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The unfairness of climate change

The unfairness of climate change

President Obama Obama’s has announced new carbon regulations for the U.S. 17 percent of the world’s emissions come from the United States. The new regulations are designed to cut that number significantly, ideally reducing the United States to 17 percent below its 2005 target. but as Vox notes, though changes may cost the developed world, the burden of not doing anything will fall heavily on the poor of the world.

…we’re already seeing the harm climate change is doing to the global poor. The World Health Organization estimates that 150,000 people are killed by climate change’s effects annually — a number that’s obviously going to rise significantly as the earth heats up. That’s nearly the total death toll of the Syrian civil war, every year. And once again, poor countries are hit by far the hardest…

…There are basically two reasons why poor countries have it so rough: geography and poverty. Most of the red countries on the S&P map lie near the equator, where climate change-caused storms, flooding, and droughts will be more intense.

Poverty makes these effects much worse. You’ll notice, for instance, that Indonesia is red on the S&P map while Australia, its much wealthier neighbor, is green. Poor countries tend to have more poorly constructed homes, fewer resources for emergency response and relocation after sea level rise, and weaker health care systems ill-equipped to deal with increased rates of tropical disease.

climate_change_inequality_map.png

Read more here.

To work with other Anglicans around the world on this issue see Green Anglicans on Facebook. For more about what Anglicans are doing follow Anglican Communion Climate News here.

For the difference between climate and weather watch below:

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Jesse Zink

This is not just an issue between countries but within countries as well. Villages in Western Alaska, for instance, are already feeling the impact of climate change in, for instance, eroding coastlines and the need to resettle whole villages. I once met a man from the village of Newtok, which is feeling the full force of climate change. He said, "We are trying to address climate change. We have banned plastic bags in the village but..." There is only so much they can do on their own.

When I think about this issue, I find St. Paul's command to "bear one another's burdens" helpful.

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