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Old 03-25-2006, 08:37 PM   #1
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Climate Change Hurts the Poor

Climate change 'harms world poor'
By Roger Harrabin


BBC News Environment Correspondent


More extreme weather events are forecast
The poorest people in the world in Asia and Africa will be worst hit by climate change, a UK government report says.

It says droughts and floods fuelled partly by carbon emissions from countries such as the UK will hurt the same people targeted by overseas aid.

The report was obtained by BBC News under the Freedom of Information Act.

It says emissions are making natural disasters worse and warns that rising sea levels could undo more than half the development work in Bangladesh.

The internal report at the Department for International Development (Dfid) reveals the depth of concern shared by officials about climate change.



Rising seas

It forecasts that global warming threatens to reduce India's farm output by as much as a quarter - just as its population is booming. In Africa, the number of people at risk from coastal flooding is likely to rise from one million in 1990 to 70 million by 2080.

The Dfid report will increase pressure on the Prime Minister. Next week, the government publishes its review of Climate Change Strategy. It's committed to cutting emissions by 20% below 1990 levels but under Labour emissions have actually increased by 1.9%.

The report is Dfid's contribution to the UK government's review of climate economics being carried out by Nick Stern, former chief economist of the World Bank.

The Dfid report points that natural disasters cost donors $6bn annually. Seventy-three percent of them are climate related, so the bill will almost certainly soar if, as forecast, extreme weather events get much worse as the climate changes.




Ice melt 'to hasten sea rise'

Dfid says the world will need to adapt to some degree to an inevitable measure of change fuelled by greenhouse gases already in the atmosphere; but it says all international development policies must be framed with climate change in mind.

It urges a target to stabilise greenhouse gas concentrations (a difficult goal as the US - the main emitter of these gases - refuses to discuss any such target). And it complains that the price of carbon is too low internationally to prompt cleaner development.

"It's crazy for the UK government to be talking a lot about climate change while at the same time our emissions are increasing," Farhana Yamin of the Institute of Development Studies at the University of Sussex, told the BBC.

"A great deal more action is needed domestically to reduce our carbon footprint which is going to have a massive impact on developing countries."

Until recently, the debate over climate change economics tended to have been dominated by industry lobby groups worried about the effect of clean-up measures on growth.

I understand that the Stern review is likely to predict that it will be much cheaper to reduce emissions than to attempt to deal with all the consequences of climate change.


http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/4839834.stm

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Old 03-25-2006, 08:42 PM   #2
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Here's a positive response to a difficult situation in Tanzania:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/africa/4786216.stm



Using the sun to sterilise water


Tanzanian villagers have begun using an energy-saving method to sterilise their drinking water - leaving the water under the sun.

Rose Longwa says the process is very simple
The piped water supply to Ndolela village in the central Iringa region is intermittent and even when it does flow, it is not clean enough to drink.

When the pipes run dry, villagers get water from a dirty spring.

Mother of five Rose Longwa says the new process has changed her life.

"We no longer suffer from stomach illness. That's because the water is clean and safe."

Like many other people in rural Africa with no access to safe drinking water, she used to sterilise her water by boiling it.

But she says the smoke from the firewood to heat the water used to irritate her eyes. She is also glad she no longer has to go to fetch wood from the bush.



Ultra-violet rays

About 40 houses in Ndolela are using solar purification.

Mrs Longwa says the process is simple to follow.


"I fill the plastic bottles, put the lids on, then put them on my black-painted roof where they stay for a whole day."

The sun heats the water, helped by the black roof, which helps to absorb the heat.

Solar radiation means a combination of ultra-violet rays and heat destroys the bacteria which cause common water-borne diseases like cholera, typhoid, dysentery and diarrhoea.

After eight hours in the sun, it is ready to drink.

If the water reaches more than 50C, it is safe in just one hour.

Pastor Moses Kwanga from the Diocese of Ruaha is behind the project:

"The technology is very easy, but up to now people have not been told about it. We can use old pieces of roofing to put the bottles on. It is also very cheap, so is accessible to everyone."



Resistance

Up to now, the number of people in Tanzania purifying water using the power of the sun is limited to a few villages like Ndolela, where small-scale education programmes are underway.


The villagers get water from this spring if the pipe runs dry
Daudi Makamba is a water expert for the aid agency Plan International, which is considering whether to introduce solar purification across the country.

He says it can be difficult to persuade people to use the technology.

"The big resistance from the community is cultural beliefs. People believe the water will be contaminated, or an enemy will put something bad in it, so we need to educate the people."

The technology is working well for at least one community in Tanzania but more work is needed if more people are to taste the benefits.

World Water Day is 22 March.


