore, we should act like a self-aware community as it’s better to be safe than sorry when it comes to the looming global climate crisis.  

How The LGBTQ+ Community Continues To Influence The Fashion Industry.

No matter what your sexual orientation is, you should feel unbridled pride for who you are today and what gender you are attracted to. And, this feeling of pride and contentment should be felt every second of every day.

LGBTQ community and its awareness may be relatively new to people’s ears and even more astonishing to their eyes. And, the most novel concept born out of parades and fearless protests against violence and discrimination against queers is queer fashion. It is fair to say that queer fashion designers are being delightfully creative and brave by portraying their own beliefs using fashion. Their contribution has shaken up the fashion industry because they are depicting their and other sexual orientations using their own brands. There are many ways these people’s opinions have altered the fashion we know and witness today.

Such brands expect mainstream brands to try and accept what is beneath the surface. They want the line between gender, identity, and self-expression to blur. They want to create non-gendered beauty that is also fashionable and does not conform to the societal norms at the same time.

My favorite was the new rendition of the American gamer from the Midwest by a brand from the USA. Normally, his most worn outfit is a loose cotton T-Shirt and cargo pants. But this brand shook up things and traded the cotton T-Shirt for lace tops and spandex T-shirts that reveal some skin on your back and chest. *imagines PewDiePie in this outfit*

This bold statement by this brand tells me that it is better to create fashion that is inspired by a real-life event or a personal observation than simply crisscrossing male and female clothing.

Even celebrities like Taylor Swift took to their stages to kick off the Pride month in June by literally dressing up like a rainbow. Her message to “love who you want to love” is reflected in her pleasantly colorful outfit which was a pair of high-waisted lace-up shorts and a cropped, fringed long-sleeve top worn with a yellow tee underneath and some rainbow sneakers as well.

This way, she has inspired fashion in a new way. Wear all the colors of the rainbow and you are immediately part of an empowering moment. Continue reading “How The LGBTQ+ Community Continues To Influence The Fashion Industry.”

Poetry 2018 Longlist, Avantika Singhal

Super stoked to be included in the longlist. I hope everyone likes my words as much as I do!

Wordweavers India

One way To Live

Loneliness lingers,

like pain after a broken heart.

Loneliness expands,

like the sun’s beam on a warm day.

Loneliness shatters

every hope, every desire in your

tiny microcosm, bit by bit,

until you find it difficult to draw in air.

But loneliness empowers too.

It’s presumably a crusade to strengthen

your bones which were weakened

when you were roughly ruffled from the

wind blowing ashore and when your body

swayed in ungodly directions during the

high tides past sunset.

Loneliness helps you realize

that you need only your heart and only your

smile to make yourself happy.

You need to be lonely to know what it was

like to be surrounded.

You must stay lonely to learn what is it

like to embrace solitude, you must accept it

and let it grow on you.

You must do so until loneliness is not a

travesty. It’s a…

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A Letter To Myself That Will Remind Me To Be A Good Daughter.

Dear Self,

You’ve been so brave this year. Yes, you can applaud yourself. It’s known to be uplifting and pleasing. But have you been loving your loved ones enough? Hmm. That is something to ponder over.

You talk to yourself a LOT. And when the phrase ‘a lot’ is being used, it refers to the fact that you constantly over-think, critique and analyze yourself. It could be in front of the mirror, or while staring at the ceiling of your bedroom or just looking out of the window.

But amid all this, how do you leave out the most important thing to think about?

So think: we always choose to take for granted what is already being given to us. Things such as food and emotions such as love. Like, you feel the swift rush of love in your heart when your Mother says something that is sweet and intrinsic to her maternal nature. But sometimes, you fail to reciprocate and then you end up becoming the worst daughter this Earth will ever host.

You forget what her favorite food dish is.

You forget her shopping list.

You forget what makes her tear up.

And, you forget that apart from being a person who caters to all your needs, she is also a brilliant woman who has desires of her own.

You forget that sometimes when you go shopping, she furtively expects you to come back and surprise her with something she has desperately wanted for a long time. It could be her favorite lipstick that just ran out or the fancy shampoo she has wanted for a long time but is somehow hesitant to buy by herself because she hates Materialism and loathes high maintenance even more.

You forget that your decision to help out in the kitchen should not be born out of obligation but out of compassion.

You forget that rambling on about your life and your miseries sidelines what she is feeling.

You fall. You fall like an ill-prepared solder on the battlefield. And so this letter should help and serve to you as a reminder to not view your mother as your mother ONLY.

View her as this goddess who experienced such visceral pain while giving birth to you that she almost blacked out.

View her as a woman whose mind is filled with drowsy dreams and candid curiosities.

View her as someone with a cerebral mind and a warm heart.

View your mother as a human being and not as a refuge to dump your emotional baggage in.

View her as your everything.

Yours truly and sincerely,

Conscience.

EXPLORING THE LURE OF SUPERHERO MOVIES AND WHY YOU SHOULD WATCH THOR: RAGNAROK ASAP.

