Why Climate Change Is Even Unfairer Than You First Thought
You may be sick of hearing about rising temperatures and a dying planet, but the truth is that the problem is now – not in Netflix films or a problem for the generations yet to be born. The UK experienced the hottest month on record of late and its regions are already battling floods again.
You may have complained at the need to swap your summer wardrobe for your winter woollies in such quick succession, but certain groups should be complaining more. It turns out that climate change does not affect us all equally and the realities are remarkably unfair.
The Difference Between Global Warming and Climate Change
The media, your best friend down the bar and even some presidents use the terms global warming and climate change interchangeably. However, these two terms do not mean the same thing. They may both refer to the problems facing our planet, but one encompasses much more than the other.
Global warming refers to the rising temperatures while climate change refers to rising temperatures and other changes to the climate such as wind speeds and volume of rainfall.
Why Climate Change Doesn’t Affect Everyone the Same
Climate change has been described as a global crisis that we all need to work together on and solve. Yet, national contributions to climate change do not seem to come back to haunt them. The countries that contribute to climate change the most are feeling its effects the least, while those that contribute far less to climate change are experiencing widespread food shortages. To make matters worse, those that are contributing to climate change the least are the nations that were already in need of aid and support.
Countries such as Burundi, Niger, Madagascar and Chad are among the top ten countries whose food systems are being destroyed by climate change, leaving them to work harder for less fresh food. The unfair detail of this is that the top ten countries with the least stable food growing systems contribute to less than 0.01% of the world’s harmful emissions.
In contrast, for every US resident, Burundi would require 581 of their citizens to produce the same amount of CO2 emissions. That number is even larger in other rich countries. So, it appears that the richer countries do worse for the planet and the least wealthy countries are left to face the consequences of climate change the most severely.
More Than a Global Crisis
The new data suggests that we were wrong to suggest that climate change is just a global issue. By all means, the problem of climate change is one we all need to overcome, but climate change is now also a moral issue.