Climate Change & the Poor: Why Global Warming Is Also an Issue of Justice

Industrialized nations produce as much as two thirds of the greenhouse gases responsible for warming temperatures worldwide, but developing countries are suffering most. So says a recent report by the World Bank.

Poorer nations are already paying the price for our addiction to fossil fuels by being forced to use funds traditionally slated for development and infrastructure to combat the effects of climate change: drought, floods and other natural disasters. These costs should be covered by wealthier nations, the report states.

If global temperatures continue to rise, exceeding 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 F) over pre-industrial levels, the effects on developing nations, especially in Africa and Southern Asia, would be catastrophic– resulting in millions of displaced peoples.

China and the U.S. are the world’s biggest polluters. That’s why our government needs to be pressured to do the right thing, both in developing an effective energy policy to radically reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and to join other industrial nations in assisting developing countries to deal with the effects of our own bad choices.

Each one of us, also, is part of the problem, so consider what measures you can take to shrink your own carbon footprint. Every change you make will be one step closer to a more just world.

“Maintain justice, and do what is right, for soon my salvation will come, and my deliverance be revealed.” – Isaiah 56:1

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  1. If even one of these countries managed to pose even a sliver of the same threat that we pose to them, we would invade them, topple their government and install our own puppet government. To quote Mel Brooks from The History of the World, Part One, "It's good to be the king!"

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