Yes, I know. It’s been a while since the movie was released but you should give this article a read anyway.

So, you might never confess it but as you were growing up, you definitely had a phase where you wanted to be a superhero of some kind. Whether you desired The Dark Knight’s pricey automobiles or his bat-shit crazy strength (See what I did there?). Or, you could have wanted to fly like X-Men’s Archangel.

It doesn’t matter, though. Because you have grown up now and you have given up on becoming a superhero. So what do you do? You watch Superhero movies to satiate your power-hungry self. Marvel and DC are to be thanked in this department. Especially Marvel, because over the years or from the beginning of time, it has rolled out some tremendously fabulous movies. Guardians Of The Galaxy, Iron Man, we are looking right at you.

But apart from the fact that we all love our superhero fantasies being played out on the big screen, why do we watch superhero movies, anyway? After all, there must be a valid reason why my 26-year-old brother was practically bouncing to watch Thor Ragnarok weekends ago.

For example, I watch Superhero movies because I love the before-story that has been attached to it. How the superhero became one or specifically their Origin, who their nemesis is and what their weaknesses are. In short, you love the trivia that makes these movies what they are.

Also, trust. I trust Marvel to present its viewers with hilarious quirks and memorable punch-lines during the movie that also stay with me even after it’s been fifteen days since watching it. And, exhilaration. Being energized is so important in life. Whether you carry out any small task or a big one, energy is paramount in every one of your actions. These movies are guaranteed to give you the enthusiasm you need. 2 hours and 10 minutes of it and you are pumped for three days or so. Why? Because it’s so fictional that you start believing and enjoying it. You start believing that somewhere out there, there’s a race called The Stark that worships Tony Stark as their God. So these movies
help you glorify the word “NERD.”

Thor: Ragnarok is in the theatres right now and if you are a fan of the Marvel Comics, then I suggest you get off your bum and treat your eyes. It’s not about watching every Marvel movie that comes out. It’s about how lively it makes you feel after you have watched it. I bet that you will come out of the theatre saying-“Ah, what a great time to be alive.” Chris Hemsworth’s portrayal of Thor, Tom Hiddleston’s or better, Loki’s mischief and Cate Blanchett’s Hela’s evil antics will have you chortling in no time. Go watch Thor and feel refreshed. Action-comedies like these don’t come around often.

IMAGE COURTESY: GOOGLE.

Dangerous Epiphany Of The Present-A Memoir.

Evenings scare me these days. The retiring Sun, the rushing movement of birds from Colony wires to hidden nests and the ever-changing sky scare me.

It’s not like the darkness scares me, no. It’s just what it represents. It can be beautiful to those who choose to see it that way. But these days, darkness is a choker around my porcelain neck that turns it shades of awry black and deep blue. It sits in my room every night, waiting to halt my breaths and endeavors to suffocate me until I can’t see straight or think coherently.

Continue reading “Dangerous Epiphany Of The Present-A Memoir.”

If My Body Talked To Me One Day, This Is What I Would Ask It.

What do you want to be in the future?

I want to be thinner and slimmer-

Stop right there, body. Why can’t you be

anything else? Why can’t you be a

bucket of sunlight that splashes us with

happiness every morning? Why can’t

you be a spring in someone’s step?

Why can’t you slither on someone’s mouth

and play as a soft grin? Why does a

decrease of fat appeal to you?

Why don’t you take a deep breath 

and enjoy the plump curves that

you have? Become comfortable

with this gift sans wrapping.

Become happy to be in your own

skin. Become wary since you must

treat it all like an exhibit in a glass case.

Become someone. Become you.

Be you, body. As hate kills love. Love

kills hope. And, hope kills all, sometimes.

Body, be everything but thinner and slimmer.

Be who you would like to be.

Be a sack of potatoes. Be the ballerina

who swings with grace and self-assurance.

Be someone else, please. Be who you want to be.

#NaPoWriMo: Month For Leaning, Experience & Recognition.

There are a lot of undiscovered secrets in this universe such as what bizarre planets lie beyond Planet Earth and what more creatures swim agilely in deep waters of the oceans. However, that is all very dynamic and high-profile for a low-key poetess like me. So, I uncovered a paltry secret this April that changed my life more than ever. I acknowledged the presence of #NaPoWriMo: National Poetry Writing Month wherein you write thirty poems until the Sweltering April comes to a halt and Moody May begins.

I took part as well, of course. And, while I had been apprehensive of the response I would get, I did not back out. After all, I have written close to two hundred poems till date and they could use some rehashing. Again, I was scared of being crushed under the hoofs of internet trolls and other cynical writers who consider themselves the best out there. Thankfully, none of that happened and I surpassed the month by garnering some likes here and there on my Instagram page. YOU CAN FIND THE PAGE IN THE SIDEBAR TO YOUR RIGHT.

What? That’s me being subtle.

So, I awaited likes and comments that would follow right after I had grilled my poem under a phone application that would make it look pretty, accessible and presentable.

Continue reading “#NaPoWriMo: Month For Leaning, Experience & Recognition.”