As we count down to Copenhagen, we have recently been told here in Australia that climate change has slipped down a few rungs in terms of priorities for us. I find that quite frightening. Whilst it is understandable that people are still concerned about the global financial crisis and the recent rise in interest rates, we face an inevitable, much larger, financial crisis if we do not become serious about what Kevin Rudd has called the great moral challenge of our time.
Unfortunately, as is often the case in issues of justice and human actions, it is the world’s poor who will be overwhelmingly affected by the changes to the planet’s climate over the next 50 – 100 years. As my colleague, Brett Parris, says,
“They are least able to protect themselves from its effects and they are least able to recover from climatic disasters. They tend to live in the most vulnerable areas, such as low-lying land prone to flooding, or marginal agricultural land prone to drought. They are the most vulnerable to the spread of tropical diseases. They are more likely to have to leave their homes in search of water or to escape flooding. They are the most vulnerable to the effects of the conflicts likely to arise from international tensions over water, energy and displaced people. Climate change will exacerbate poverty and the solutions proposed to help mitigate and adapt to climate change will affect the trajectory of every country’s future development.”
Fortunately though, there are plenty of ordinary people like you and me who are taking serious action in their local communities and online, in actions like Blog Action Day, to deal with this great moral challenge. Join them today and ensure you can look your grandkids in the eye when they ask you what you did to combat the major threat to our planet in the early years of this century.