Poorer countries will lose the most out of global warming


by Sunny
31st January, 2011 at 11:00 am    

This piece of news in the New York Times pretty much confirms what developing countries have been saying for years:

In almost every instance, the people most at risk from climate change live in countries that have contributed the least to the atmospheric buildup of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases linked to the recent warming of the planet.

Those most vulnerable countries also tend to be the poorest. And the countries that face the least harm — and that are best equipped to deal with the harm they do face — tend to be the richest.

And despite that, it is constantly claimed by many right-wingers that action against global warming is only designed to hurt developing countries from getting richer. Rubbish.

Not only does that assume development can only come via burning vast amounts of fossil fuels rather than sustainable growth, but that they won’t be badly affected by global warming.

For example:

The United States, where agriculture represents just 4 percent of the economy, can endure a climatic setback far more easily than a country like Malawi, where 90 percent of the population lives in rural areas and about 40 percent of the economy is driven by rain-fed agriculture.

Those massive changes in temperatures and the growing instability of weather will hurt poorer people in developing countries more than it will here. The UK can afford to spend billions ‘climate proofing‘ – countries like India and Malawi can’t. That is why they need action to tackle global warming.


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  1. sunny hundal

    Blogged: : Poorer countries will lose the most out of global warming http://bit.ly/ikhV1n


  2. Kyra Choucroun

    RT @sunny_hundal Blogged: : Poorer countries will lose the most out of global warming http://bit.ly/ikhV1n #climate #environment


  3. Farid

    RT @misskyrasays: RT @sunny_hundal Blogged: : Poorer countries will lose the most out of global warming http://bit.ly/ikhV1n #climate #e …




  1. Richard — on 31st January, 2011 at 12:51 pm  

    Problem is persuading affluent voters in Western countries to accept the costs of combating global warming which disproportionately affects those faraway people about whom we know so little.

  2. Scooby — on 31st January, 2011 at 2:21 pm  

    The United States, where agriculture represents just 4 percent of the economy, can endure a climatic setback far more easily than a country like Malawi, where 90 percent of the population lives in rural areas and about 40 percent of the economy is driven by rain-fed agriculture.

    A warmer world is a wetter world. Basic physics.

  3. Sunny — on 31st January, 2011 at 3:29 pm  

    OR as global warming denier Richard North would call them ‘jungle bunnies’

  4. joe90 — on 31st January, 2011 at 6:56 pm  

    concern for the planet is not a priority for the world’s leading nations.

    profit making is their sole goal, so the biggest culprit the US will blame china and india on pollution.

    We see the same thing in economics the US blames china for deliberately devaluing its currency. But the US forgets its own mismanagement of finances and role in the financial disaster that has shaken the world.

    Shift the blame is the name of the game for the powers that be, its a sad predictable pattern we see all too often.

  5. MaidMarian — on 31st January, 2011 at 7:03 pm  

    Well….it’s a bit nippy out today!

    Of course, one option for places like Malawi would be GM food, but the eco in crowd tend not to like that because solutions get in the way of the ideology.

  6. Nadeem — on 31st January, 2011 at 7:20 pm  

    @joe90
    to blame the global economic downturn on a single entity within the context of globalised markets is a bit foolish and ill-informed.

  7. Don — on 31st January, 2011 at 7:25 pm  

    @5

    Do you think that is still the case?

  8. earwicga — on 31st January, 2011 at 7:38 pm  

    Don – that probably depends on whether Monsanto is involved.

  9. joe90 — on 31st January, 2011 at 8:32 pm  

    post #6

    The economic point was side comment regarding the shifting blame culture you find with the world powers, when it comes to tackling issues such as global warming.

    The US was main culprit and the source of the economic crisis there is no hiding from that fact. Seeing as most of the developed world follows the same greed is good model they also caught the flu.

  10. Refresh — on 31st January, 2011 at 10:16 pm  

    MaidMarian,

    ‘Of course, one option for places like Malawi would be GM food, but the eco in crowd tend not to like that because solutions get in the way of the ideology.’

    I think you are astonishingly ill-informed. It would be a way of locking them into single-sourcing of food production: seed, pest control and fertilisers. And then watch how many more are starved.

    Do you think the US state dept. would waste their time secretly twisting EU member states’ arms to accept GM crops because it had Malawi’s starving population in mind?

    You need to catch up on their GM strategy – courtesy of Wikileaks. And whilst you are at it, look at intellectual property laws.

    You may also want to go back a decade and read up on Monsanto’s strategy for profiteering from water.

  11. Nadeem — on 31st January, 2011 at 10:18 pm  

    @joe90
    I am not hiding from that fact. Who suggested I was?

    Your next sentence essentially proves my earlier comment, although I think terms like ‘developed world’ are so pre-mid-2007 that I would never use them myself.

  12. Don — on 31st January, 2011 at 10:37 pm  

    earwicga/refresh,

    Quite. The concern is with the ethical reliability of those who control the process, and not so much with the science itself. Besides, add to that the increasing trend toward land-banking and there some ugly scenarios down the line.

    My point was that the ecological panic has died down.

  13. joe90 — on 31st January, 2011 at 10:51 pm  

    post #11

    you arguing over semantics so far, what is your view on world powers and their handling of the global warming issue?

  14. Refresh — on 31st January, 2011 at 11:03 pm  

    http://www.purefood.org/Monsanto/waterfish.cfm

    Monsanto Moves to Control Water Resources & Fish Farming
    in India & the Third World–Vandana Shiva
    Date: 03 Jun 1999
    From: Tula Tsalis {ttsalis@igc.org}

    MONSANTO’S EXPANDING MONOPOLIES

    By Vandana Shiva

    Over the past few years, Monsanto, a chemical firm, has positioned
    itself as an agricultural company through control over seed – the
    first link in the food chain. Monsanto now wants to control water, the
    very basis of life.

  15. Refresh — on 31st January, 2011 at 11:21 pm  

    Don,

    There are some clues in this article as to how much progress Monsanto has made in wearing down resistance to GM foods:

    http://www.organicconsumers.org/articles/article_22449.cfm

    Business is business, and you and I only count as consumers. Though, I am pleased to discover there is a campaign called BioDemocracy Alliance seeking to create GM-Free zones, based in the US. Naturally it needs to go global.

    You can easily compare the behaviour of companies like Monsanto to that of the Banks of recent decades. No part of our lives remains untouched.

  16. Nadeem — on 1st February, 2011 at 9:35 am  

    With no successor to the Kyoto Protocol, efforts to combat global warming have effectively stalled. This is not good.

    Whereas you start assigning blame to an individual “culprit,” I am aware that this is a bargaining process, and thus failure is collective.

    It is the ability of nations to point the blame at each other that causes these global summits/ initiatives to fail.

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