Climate change and Homelessness

It is almost August and Seoul is lost in the most serious torrential rains I have ever witnessed. I was starting to grow my own vegetables at home and at work, but agriculture is rather negatively impacted by this level of rain, at least agriculture as we have known it. Needless to say, although climate change is everywhere in the media, I don’t hear anyone saying in daily conversation that this odd rain is related to climate change. Just not a polite thing to do, and so I do not mention climate change much either. Of course climate change is not a simple matter of CO2 emissions. After all, the climate change that turned the Middle East into a desert began before the massive CO2 emissions. But that the desertification of Saudi Arabia was linked to human activity is beyond doubt.

It would be nice if all the consumption that is so negatively impacting the environment were at least helping people to live better. But, unfortunately, there are homeless, and those who struggle to feed themselves, who wander around Seoul and of course many other countries, trying to make a living. The homeless are the most seriously impacted by the heavy, unrelenting rains. For many of them it is matter of survival. There are a large number of elderly in Korea who survive by pulling wagons on which they gather old newspapers and other recyclable goods. For these individuals climate change is a matter of life and death. Of course what impacts them today, may impact us tomorrow.

 

2 responses to “Climate change and Homelessness

  1. SJ July 28, 2011 at 2:36 am

    Are the rains greater than what is normally experienced during Korea’s rainy season (jangma)? A month of torrential rains and flooding are a regular part of the Korean summer thanks to the Monsoon rains that come up from the south each year. I think usually it averages around 24-30 inches during that month.

    Don’t get me wrong, I believe in climate change, but I think no one talks about it because this is a standard weather for this time of year.

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