MARK KARLIN, EDITOR OF BUZZFLASH AT TRUTHOUT
As BuzzFlash reported on September 13, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is meeting in Stockholm. The IPCC is widely expected to issue a stern report about the dangers of ignoring human-caused climate change.
Of course, adults -- not children -- interested in profiteering regardless of its likely lethal impact on the inhabitants of the earth are the ones putting the brakes on even the most incremental of efforts to slow climate change down (if we have not already reached the tipping point).
But, as an article in the Guardian UK reports, it is the children of the planet who are going to suffer the most as a result of the current placation of global industry in regards to reversing global warming:
Children will bear the brunt of the impact of climate change because of their increased risk of health problems, malnutrition and migration, according to a new study published on Monday. And food prices are likely to soar as a result of warming, undoing the progress made in combating world hunger....
Children born last year will come of age in 2030, by which time the effects of climate change in the form of an increase in droughts, floods and storms are likely to be more in evidence. In the 10 most vulnerable countries, including Bangladesh, India and the Philippines, there are 620 million children under 18.
Unicef estimates that 25 million more children will suffer malnourishment because of climate change, with a further 100 million suffering food insecurity, where they and their families are on the verge of running out. Children among the 150-200 million people estimated to have to flee their homes because of climate change will suffer more than adults because of their relative lack of resources and higher vulnerability to disease. In heatwaves, likely to grow more intense and frequent under climate change, babies and small children are more likely to die or suffer heatstroke because they find it difficult to regulate their body heat.
This is the legacy we are leaving to the future inhabitants of our home: the earth. We live in a material world and the surfaces of our daily lives, at least for the well off, are still shiny and filled with hi-tech consumer products that resonate with the promise of a comfortable future.
But the planet we live on and atmosphere we breathe and walk through everyday are being deletiriously impacted by the toxic detritus of producing our modern lifestyle of consumption; nature knows no geeky joy in the introduction of another iPhone.
The world under us and around us is eroding as we continue to plunder it, unleashing forces that no invention other than our own commitment to sustainability can resolve.
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As the Guardian UK article reports:
UNICEF argues that, although children are more vulnerable to the effects of global warming, they have been largely left out of the debate. "We are hurtling towards a future where the gains being made for the world's children are threatened and their health, wellbeing, livelihoods and survival are compromised … despite being the least responsible for the causes," said David Bull, UNICEF's UK executive director. "We need to listen to them."
Unfortunately, with the mass media still giving credence to the propaganda of climate-change deniers, there is no room for children at the table.
Many of them will be, in the not distant future, collateral damage to the profit margins of corporations who recklessly and criminally endanger future generations.