Climate change is making its presence felt on Earth today, and we see unusual weather patterns and natural disasters with increasing frequency. Those countries that are economically disadvantaged are those that are most affected by global warming.
Accountability is more important than we think when we talk about climate change. We as individuals need to take action in our daily lives by reducing water and plastic consumption; and also by being careful about which corporations we give our money to. When it comes to climate change, accountability and action are essential.
Australia NSW Floods
Australia has been once again struck with extreme weather conditions. Only 18 months after disastrous bushfires, Australians have faced extreme floods and many citizens have been forced to evacuate their homes in Sydney’s surrounding areas as they are hit with extreme rainfall:
“More than 800mm of rain has fallen in less than a week in some parts of the Australian state, leaving a trail of destruction which stretched from the densely populated suburbs of western Sydney to the sleepy coastal towns of Taree and Kempsey, hundreds of kilometres away on the NSW mid-north coast.”- The Guardian.
As we know, Australia is a hot climate country and Sydney is subtropical, with high humidity. If temperatures continue to rise there, areas will become almost unlivable with unbearable heat and humidity.
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Haiti is located in a hurricane risk area. Its economy struggles to recover from regular natural disasters, such as hurricanes, and since Haiti is an island, its vulnerability to a rise in sea levels is high.
Haiti regularly experiences extreme weather conditions, hurricanes and droughts being the main two. With climate change worsening, Haiti’s citizens are more vulnerable, as they have high population density and low quality infrastructure. It is more difficult for the region to recover from weather events that happen frequently – and with climate change, more intensely.
Madagascar is one of the world’s largest islands and is located off the southeast coast of Africa. The country faces extreme weather events that are exacerbated by climate change, particularly drought. According to USAID, Madagascar is at risk of more climate jeopardy, such as wildfires. Madagascar is also a region that experiences cyclones yearly and has the highest cyclone rate in the African continent.
Madagascar also faces water shortages and is going through a serious water crisis, one of the worst in the world: “In 2018, an estimated 66% of rural populations and 49% in urban areas were deprived of drinking water.”
Animal species in Madagascar are at risk from rising temperatures and the lemur is particularly endangered due to the climate crisis.
As we know, Japan has experienced numerous natural disasters, with tsunamis caused by a sudden movement in the Earth’s plates being the most famous (the word itself is Japanese). Japan also experiences severe heatwaves in their summer season, with temperatures going as high as the record-breaking 41.1 degrees celsius, which occurred in 2018. This heatwave cost the lives of over a thousand people.
Like Japan in 2018, Germany too has experienced serious heatwaves. Built-up areas like Berlin and Cologne experience more intense temperatures compared to rural areas.
Germany’s heatwave in 2018 resulted in the sacrifice of crops and the health of nature’s land. “The hottest year in its history with damages of more than 3,500 million dollars for the agricultural sector.”
We are beginning to see patterns surrounding climate change: treacherous rainfall; heatwaves; and rising temperatures; not to forget rising sea levels. Similar to Madagascar, the Philippines is also an area prone to cyclone weather. In fact, it experiences the most cyclones per year in the world, alongside faster rising sea-levels than anywhere else. Officials US AID write: “Sea levels in the Philippines are rising faster than the global average, increasing the hazard posed by storm surges and threatening permanent inundation of low-lying areas.”
And this is only to name a few. There are many other countries in need of critical care and protection from climate change. You may not see global warming evidence where you are now, but that doesn’t mean it’s not happening elsewhere. Climate change will affect every country. However, the impact is not equally felt and it’s happening to some regions much quicker than others. This is why it’s urgent to make caring for and helping the planet a personal passion. As they say, “Climate Justice is social justice.”