Global warming, nuclear winter.

Byline: Jawed Naqvi

IT should be a potentially life-saving event when big and small nations could meet in Glasgow to try to stall the march to mass extinction, by intervening against the senseless abuse of nature and the climate crisis thus incurred. There is a joined-at-the-hip twin of the evil extinction threatening us with a more abrupt end. The threat of mass annihilation with nuclear weapons has been seldom discussed by powers that own them and also threaten to use them.

Absurdly enough, nations gloat about their nuclear status and reward those who helped them get there by describing this or that scientist as father of the nation's bomb. Albert Einstein said though that had he known his theories would lead to the making of the terrifying bomb, he would have been a locksmith.

For this reason and more it looked encouraging for the world at large that the British prime minister pressed hard for urgent measures to pause global warming. On the other hand, regrettably, he has been negating the promise by needling China and Russia - occasionally with the help of a solitary warship at others by exhorting Nato to inch menacingly closer to Russia's borders. Does he not know this makes the world vulnerable to a tragic possibility? Remember the meteor hit that brought the era of dinosaurs to an abrupt end on earth? Life then had to crawl back through the fungus that alone survived the meteor strike, rather reminiscent of the black fungus that defied treatment in Indian hospitals recently. Do we want the earth to return to the era of fungus?

Read more: 'Black fungus': how dangerous is it?

With these questions in mind, Boris Johnson's appeal to save the world while preparing it unwittingly for another way of mass extinction bears a resemblance to the tragic story in a Gulzar movie. A soldier faces death penalty for killing his wife in rage and gets critically shot during an attempt to escape his arrest. A team of doctors brings him back to life, but they have to hand him back to the prison officials for imminent execution. Save the world from global warming to destroy it with a nuclear winter?

Idolisation of nuclear arms appears to be of a piece with arrogance that comes with ignorance.

Will there be the feared destructive war in the future is an absurd question to pose. We are assured that nuclear wars will never happen because of the inbuilt fear of self-harm in the bargain. But we are also told menacingly of how close the world came to an end in...

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