Greening up the timeline


These Twitterati will tell you all you need to know about climate change — in 140 characters or less

The floods in Mumbai, Hurricane Harvey, Cyclone Vardah, the 2015 floods in Chennai... Do we need more proof that climate change is real? There’s never been a more pressing need to be educated about it, but given the amount of information (and fake news) that we’re inundated with, it's easier to give up than navigate through it all. If you don’t want to take the trouble of going through endless pages of search results, follow these users on Twitter for bite-sized nuggets of credible information, coupled with their insights about the environment, ecology, climate and conservation.


Greening up the timeline

Kaustubh Thirumalai is a postdoctoral researcher at Brown University in the Department of Earth, Environmental and Planetary Sciences. His research is heavily focused on climate change, which reflects on his Twitter feed: from his own scientific expeditions, cool (and terrifying) charts and graphs of historical climate change, and the odd link to a metal song. Thirumalai says that the extreme weather Mumbai experienced, and other natural disasters that are happening today, are indeed a result of man destroying natural ecosystems over the years. “Even if we stop all emissions tomorrow,” he says, “The effects will still be felt well into the future.” Breaking into a sweat yet? All the more reason to be better informed.


Greening up the timeline

Bijal Vachharajani is the author of children’s book So, You Want To Know About The Environment, worked as the South Asia Co-ordinator for (an international movement working on the climate crisis) and tweets about endangered animals, developments in climate change, and environmental policy. She believes that the Mumbai floods are a good starting point to talk to children about climate change. "Children observe," she says. "Talk to them about the problem, yes, but more importantly, listen to them. Help answer their questions — why did this happen, how is it connected to the civic issues that the city is tackling. But most importantly, talk about how we are part of the solution. Recycling, wasting and consuming less, buying from farmers, aiding conservation measures, supporting green policies — our collective actions are important.”


Greening up the timeline

Arati Kumar Rao is a photographer, artist and writer working on documenting the devastating impact that climate change has on communities and ecosystems along South Asia's rivers. She has been a media delegate in the United Nation’s Women's representation at COP21 (the UN's Climate Change Conference), and tweets about slow living, sustainability, endangered species, and also shares her stunning photographs and art on the platform. "Wars make headlines," she writes. "But the slow violence inflicted on communities by environmental degradation and climate change, which is neither spectacular nor explosive, remains invisible and unreported."


Greening up the timeline

Sandhya Ramesh, an editor at HasGeek, a discussion space for people who are interested in technology, fitness and policy, tweets primarily about geoscience and astronomy. She's also a consultant for TeamIndus, the first private mission to the moon from India. You can follow her to see tweets (and photos) about space, the environment, natural phenomena, exotic animals, answers to questions like, "How do you find an iceberg's breaking point?", and the occasional meme. Sandhya rues the Indian academic and scientific community's close mindedness: "Using social media is frowned upon and treated like a cry for attention." As a result, she says, there are a number of scientists doing impactful research about our environment, but it isn’t possible to gain access to them, or their research, online.


Greening up the timeline

Sandhya, an academic turned writer, tweets about biology, wildlife, and ecology. Follow her to read stories on micro-organisms, animal behavior, dinosaurs, and medicine. She believes that the reason climate change doesn’t get as much attention and panic as it should be, is because of the nature of the topic itself. “It is an esoteric idea that’s complex, and easy to dismiss by saying that it’s not happening in my backyard,” she says, adding, “Even when it does, like it did in Mumbai and Chennai, people deal with it, and move on. Game of Thrones is imaginary, but appeals to so many people because it addresses the human element. We need to talk about the environment while addressing the human element.” The message is simple, then — dragons aren’t real, but climate change surely is.

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Printable version | Nov 22, 2019 7:20:06 AM |

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