BLOGS

The Least of These...

Falling harvests and rising prices are in prospect. (Courtesy Morteza Rafikhah, via Wikimedia Commons)

Topics: Climate Change, Ecology, Economy, Politics

One of Mother Teresa's favorite texts in the Bible, which she often quoted to support her ministry to the poor, is "Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me" (Matthew 25:40, 45, NIV). Source: Timothy Lent, LinkedIn

An effective climate strategy to protect everyone on Earth, and the natural world as well, is what the planet needs. But Austrian-based scientists have now confirmed something all climate scientists have suspected for more than a decade: there can be no simple, one-size-fits-all solution to the twin challenges of climate change and human poverty.

That catastrophic climate change driven by “business as usual” fossil fuel energy reliance will by 2100 impose devastating costs worldwide, and drive millions from their homes and even homelands, has been repeatedly established.

So has the need to shift from fossil fuels to renewable resources, almost certainly by imposing some kind of “carbon tax” worldwide.

But a new study from the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis warns that if agriculture is included in stringent climate mitigation schemes, there will be higher costs in the short term.

If humans don’t act, then climate change driven by global warming will create conditions that will put an extra 24 million people, or perhaps 50 million extra, at risk of hunger and malnutrition.

Sadly, I think with the exacerbation of inequality; the Russian-installed occupant of the American Executive Mansion and the general disposition of self-absorbed humanity, these quotes by the author Fyodor Dostoyevsky encapsulates our current, pitiful state:

“The world says: "You have needs -- satisfy them. You have as much right as the rich and the mighty. Don't hesitate to satisfy your needs; indeed, expand your needs and demand more." This is the worldly doctrine of today. And they believe that this is freedom. The result for the rich is isolation and suicide, for the poor, envy and murder.” Fyodor Dostoyevsky, The Brothers Karamazov

“I say let the world go to hell, but I should always have my tea.” Fyodor Dostoyevsky, Notes from Underground

Climate strategy needs tailoring to poorest, Tim Radford, Physics World

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