Apropos of the news story, “Scientists warn million species at risk of extinction due to climate change” (THT, May 7, Page 7), this is a scary scenario for impoverished nations like Nepal that may face the brunt of climate change because of the combined effect of global and local contributory destructive human activities. Scientists attribute ‘industrial farming and fishing’ as major drivers accentuating loss of a million species. They also mention the burning of fossil fuel products such as coal, oil and gas as the culprit of climate change that exacerbates loss of flora and fauna. Nepal, as one of the most vulnerable countries on the planet, can and must benefit from this knowledge and put in place a slew of preventive measures to contain the damages as much as possible. While it may be helpless in checking the monstrous march of the global climate change, it can perhaps do a lot to limit its impact by protecting local nature and species as best as it can by adopting sustainable development policies. The need of the hour may be massive reforestation programmes and limited exploitation of natural resources.
The people who run the country would know better of what measures to take, including putting caps on the exploitation of natural resources and on industrial farming, to shield the country from the adverse climate change. Nepal can make use of abundant hydro, solar and wind power to replace fossil fuel derivatives that accelerate global warming. The government cannot afford to offer excuses and pretext for lack of policies to sabotage the use of clean energy “Lack of policies hits operation of electric vehicles” (THT, May 7, Page 1). We need laws to ensure that the line ministers are not influenced by vested interest while impeding policies that are good for the nation’s environmental health. The PM should step in to take swift decisions on the formulation and implementation of policies when his ministers dither.
Manohar Shrestha, Kathmandu
Last weekend, I visited my hometown, Tansen, for obvious reasons. It was the day of International Labour Day when I saw a quadruple of labourers toiling hard to demolish a quake-ravaged mud house on a scorching summer day. When I reminded them about Labour Day the following day, they only smiled and uttered, ‘ke garne!’ (what to do?). While some government staffers were having a relaxed off-day, there seemed no sign of respite for those oppressed and downtrodden people.
Such a gruesome scenario made me ponder over the ordeals the menial and daily wage workers face. The only thing I could do was to question myself regarding the significance of Labour Day, to which I have no answer. Inequality, poverty and crippling injustice perpetuate inadvertently, thanks to social ostracism and discrimination.
There is no point in marking Labour Day when labourers themselves do not get opportunities to exercise their rights, that too, on their own day.
Sanjog Karki, Tansen