Great story!
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Old 03-25-2006, 10:27 PM   #3
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Climate change will help a lot of poor people too.
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Old 03-25-2006, 10:58 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally posted by A_Wanderer
Climate change will help a lot of poor people too.
Like what? I'm not arguing, I'm interested to know. Based on your other posts, you seem to know a lot about many fields of science I'm afraid to touch!
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Old 03-25-2006, 11:03 PM   #5
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Originally posted by Jamila

"The big resistance from the community is cultural beliefs. People believe the water will be contaminated, or an enemy will put something bad in it, so we need to educate the people."
It's interesting the article mentions this. When I was in Tanzania, we listened to lectures about health issues. The doctor mentioned that in order to encourage people to boil their drinking water, they encorporated concepts of eveil spirits from traditional religions. Many people boil their water because it casts out evil spirits. Also, many people use a certain type of grass to use as their floor covering and mattresses. Unfortunately, there's parasites that thrive in this type of grass. The health community has had difficulty convincing people that they can't use this grass in their homes.
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Old 03-25-2006, 11:28 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally posted by LivLuvAndBootlegMusic


Like what? I'm not arguing, I'm interested to know. Based on your other posts, you seem to know a lot about many fields of science I'm afraid to touch!
Global climate is basically an elaborate means of energy exchange, this energy is moved around by interactions between the oceans, the atmosphere, the lithosphere (all the rocks on the surface) etc. It is not a 1:1 thing, by changing one aspect we can set off a whole set of chain reactions and feedback mechanisms that will yield an unforseen result in something that we didn't consider.

Basically with global warming if we push the Earth in a direction that makes it go hotter in one place the upset in rainfall patterns may also lead to more rain in other places. I am not saying that there will not be negative side effects from climate change, I am saying that there are benefits and they should be factored into how we decide to treat the "problem".

There is cause to be concerned about climate change and it does demand attention and investigation.
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Old 03-25-2006, 11:39 PM   #7
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Like, "for every action there is an equal but opposite reaction"? That's all I remember from physical science!
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Old 03-25-2006, 11:43 PM   #8
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Not quite - think a bit more like the butterfly effect; the sheer complexity of the system makes predictions problematic - it can be broken down though and we can develop a better understanding of what goes on with climate.
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Old 03-26-2006, 02:41 AM   #9
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I don't know enough to care to predict all the consequences, but at least some rise in sea levels would seem a. feasible and b. very bad for a lot of poor and not-so-poor people who live near said sea levels. Depending on how gradually it occured. Certain very low-lying Pacific islands would not have much breathing room.
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Old 03-26-2006, 05:05 AM   #10
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Eek I am 6 blocks from the Beach and I often think about how far a tidal wave would come inland, or how far inland high tides would flood. This is really serious for global climate changes.
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Old 03-26-2006, 07:26 AM   #11
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Eek I am 6 blocks from the Beach and I often think about how far a tidal wave would come inland, or how far inland high tides would flood. This is really serious for global climate changes.

Seriously thinking and perhaps preparing for these possibilities are always a good thing.

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Old 03-26-2006, 10:56 AM   #12
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Eek I am 6 blocks from the Beach and I often think about how far a tidal wave would come inland, or how far inland high tides would flood. This is really serious for global climate changes.
As soon as we can generate tidal waves, it should be a concern.

Otherwise, the connection between tidal waves and man's influence on the global weather system is absent.
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Old 03-26-2006, 11:15 AM   #13
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Originally posted by nbcrusader
As soon as we can generate tidal waves, it should be a concern.

Otherwise, the connection between tidal waves and man's influence on the global weather system is absent.
Americans aren't known for their "preventative medicine." After all, people said for years that New Orleans was a disaster waiting to happen and long recommended restoring their shoreline as protection against devastating hurricanes. And as Republicans balked at an estimated $15 billion price tag for years, we'll be spending much more than that for many more years to come.

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Old 03-26-2006, 11:29 AM   #14
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Originally posted by melon


Americans aren't known for their "preventative medicine." After all, people said for years that New Orleans was a disaster waiting to happen and long recommended restoring their shoreline as protection against devastating hurricanes. And as Republicans balked at an estimated $15 billion price tag for years, we'll be spending much more than that for many more years to come.

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Is it safe to say the Dems also didn't exactly embrace the "preventive" medicine ?
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Old 03-26-2006, 11:35 AM   #15
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Is it safe to say the Dems also didn't exactly embrace the "preventive" medicine ?
Lest we forget, the Democrats have not been in control of Congress now for 12 years, and it is up to Congress, not the President, to write and pass bills. Spending over $50 million to investigate a blow job and an anti-flag burning amendment was more important to Republicans than actually doing their job.

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