The World Meteorological Organization branded 2001-2010 as “a decade of climate extremes”. Over that decade, the yearly average number of severe storms with ‘names’ was 25 percent more than the average of 1981-2010. This surely indicates a severe decade ahead of us.
The United Nations’ Global Assessment Report on Disaster Risk Reduction (GAR) 2013 adds further to our worry. It estimates that at least 50 percent of the direct financial losses are from smaller disasters taking place at the country level and is not counted in the global calculations.
If our post-2015 efforts need to “put sustainable development at the core,” despite worrying pasts and uncertain futures, we must address climate change and disaster resilience. To do so, among other things, we need creative funding systems with practical actions at the country and global levels.
The least-developed, climate vulnerable countries are often seen waiting for money to come to help them. Bangladesh is a different picture, however. Between July 2009 and June 2013, its government has put about $315 million of its own money to the ‘Bangladesh Climate Change Trust Fund’. Until April 2013, more than 200 projects have been supported from this Trust Fund to implement the Bangladesh Climate Change Strategy and Action Plan (BCCSAP, 2009) to prepare the country against the impacts of climate change.
Posts tagged bangladesh.
Video (couldn’t embed). Economist says impacts will cost $60 Trillion USD.
World Bank Increases Resilience of Coastal Population in Bangladesh - Climate Change Policy & Practice ›
If I read the PR correctly, they’re funding dirt embankments. This will, they claim, protect people from sea level rise and typhoons. Label me skeptical…
The World Bank is providing $400 million to increase the resilience of coastal population to tidal flooding and natural disasters in Bangladesh. This funding will benefit 8.5 million people and is expected to improve agriculture development, employment and food security in the country.
Floating agriculture in Bangladesh. Bangladesh experiences severe flooding every year, mostly in the south. Residents are pretty much stranded. For weeks, sometimes months, kids are blocked from going to school and parents lose income and access to food. The above shows one method for dealing with food shortages. A floating mat is created, soil piled on top, and crops planted in the soil. After harvest, the mat and soil are used as fertilizer for regular land cultivation.
It’s a clever solution, but keep in mind doesn’t scale up to meet the needs of 100’s of thousands of people affected by the floods.
The Worst Mistake in History by Jared Diamond - Could civilisation itself be a crisis measure, a result of the overpopulation brought about by the unique success humanity? A fascinating perspective on progress.
The Case Against Babies by Joy Williams - A strong argument for abstaining from reproduction.
Planet of Weeds by David Quammen - Decreasing biological diversity tends to favour adaptable invasive species, like us.
“Bangladesh believes it’s found a way to hold the industrialised world accountable for damages caused by climate change.
They are hoping the UN General Assembly will support a motion to take countries who fail to reduce their emissions.”
Everyone should read Al Jazeera every day.
How does this relate to climate change? Migration. Specifically, climate refugees, people forced to move from their homes when environmental crises prevents them from adapting. Immigration lawyers around the world are trying to find solutions for the potential massive influxes of millions of people who need to move quickly. The US is the number one obvious choice, but getting here is not easy. Once they’re in, here are the immediate benefits:
Every year some 700,000 people become U.S. citizens at naturalization ceremonies across the country.
By taking the Oath of Allegiance new citizens pledge to be faithful to the Constitution and to serve their new country when needed. In exchange they will enjoy many of the benefits and privileges of being a United States citizen, including the following:
Bringing Family Members
U.S. citizens can help overseas family members legally immigrate to the United States. In fact, the relatives of citizens are generally given priority by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services. Also, children under age 18 are automatically given U.S. citizenship when their parents become citizens.
Right to Vote
Direct participation in democratic elections is one of the most important privileges that this country offers its citizens. Only U.S. citizens have the right to vote in federal elections and to be candidates in most local, state and federal elections.
The United States protects its citizens abroad through its embassies and consulates. The U.S. government assists citizens who are victims of crime overseas and provides assistance to U.S. citizens abroad in the case of international disasters or emergencies.
Access to More Jobs
The federal government is one of the biggest employers in the world and offers many job opportunities in a wide range of industries. Job openings are published on USA Jobs.gov. However, the majority of federal jobs require that the applicant be a U.S. citizen.
Participating in a Federal Jury
One of the most important civic responsibilities of citizenship is participating in a federal jury. Members of the jury help determine the innocence or guilt of the accused. Federal jurors are selected at random from databases such as voting and driver license lists.
