Guest essay by Eric Worrall
According to UNICEF, 500 million children will suffer, unless America hands all its money to the UN.
Children will bear the brunt of climate change
Today, over half a billion children live in extremely high ood occurrence zones; nearly 160 million live in high or extremely high drought severity zones. While climate change will ultimately impact every child, these children are already in harm’s way and face some of the most immediate risks.
There is a clear scienti c consensus that climate change will increase the frequency of droughts, oods and severe weather events. These threats will pose grave risks for children over the coming decades. Severe weather events can destroy or disrupt infrastructure critical to children’s well-being, including schools, health facilities and transport. Droughts and ooding can destroy crops, disrupt water systems and contaminate water reserves.
7. Decisive action on climate change can impact millions of children
The reality is that a major tipping point has already past. IPCC scientists consider that we are already feeling the impacts of climate change, and to some degree they will continue to get worse even if we manage to dramatically decrease greenhouse gas emissions. Nonetheless, action taken now to reduce emissions and adapt to climate change will benefit children at risk from its potentially deadly effects.
A climate agenda for children
The worst impacts of climate change are not inevitable. There are concrete steps that the world can take now to safeguard our children’s future and their rights:
3 Reduce inequity among children now to promote their future resilience to climate change.
As with all disasters, the poorest children and families will be the hardest hit by climate change. Fewer social and nancial resources mean that families have a more dif cult time coping with shocks. As climate change makes crises more common, these repeated shocks will make it harder and harder to recover. Without action now, the transmission of poverty and disadvantage across generations will worsen. Reducing these inequities now – providing the poorest children with access to safe water, adequate sanitation and good hygiene; good nutrition and food security; strong and accessible health systems; and well-functioning child and social protection systems – will give disadvantaged children a better basis for coping with the effects of climate change in the future. It will also make it less likely that today’s inequities are exacerbated by climate change.
Read more: http://www.unicef.org/publications/files/Unless_we_act_now_The_impact_of_climate_change_on_children.pdf
Nobody wants to see children suffer, but the biggest impediment to child welfare is not climate change, or drought, or floods. The biggest problem in poor countries is the corrupt kleptocratic tyrants in charge, who keep stealing everyone’s money.
The Asian Miracle demonstrated that poverty can be fixed in a generation, with the right governance.
But don’t take my word for it. Here is what Kenyan economics expert James Shikwati had to say about well meaning handouts to poor people, in an interview with Der Spiegel.
Mr. Shikwati, the G8 summit at Gleneagles is about to beef up the development aid for Africa…
Shikwati: … for God’s sake, please just stop.
SPIEGEL: Stop? The industrialized nations of the West want to eliminate hunger and poverty.
Shikwati: Such intentions have been damaging our continent for the past 40 years. If the industrial nations really want to help the Africans, they should finally terminate this awful aid. The countries that have collected the most development aid are also the ones that are in the worst shape. Despite the billions that have poured in to Africa, the continent remains poor.
SPIEGEL: Do you have an explanation for this paradox?
Shikwati: Huge bureaucracies are financed (with the aid money), corruption and complacency are promoted, Africans are taught to be beggars and not to be independent. In addition, development aid weakens the local markets everywhere and dampens the spirit of entrepreneurship that we so desperately need. As absurd as it may sound: Development aid is one of the reasons for Africa’s problems. If the West were to cancel these payments, normal Africans wouldn’t even notice. Only the functionaries would be hard hit. Which is why they maintain that the world would stop turning without this development aid.
Read more http://www.spiegel.de/international/spiegel/spiegel-interview-with-african-economics-expert-for-god-s-sake-please-stop-the-aid-a-363663.html
Even if we accept the alleged problems of climate change, if poverty makes people vulnerable, the simplest solution is surely to eliminate the poverty, not to join them in their misery.