We prefer your extinction to the loss of our jobs  

Posted by Big Gav

While posts will remain sparse until the end of the month, the link bucket is getting the occasional refill now.

The Independent has an article from a Bangladeshi on who is suffering the effects of global warming first.

I invite anyone who remains cynical about the impact of climate change on the planet to visit Bangladesh. We have more floods. Our droughts have become more intense. The biggest mangrove forests in the world - the Sundarbans - are dying. We are losing precious biodiversity. You can see the effects of global warming with your own eyes.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's report released last month made clear the impact climate change could have on the world. But the terrible fact is that, even if all countries signed up to protect the environment, climate change will take its toll because the damage has been done.

For Bangladesh, a low-lying and densely populated country, the consequences are serious and unavoidable. We have learned to live with the kind of floods that come sporadically and last maybe three or four months. But it is estimated that by the end of the century up to 20 per cent of its land will be under water. We are talking about millions of people being displaced by permanent flooding.

These people - those who will be affected the most by climate change - are not the ones who caused it. It is time for the international community to realise that the countries that have damaged the environment will now have to pay for it.

More research is needed so that developing countries can learn how to strengthen their adaptive capacities. In Bangladesh, we need to restructure our development programme to accommodate the global sea rise. The issue of environmental refugees - the people who must be relocated when the floods come - has to be dealt with. We, like all developing nations, need more external funding for in-depth climate change research projects.

A reduction in carbon emissions is also crucial. We are very grateful to those countries who are doing their bit and trying to reduce the levels of their emissions. But the biggest players - the United States and Australia, for example - are not on board.

In this, the question of accountability is paramount. At the moment most Bangladeshis are not angry with anyone in particular because they do not understand the science behind what is happening. But slowly their frustration may turn into anger because this poor country had absolutely nothing to do with global warming. And yet, as ever, it is they who suffer.

The post title refers to a classic Calvin and Hobbes cartoon (which refuses to embed in this page for some reason) which seems appropriate in this case...

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