It’s hard to escape. From the EPA’s greenhouse gas emissions statement to the climate summit in Copenhagen, the issue of climate change has been getting a lot of attention lately. But for people in areas of the world where erratic weather and changing temperatures affect their livelihoods, climate change is not a new issue – it’s a matter of survival.
Because of its principle of neutrality, the Red Cross does not support any one policy or plan for mitigation regarding global climate change. However, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies is committed to dealing with the emergencies attributed to global climate change. To this end, the IFRC has launched the Red Cross Red Crescent Climate Centre to support their efforts through reference and education. We hear about the environmental implications of global climate change frequently, but what the Climate Center is interested in are the human lives broken by forces that are difficult to adapt to.
This video, though long, is worth the watch. As wet areas become wetter and dry areas become dryer, the residents of these places are struggling with facing an entirely new climate and the Red Cross is committed to helping them in that struggle, whether through disease control, emergency food and water, disaster preparedness, or risk reduction.
The heart of the issue of global climate change is not figures and numbers but human faces. Regardless of how accurate the predictions for the future may be, there are people suffering from extreme weather-related emergencies in the present and we should not ignore the stories they tell.