June 10, 2011
While the first image that comes to mind for many westerners, including myself, would be of impoverished rural villages – the reality is that more and more of the world’s poor are living in urban areas. Climate change has special challenges for urban citizens, planners, and civil servants.
The problem has been brought into high focus by an unprecedented series of climate related events over recent years.
According to a report released yesterday by the Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre (IDMC) (a United Nations-guided monitoring and advocacy organization), a staggering 42 million people were displaced in 2010 by what the IDMC calls “mega-disasters” (violent storms, massive earthquakes, record flooding and other large-scale natural disasters). The IDMC expressed concern that this number of displaced individuals due to climate-related events has more than doubled since 2009′s 17 million sudden natural disaster dispacements.
Why the profound increase in just one year? Many experts are pointing to climate change, and warning that such precedent-setting weather events will only increase as our human industrial impact on the environment continues to build.
Elisabeth Rasmusson, the secretary general of the IDMC’s Norwegian Refugee Council, said at this week’s international conference in Oslo about climate change and displacement:
“The intensity and frequency of extreme weather events is increasing, and this trend is only set to continue. With all probability, the number of those affected and displaced will rise as human-induced climate change comes into full force.”
The video below is informative but it is by the World Bank. The World Bank, needless to say, is part of the problem, not the solutions - NYC.