It is clear that the cause of global warming is the release of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, caused by human activities. It is also clear that rich countries produce many of these pollutants. The effects of climate change will threaten water supplies, bring more severe weather, threaten the livelihood of nations situated near sea level. It is also becoming more clear who will feel the effects of climate change: the world’s poor, those who lack the resources to insulate themselves from the problem and adapt.
Jared Diamond explores these issues in his latest book, Collapse, and a front page article in the New York Times on 4/1 discusses this issue – raising numerous disturbing points:
While “first world” countries can adapt to changes in climate and weather, at least initially (example: Texas constructed a desalinization plant to treat ocean water as water supplies become threatened), “third world” countries cannot (such Malawi in Africa and the island of Kiribati).
It is great that climate change and its effects are receiving so much attention – but it is meaningless if we do not act with the knowledge we are gaining. We must work together to help the global population adapt to climate change. It is immoral to watch another country suffer and struggle in the face of changes out of its control – changes that were caused by its neighbor.