Why climate change is not just an environmental one

15 July 2019, 08:30 am
Speciality Bites by Paul Hargreaves

When we think of the Climate Emergency, we perhaps think of changing weather patterns, the polar ice cap melting and animal habitats changing.

But the crisis is about more than that.  It is about people dying in parts of the world.  And generally, those that are suffering and will suffer more are the poor of the world, not the affluent in the west like us.

The infrastructure and better housing in the west, to some degree, mitigates the effects of climate change.  But many of those in poorer parts of the world live in flimsy houses or no houses at all and far more reliant on farming the land are more subject to flooding and drought than us, and we should remember that.

We should also remember that climate warming started around 150-200 years ago and was fuelled for the vast majority of that time by western businesses starting in the industrial revolution. It is only in the last 50 years that developing countries have made a much more significant contribution to carbon emissions.  So, we and our ancestors in the west have contributed far more to carbon emissions than developing countries and yet are suffering far less.

That’s why it is imperative those running businesses in the west need to overcompensate for the damage we have caused.  It is time we woke up. The government’s target of being carbon neutral by 2050 is far too conservative.  Many millions of people will have died by then in developing countries.  Do we want to have that on our conscience?  I think not.  So let’s do something now and start making plans to be carbon neutral now!

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