How climate change is responsible for dozens of human atrocities?
Glaciers are melting, sea levels are rising, cloud forests are drying, and wildlife is scrambling. We must have heard about all these issues. Amid the controversy, we must have given many arguments as well. But have we ever really done anything? It has become clear that humans have caused most of the past century’s warming by releasing heat-trapping gases as we power our modern lives. And these heat-trapping gases are called greenhouse gases, such gases are most deadly for our environment.
But do you know that climate change alone can trigger numerous humanitarian issues? It’s a chain of changes that are interconnected to one another and create a cluster of independent problems when in reality targeting only one issue can solve the rest.
Displacement Due To Climate change
ln 2019, the small town of Mohammadpur in Bangladesh was heavily affected by frequent flooding that forced almost thousands of residents off their lands and relocate to new locations. Located at the mouth of the Bay of Bengal, Mohammadpur always had an unfriendly relationship with the weather. The residents of the town were well accustomed to such things and managed the ebbs and flows of the place. But the abundance of frequent cyclones and floods forced many villagers to move inland.
This happened because the frequent floods destroys agriculture and livestock as well as wipe off a large portion of land. But Mohammadpur isn’t the only place with such frequent weather alerts, in fact, many coastal towns across the world sealed the same fate. In many regions, the government is relocating people to other places while in the rest the individuals themselves are moving to better places.
Many come to cities in search of better jobs, some go to a different place that suits livestock while the rest sometimes move across the borders if they have a connection or a relative who guarantees a better livelihood option. In such ways, the problem of climate change drives the issue of mass migration and displacements.
According to the Statistics from the Internal Displacement Monitoring Center (IDMC) says that approximately 22.7 million people are displaced every year. These displacements are caused by geophysical phenomena such as earthquakes and volcanic eruptions, but the vast majority are displaced by climate change events.
Another issue that has been induced by climate change is Diminished food security and water supply. Increasing desertification, droughts, floods, and typhoons are threatening food security. This could affect the livelihoods of more than 1 billion people in 110 countries, particularly in semi-arid regions. Other than this several other humanitarian problems are directly connected to climate change.
The Cycle Of Life
Climate change is deeply intertwined with global patterns of inequality. The consequences of climate change are often brunt by the most vulnerable people who are the least responsible for it. The privileged on other hand is the last to witness the consequences. As these impacts mount, more and more underprivileged people are forced into exile, starvation, health effects, and even livelihood insecurity.
The covid-19 pandemic is the perfect example of this repercussion, where millions of underclass people suffered the brunt of challenges while the rich stay confined in their comfortable homes. In India alone, the pandemic had a profound effect on labor migration patterns. The crises forced rural-to-urban migration and people were pushed into walking thousands of miles barefoot as the government announced sudden lockdown.
These minorities are not limited to just poor people- elderly, disabled people, sex workers, single mothers, and indigenous people together constitute this group. This vulnerability lies because of their financial, socio-economic, cultural, and gender status. Thus in this sense, Climate change becomes a social issue rather than just environmental. The inequality between wealthy and poor also divides the consequences of climate change by a great deal.
While the cost of addressing climate change could vary, more and more people are coming forward and raising their voices against it. While much progress has been made to transition climate-resilient development and many young citizens are becoming aware of the issue- there are still thousands of people who remain unbothered by the issue. Such people are not unaware of the problem in fact is driven by money-making and individual progress rather than societal development. One example of this is greenwashing in the fashion industry, where firms introduce a small eco-friendly product to draw customers to their stores.
If we really want to address climate change, it should be a collective responsibility rather than the individual. Because it does not care from where we hail from, which community we belong to or what ideals we follow, it’s a global emergency that should be addressed regardless of infinite differences. Through concrete and collective action by both governments and communities can mitigate the crises. Because we could be the last generation who still have a chance to do something.