Climate change and Homelessness
July 28, 2011
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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.