Overview of water shortage in South Asia
The writer of the Article, Rafia Zakria is one the prominent constitutional law teachers and political philosophy. He has published an article in Dawn newspaper recently updated that South Asia is engulfed with extreme weather conditions, global warning and acute shortage of water in addition to multiple other factors. These conditions are evident from the fact that glaciers are melting rapidly than they were at start of 20th century. Moreover, current heat wave is also showing extreme weather conditions which is extremely dangerous for survival of human beings. So, South Asian countries especially Pakistan need to ponder over this serious issue and devise multiple strategies to combating this.
Everyone now knows (or should know) that melting glaciers and rising oceans are moving us towards an environmental catastrophe, which will in turn cause a catastrophe for humans.
Heatwave in South Asia
The environmental catastrophe that is currently affecting South Asia is manifesting itself in the form of a heatwave. Jacobabad, which is located in Sindh, has maintained its position as one of the world’s hottest places for several days. Heat stroke and dehydration have been responsible for the deaths of a significant number of people throughout the subcontinent. These are the victims of climate change who lost their lives for no other reason than the fact that humanity held false beliefs about the warming planet or did not pay attention when a situation exactly like this one was anticipated. This is the true cost of climate change.
In the same vein, the phenomena of environmental degradation is illuminating how previous approaches to comprehending the nation state as the primary political unit are failing to live up to their potential. The signing of the Treaty of Westphalia in 1648 established the nation state as the fundamental political entity throughout the world. This marked the beginning of the modern era. Countries that were organised according to their borders eventually replaced the “kingdoms” and “empires.” Documentation was necessary for both living inside of them and travelling through them, which was a really innovative idea. In days gone by, travellers like Ibn-i-Battuta did not have to be concerned with things like passports and visas, as is the case with modern travellers. But when the treaty was signed, these concepts were novel, especially the notion that the system of monarchy that had held the country together for hundreds of years would be replaced by a government elected by the people. It is very likely that our predecessors laughed at the concept that there would be countries that were not ruled by monarchs and their courts, just as we find it impossible to imagine a world without nation states, and it is extremely likely that they did the same thing.
New systems are developed whenever the existing ones are shown to be inadequate or when their flaws render them unnecessary. Given the current state of affairs, the reality that the climate crisis does not respect national borders is proving to be a challenge. When farmers in the Indian state of Punjab burn straw stubble on their fields, the resulting smog descends over Lahore and creates days with air quality that is so poor that it is difficult to see even a few feet ahead of oneself. Nor is the smog the only factor, as numerous industry professionals have emphasised. A security problem is also caused by the fact that Pakistan is the lower riparian with respect to India; this problem acts as a Damocles sword hanging over all of our heads. If the past few weeks have shown how hellish climate change can be, just try to picture how much worse it could get if rivers were to permanently dry up and drought became the norm. Imagine it happening multiple times over.
The nation-state model is also failing because its outdated mechanics are unable to deal with climate change in any kind of fair or equitable way. This is another reason why the model is failing. Consider, for example, the fact that Pakistan is among the minority of countries in terms of the amount of carbon dioxide it emits. Regardless of this, no concessions are ever made in order to provide Pakistan with more resources to address climate concerns, despite the fact that Pakistan’s contribution to the production of these challenges is minimal.
Multiple Disciplines need to be Included
Therefore, it follows that one of the most significant problems facing our generation does not fit neatly inside the framework of the nation-state paradigm. As a result of recent developments in the study of ice cores extracted from glaciers in the process of melting, humans now have the ability to examine the history of their planet dating back thousands of years. As a result of the development and rising popularity of earth sciences such as geology, geophysics, and others, a substantial amount of information has been reduced to the form of numbers, which can then be included into statistical models that predict the future and expose its contents. When the Treaty of Westphalia was written, humans had a very difficult time predicting the weather; but, they are today able to predict weather and climate-related catastrophes with a high degree of accuracy. It is just this kind of technological advancement that has made it possible for people to properly comprehend the magnitude of the climatic catastrophe that the planet is currently facing.
Earth – A Political Entity
Even if wars like the one in Ukraine appear to highlight the significance of the nation state, and the construction of fortress-like border barriers suggests as literal a meaning of the nation state as could possibly be, it is possible that this is the nation state’s last gasp. The concept that the earth should be regarded as a political entity, with its borders and overall health serving as the foundation for international cooperation, is a central tenet of the environmental movement. The evaluation of time on the scale of millennia that has been made possible by scientific advancements and supercomputers sheds light on the necessity of new political units that place an emphasis on the interconnection of everyone and everything on the planet. There is evidence to suggest that the Covid-19 epidemic was also caused by rising temperatures. This has brought attention to the fact that nations have not yet devised a coordinated response.
One – Nation States Failed
It is unavoidable that we will eventually transition from nation-state cooperation to global cooperation. The long view of our world, as attested to by the ice cores of glaciers, has revealed what the earth was like a very long time before people even existed. The temperature of the globe is rising, habitats are disappearing, and a potential ecological disaster is being actively pursued and played with at every available chance. The type of political organisation that is based on nation states has not created the capacity to control the most significant hazard that our planet is currently facing. It’s possible that you should think about getting a new one.
Since the beginning of human history on Earth, people have been a major consumer of the world’s resources, and over the course of the past several decades, they have also released an excessive amount of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere of the planet. Even in the present day, countries with rapidly expanding economies like India and China are not interested in making a commitment to reduce their carbon emissions because they are afraid that this will cause their economies to grow more slowly.