More Student Aid
The federal government has different types of financial assistance for students, including scholarships and grants that are open exclusively to U.S. citizens.
Watch this video to learn more about the benefits of becoming a US citizen.
The living conditions for ex-pats in Qatar approaches the luxurious (just never mind the ants, roaches, spoiled tap water, broken A/C, crumbling walls…). Ex-pats live in gated communities, called compounds. Each compound varies in size, but are usually clusters of 50, cheaply constructed 2 story villas. Ex-pats are educated, skilled, and work contractually. Almost all contractors work in government, with oil companies or building developers, or in education and research.
It’s a far different story for immigrant workers. Most come from southeast Asia on promises of better pay than home. Their lives are heartbreaking and cruel. Qatari’s are the richest people on earth on a per capita basis. Oil money. Fast growth. 2022 World Cup. Yet unbelievably culturally backwards. Now entering the world stages, are they prepared to answer the most basic of questions? Like, why do Qatari’s treat people this way?
*Note, the workers quote money in rials. 1 Qatari rial = $.27 USD. So, 100 rials = $27. The rent he mentions at 2,100 rials equals $576. And the 50,000 rials mentioned equals about $13,000.
A short report on the sorry living conditions of some (if not most) laborers here in Qatar, by Northwestern University-Qatar students Zeena Kanaan and Sara al-Thani.
For our final project in Enterprise Reporting Class, Sara and I put together a short video that captures the difficulty of living in poor conditions in Musherib, Doha.
I’m reposting this in full because so many of the stories seem equally compelling. Please give a skim and consider adding Alternet to your RSS. It’s from the Reuters enviro network, and is pretty high quality.
Two sections stand out for me, Vietnam and Global (after the jump). I invest in Vietnam’s currency (called the Vietnamese Dong [yep]). Vietnam is developing very, very rapidly. Their coastal development is a concern with respect to sea level rise, but they have a lot of innovative engineers. In the Global section (at the end), there’s a fascinating piece that I bookmarked for tomorrow on adaptation and corruption. Can’t wait to dig into that one!
I do hope you take a few minutes to at least skim these stories. OK, it starts and ends at the quotation marks:
"Please take a look at this month’s top climate stories from AlertNet Climate, the Thomson Reuters Foundation’s daily news website on the human impacts of climate change.
— Serious storms off the coast of Bangladesh are increasing in frequency, endangering the lives and livelihoods of Bangladeshi fishermen. But telecommunications technology is now being used to disseminate warnings to fishermen, helping them make better decisions about when to turn for home.
— Local councils in Cameroon are seizing the initiative in the fight against climate change with a new network to increase grassroots participation and government accountability on climate policy.
— More than 1,000 families in the municipality of Acandi, on the Panama border, are aiming to become one of the first Colombian communities to sell carbon credits generated by their forest conservation activities on the international voluntary market.
— In Ghana, whether the biofuel crop jatropha will pluck rural farmers from poverty and reduce carbon emissions or displace farmers and gobble up land that could produce food depends very much on who you ask.
Muhammad Yunus asked to resign from Grameen Bank by Bangladeshi Finance Minister. The reason given was that he is considered to old to work, and should have retired 5 years ago when he was 65, Bangladesh’s legal retirement age. CNN reports that Yunus and his innovative micro-loan lender, Grameen Bank, were recently cleared of fraud and defamation. However, Yunus continues to duck political fire and may be in more legal hotwater for inflated interest rates on his micro-loans. (Yunus’s 2009 Nobel, by the way, was questioned from the start.)
Full report: CNN
Climate change impacts will escalate or resolve border disputes. Take, for example, the above island called New Moore Island. It was located in a mangrove delta bordering India and Bangladesh. For decades the two countries argued over who properly owned this tiny spot of land. That dispute was resolved by climate change - sea level rise literally swallowed the land and now there’s nothing left to dispute. I started to think more about border disputes after blazing through the fantastic tumblr-er fuckyeahcartography. Sea levels are rising about 5 millimeters per year. Here on the east coast, we’ve experienced about 11 inches of sea level rise since around 1900. Coasts are eroding more rapidly than the IPCC projections show. Now, coastal cities are beginning to regulate (slowly) development along the sea in response to predicted sea level rise. Regulations are things like passing an ordinance that prevents development, such as a beach house or a hotel, in areas designated as “no build zones.” I’ll post more on lost islands and border disputes over the coming months. Meanwhile, if you come across any adaptation related items, send them my way.