Climate change. The phrase alone causes individuals to take a position immediately.
“Climate change is nothing but another creative way for scientists to get government grants.” “Climate change is threatening our way of life and we need to do something about it – immediately.” “Climate change is a liberal invention.” “Climate change is a United Nations plot to take over global governments.” We have all heard these and many, many more.
I am not here to agree or disagree with these positions – although I could spend the next hour joining the fray. Rather, I am here to emphasize the need for us to realize the immense potential impact that climate change will have on development. And this is a theme that I will return to several times in the near future as I feel a strong need to raise awareness and discussion on this topic.
The reality here is simple: climate change is threatening the gains made by development investment. These threats are due to the effects that increased precipitation will have on rural roads, increased floods will have on isolated communities, and increased temperatures will have on generations of agricultural traditions. In many areas of the world, predicted changes in water supply, precipitation, temperature, and severe coastal events do not just represent an inconvenience; they represent life-or-death scenarios. In places such as Indonesia, Mozambique, and Ethiopia, climate change may very well alter the lives of entire communities of people as decisions must be made as to whether moving a population is preferable to the effort and expense of constantly repairing climate change damages.
I implore those who read this to get past the politics and start focusing on potential impacts. They are real and they are very deadly. If you want to know more, you can start with the Institute of Climate and Civil Systems website (http://www.clicslab.org/) and go from there.
It is time to get educated.