The environment

Today is Blog Action Day, a movement to get as many bloggers as possible talking about one thing – the environment. It is going to be a smash hit I’m sure, but imagine if they had chosen ‘iPod rumors’ as their topic. Or ‘Britney Spears’. Most bloggers wouldn’t have noticed the day was any different.

So I have been pondering what useful, different angle I could bring to the topic of ‘the environment’. I briefly entertained being sarcastic and/or inflammatory, but I reckon I will devote a couple of proper paragraphs to this.

Everyone knows the climate change story: warmer, rising oceans, wetter / drier (depending on where you are). And we know how to contribute: carbon offsetting, environmentally-friendly homes, ride your bike, blah, blah, blah.

But have you thought about who is affected the most? It’s the same mob who always cop it first – The poor.

  • The World Health Organisation has estimated that Earth’s warming climate will contribute to more than 150,000 deaths and 5 million illnesses each year, a toll that could double by 2030.
  • Warmer temperatures and heavy rains in South Asia have led to the worst outbreak of dengue fever there in years.
  • One study showed in certain South American countries, a one-degree rise in temperature caused an 8 per cent increase in diarrhoeal diseases.

Poor people always get shafted – they live in the most vulnerable areas. They don’t have the resources to build resilience in their communities. They haven’t necessarily been educated on the effects of climate change.

So if you’re doing all those little environmentally-friendly bits and pieces here in Australia, you’re also helping reduce the severity of climate change and its effects on poor communities. Good on you.

Here’s a bit more reading if you’re interested:

Climate change will fuel disease among poor

 Australia should boost funding to help developing countries adapt to climate change

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