CLEMENTINE TODOROV WRITES — Whether they live in the Global North or South, climate change is affecting the way of life for everyone. While people of the Western world seems to be more concerned about their abnormal weather changes, they are less aware and empathetic towards countries like Bangladesh, whose residents are always in a constant battle with nature and its changing patterns.
Since July 2016, Bangladesh has experienced another wave of floods these past few months in 16 districts, leaving 42 dead and over 25,000 displaced. In addition to largely disrupting to the economy, these floods displace families and destroy villages, creating bigger inequality between social classes, overcrowding in major cities, and diminishing resources.
Due to the displacement of populations as they must move to higher ground, this new climate pattern also leads in the rise of disease and a lack of clean water.
Al Jazeera reports, “They rebuild homes that were taken away by the rivers. They grow rice and vegetables in new ways. They try new methods of small-scale farming, despite the threat salty water brings to their lands. Or they too find no other option but to leave and seek a new life in the city.”
As people struggle in Bangladesh to adapt to the changes brought by the floods, many people are even moving to neighboring countries such as those on the Arabian Gulf, India, Myanmar and Malaysia. These waves of migrations in neighboring countries can create more tensions and greater inequalities as the environment disrupts people’s lives across parts of Asia.
The New York Times reports “In an analysis of decades of tidal records published in October, Dr. Pethick found that high tides in Bangladesh were rising 10 times faster than the global average.” The people of Bangladesh are always relocating and are forced to adapt to unfamiliar conditions.
Climate change is a global issue that is affecting us all and must addressed in the most rigorous manner. Sadly, Western countries get more attention than others but it is vital that the entire world recognizes that all countries have globally contributed to climate change.
In response, the UN set up the “Sustainable Development Goals” for it’s members and the G20 have been working towards solutions to help aid those affected by climate change and find alternatives for energy creation that do not contribute to global warming. Many individuals still need to reevaluate the way they view this issue and to remember that it affects us globally, which requires us to put aside our national interests to work together.