May 14, 2021

Climate change for everyone?

“Climate change is harmful for everyone; it leads to biodiversity losses and forest degradation with devastating consequences for the ecosystem; it accelerates ice melting; communities, cities and countries will experience extreme disturbances and damages; humanity will experience large population displacements.” These are some of the titles overloading the net and TV.

99% of the climate scientists have warned about the consequences of climate change. Extreme weather conditions, typhoons, conflagrations, desertification and water scarcity are some of the results of climate change. However, despite the fact that climate change threatens our existence on this planet, no change has been observed in our daily lives. The pace of everyday life and the practices of companies and of governments do not deviate from their common directions. Full commitment to the economy. Its development, progress and expansion, at any cost, is the main goal. Since we do not experience directly any of the consequences of climate change and institutions’ negligence reinforces the perception that climate change is not an issue of major concern, questions naturally arise: “Does climate change exist? If so, who is it for? Who’s affected immediately by climate change?”

Studies estimate that the economies having the biggest losses since 1961 due to climate change (based on the percentage change of GDP per capita) are Sudan (-36%), India (-31%), Nigeria (-29%), Indonesia (-27%) and Brazil (-25%). Whereas the countries that have benefited the most from rising temperature is Norway (+34%), Canada (+32%), Sweden (+25%), Britain (9,5%) and France (+4,8%)(1).Hence, do we glibly come to the conclusion that climate change is, by some, up to a point appropriate and not a matter of urgency?

Observing the researches’ results, it is noted that between fast and least developing countries climate breakdown does not play the same role nor does it have the same results and obviously the need for initiatives for its battling is not a matter of the same gravity. Thus, climate change deteriorates any form of inequality while intensifying discriminations to a great extent. A matter of primary importance is the escalation of gender inequality. Women are disproportionately affected by climate change, a fact which mirrors the probability of being supplanted and disadvantaged, unable to protect themselves and bounced back. A United Nations research(2) shows that 80% of displaced people due to climate change are women, as women in many countries are responsible for their family care and securing food and water. Therefore, drought or floods make them totally vulnerable resulting to the ineffectiveness of any endeavor to rebound.

Among communities, indigenous peoples who are directly associated with fragile ecosystems are affected to a great extent by the alteration of the natural environment. However, the strengthening of social inequalities across generations is, maybe, the most important aspect. We were born on a planet where we can, even today, discover, enjoy, and experience the surprises and the beauties of nature. Wouldn’t it be unfair to deprive future generations who will live under the severe consequences of climate breakdown, of tthese experiences?

So, it is beyond any doubt that climate change has severe consequences to fundamental human rights. The right to life, health, housing, water and sanitation might be common but not certain for everyone. The encroachment and violation of these rights does not make room for submittals and negotiations but asserts their assurance and advocacy.

“I am human as well, I desire the same things as you do; a safe place to live, a place that is not threatened by natural disasters, a place where I will enjoy biodiversity, nature and I will have access to clean water, a place where I will be able to breathe with all my strength”. Maybe this is the thought of a person who is now experiencing the consequences of climate change… Perhaps this might be your thought, too, believing that the world has abandoned you…

(1) Studies of percentage change of GDP per capita due to climate change:

(2) A United Nations research concerning the consequences of climate change to women:

Photography by Simeon Maniatis

Christos Karatzias

Student in the department of Engineering. Multifaceted and troubled figure. He calls himself a daydreamer and a lover of philosophical conversations. Enthusiastic, idealistic, and curious, with a heightened sense of justice. He’s often lost in his thoughts, looking for a deeper meaning in everything. He wishes to travel all over the world along his favourite people. In order to approach him, you should just be yourself.

Savvas Katsidonis (he/him)

Born and raised in the sunny island of Rhodes, he found himself striving to adapt to the new rules and vibes of a megacity, which he now loves. A book-enthusiast and ballad lover daydreaming about the past, the future, the history in general. Volunteering, learning new languages and taking photos of others but himself are just some instances of his life, when he does not sleep or watch series.

Panagiota Katsaveli (she/her)

A proud Hufflepuff with a major sweet tooth and extreme curiosity about the world. Born and raised in Kilkis, but her imagination has convinced her that she has lived in every corner of the world. Spends most of her free time watching TV shows, simultaneously adopting the personality traits and behavior of her favorite characters. Her attitude towards life is Fake it till you Make it.

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