They know it’s too hot when the trains have to slow down because the rails might buckle. This has been the problem for rail bosses in the UK, who anticipate record high temperatures of 40 degrees. But in the Horn of Africa, the searing heat caused by global warming is a matter of life and death.
According to Oxfam, a child dies every 48 seconds as a result of drought and climate change.
In Kenya, Somalia and Ethiopia, the number of people suffering from extreme hunger in the three countries has more than doubled since last year. It has gone from over 10 million to over 23 million.
Climate-related drought, regional conflicts and skyrocketing food prices caused by the war in Ukraine have triggered a chain of catastrophes.
It is all the more unfair as the combination of factors is totally beyond their control.
Here the discomfort of more frequent heat waves can be counteracted.
But the world’s poorest nations have contributed nothing to the dire circumstances they must fight just to survive.
Mothers forgoing their food to feed their children are now the order of the day, according to agencies.
In fact, it was an Irish proposal that highlighted the threat to global security posed by climate change. The aspiration was to make it a permanent part of the UN agenda for world leaders. But we must go beyond striving to action.
Last year the Environmental Protection Agency conducted an extensive survey which found that almost all Irish believe that future generations and those in the developing world will be harmed by climate change.
About 90 percent felt it was their national responsibility to act. They also believed that we must do everything we can to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in a carbon-neutral manner by 2050.
Beyond humanitarian and altruistic motivations, the urgency to act is also in our own interest.
The evidence across Europe is overwhelming. The latest studies show that about 44 percent of the EU territory is currently threatened by drought.
As fires rage in Portugal and Spain, western France faces a “heat apocalypse” amid extreme temperatures, experts warn.
But beyond the legally binding pollution targets we must meet, there is a heavy moral obligation to take responsibility.
However, we already know how controversial it can be to target people for their emissions through carbon taxes.
Nevertheless, they were almost universally accepted as “an important milestone on the way to sustainable climate protection” when the CO2 budgets for 2021-2025 and 2026-2030 were passed across party lines.
Resistance is growing now as energy prices soar,
Nonetheless, major shifts in production and consumption from high-carbon commodities to low-carbon alternatives are fundamental to the future of all people living on our planet.
Africans have a saying, “If you think you’re too small to make a difference, try spending the night with a mosquito.”
Can we all play a part?
https://www.independent.ie/opinion/editorial/nobody-is-too-small-to-make-a-difference-in-climate-fight-41849899.html Nobody is too small to make a difference in the fight against the climate