According to the report, from the Nobel Peace Prize-winning Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, cities, home to most of the world's human population -- and its poor -- are highly vulnerable to climate change.
The poor bear new burdens in a warming world. It's expected that climate change will slow the world's economy for the rest of the 21st century, lowering incomes; making it harder for the poor to rise; making food harder to get; and hollowing out new pockets of poverty within the once-secure middle class.
We can expect the following in a warming world, according to the report:
- More people, especially in cities, being killed by heat waves or drowned due to sea-level rise;
- More starvation;
- The continuing loss of family farms;
- Infrastructure failure;
- More intense, more frequent heat waves;
- More sick people;
- Ecosystems disappearing.
Scientists predict that, while the global economy may continue growing for a while, once global temperature has risen by 3 degrees Fahrenheit, the resulting worldwide loss of income will range between 0.2 and 2.0%.
Climate change and climate change-driven poverty, according to the report, will up the risk of man-made violence -- wars and insurrections -- worldwide.
The impacts of climate change will vary depending on where in the world you live. For North America, the biggest risks long-term are wildfires, heat waves and flooding. For Europe, it's flooding and drought. For South America and Asia, it's drought-related food shortages. For Africa, in addition to drought and food shortages, it's starvation, pestilence and disease. For Australia and New Zealand, it's the loss of unique coral reef ecosystems. For small island nations, it's the risk of being swallowed by the ocean.
Countries can still reduce the impact of climate change by cutting their use of fossil fuels, but, reading the more than 1,000 comments on this article, I can see what we're up against. Decades of carefully-cultivated denial have crippled our ability to respond to the crisis we face by making consensus seemingly unreachable.
The lack of consensus cripples change.
The article from Yahoo.
More on the IPCC report, from Defenders Blog.
Sadly, the New York Times continues to struggle with the conflicts involved in covering climate change.