Monday, August 29, 2022

Poor Nations Punished

 It is understandable that local home-news gets the most in-depth coverage in the media. Consequently, in the UK the present drought and the water-hose bans are making the headlines. But a broader survey of world events and we witness all manner of extreme weather.

In Italy, the worst drought in decades has triggered a state of emergency, while fires have broken out in the cities of Palermo and Sicily. In Southwest France, 10,000 people have fled a massive wildfire that has been smoldering since July. In Germany, record-low water levels in the Rhine threaten to run aground river traffic. . In Kansas, a June heatwave killed so many cattle so quickly that thousands of their carcasses were disposed of in a landfill. This spring in South America, record temperatures across southern Brazil, Paraguay, Argentina and Uruguay have heavily impacted grain and other crop harvests. Widescale flooding in Pakistan and in China.

The effect of climate has social and political consequences.

Olayinka Ajala, a lecturer in politics and international relations at Leeds Beckett University in the United Kingdom, pointed to simmering animosity between pastoralist herdsmen who move cattle from one place to another and sedentary farmers — groups that had long peacefully coexisted — in 11 countries in Sub-Saharan Africa. Traditionally, sedentary farmers would plant crops, harvest them, then the pastoralists would swoop in and clean off the rest, explained Ajal. But erratic changes in rainfall patterns have led to the pastoralist herdsmen getting to the farms before the crops have been harvested. When this happens, Ajal said, the herdsmen’s cattle destroy the plants, leading to tensions and conflict. 

“This has resulted in lots of deaths,” said Ajala. Indeed, between 2020 and 2021, he said, “this conflict resulted in more deaths than terrorism in Africa.”

Back in 2009 by some of the world’s richest nations to deliver $100 billion annually by 2020 to poorer countries. The developed world has really been very resistant of setting up this loss and damage fund. Indeed, the UN has estimated that climate adaptation costs in the developing world alone could hit $300 billion annually by 2030, and as much as $500 billion annually by 2050. 

Climate change is “the greatest market failure on earth if you think about the basics of economics and capitalism,” said Vanessa Pérez-Cirera, director of the World Resources Institute’s Global Economics Center. But, she added, more economists are slowly shifting away from one driven by a profit motive. At the end of the day, she said, “we should move to societies that really value life and value equity in a much greater way.”

Poor Countries Are Suffering the Worst Climate Woes But Getting the Least Help (

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