World changing: 安全氣候貧窮環境之聯繫



一場颶風, 另美國社會作出多面向的檢討; 有的在討論美國的種族主義問題(Was Katrina colour blind?), 有的在討論貧富懸殊, 有的認為這是一場環境與社會的災難(Was Katrina colour blind?), 有的在討論貧富懸殊, 有的認為這是一場環境與社會的災難(Crisis management in Hurriance Katrina), 有的直接評擊美國總統(World Changing 的網站指出人民的安全, 氣候, 貧窮, 環境等問題是連在一起的(New Orleans: everything has changed).

以下節錄自New orleans: everything has changed:


...Climate matters

Climate change cost $60 billion and perhaps as many as 150,000 lives in 2003. In 2004, according to a recent report,
"weather-related disasters caused nearly $105 billion in economic
losses." Katrina has shown us that the reckoning in coming years may be
orders of magnitude more extreme.

Whether or not climate change fueled Katrina, we know that in a
greenhouse world, we can expect more and bigger Katrinas to come. As
Fortune magazine puts it, in an article titled Katrina's Aftermath: The High Cost Of Climate Change

...Poverty and Pollution Are Linked

The second lesson is about poverty, and the ways in which poverty and the environment are bound together.

There's been some loose talk in certain quarters, demanding to know
why the tens of thousands of people trapped in New Orleans didn't leave
when they were told to. This kind of "blame the victim" mentality is
ethically shabby, but as writer Anne Rice points out, it's also divorced from reality:

Thousands didn't leave New Orleans because they couldn't
leave. They didn't have the money. They didn't have the vehicles. They
didn't have any place to go. They are the poor, black and white, who
dwell in any city in great numbers; and they did what they felt they
could do - they huddled together in the strongest houses they could
find. There was no way to up and leave and check into the nearest
Ramada Inn.

The poor were not only the worst victims in this week's disaster:
they will also be those hit hardest in the long-term. Those who can
least afford it have lost their homes, their jobs, their savings and
all sense of security. All along the Gulf Coast -- in some of the
poorest parts of America -- hundreds of thousands of people have had
their lives utterly destroyed.

When we make the link between environment and poverty, part of the
reason is that protecting the environment is one of the best ways to
help raise people out of poverty, and protect the gains they've made.
This is as true in the Global South as the Global North.

...For 75% of the world's poor, the "environment" is where they get
food, water, medicine and fuel. Destroy that and you destroy their
ability to bootstrap out of desperation, much less leapfrog out of

For the urban poor, the players are different, but the story's the
same: poor neighborhoods, both North and South, are the dumping ground
for our waste, the sites of some of our worst polluters, the last
places to get new infrastructure and better practices. Think of the
toxic soup swirling over the Ninth Ward; think of the phrase "Cancer
Alley." Environmental justice isn't just a nice idea, it's a key tool
for fighting poverty.

Climate, Poverty and the Environment Are All Linked


Evidence is mounting that it the world's poor who will suffer the worst if the climate continues to change (or changes even more quickly than we expect). A recent report from the International Institute for Environment and Development, Up In Smoke (big PDF) says that weather extremes may be making the Millennium Development Goals impossible to achieve...

Security, Climate, Poverty and the Environment Are All Linked

...Indeed, the links between
sustainability, good governance and security are increasingly well-understood:

We're in the midst of a sea-change in understanding of
global security issues, especially in the U.S., with figures as diverse
as military strategist Thomas Barnett, former anti-terrorism czar Richard Clarke, economist Jeffrey Sachs and out-going Secretary of State Colin Powell all embracing the idea that security, development, human rights and sustainability are all inextricably bound together...

We Do Have Better Answers

There is a way forward. We have the know-how, the money and the power to remake our energy systems, redesign our cities, re-conceptualize our industries, re-imagine our agriculture, and end poverty
in the process. We can do this. It won't be easy. Indeed, it's work
that will take much of the rest of our lives, but we can do it....