Are you climate fit or climate weak?


Image source: unlao.org

It’s occurred to me many times that being prepared for climate change is not necessarily a function of wealth — at least not how wealth is defined in the West. Consider, for example, a family living in Singapore versus a family living in Laos. Very much First World and Third World in classic economic development terms. But which family would be able to cope best if (the increasingly likely) worst case scenario were to eventuate? Singaporeans get their imported food from supermarkets and their (Malaysia-sourced) water magically appears when they turn on the kitchen tap. They are anything but self-sufficient. Their Laotian counterparts, on the other hand, have a much stronger connection with the land and are, therefore, far more likely to be able to adapt if — as a growing number of ecological economists are predicting — climate change has significant ramifications for food security.

Communities within countries will also differ in terms of preparedness for a whole variety of reasons, as Gaia Vince points out in her recent piece entitled: Coping With Climate Change: Which Societies Will Do Best?