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Global Warming Effects on Population - Literature review Example

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The main purpose of the present review is to summarize the article “Climate Change, Coming Home: Global warming’s effects on populations,” by Sarah DeWeerdt, which helps untangle some of the issues surrounding climate change and its probable consequences…
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Global Warming Effects on Population
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Download file to see previous pages DeWeerdt gives a interesting international, almost post-colonial study of the effects of global warming. She divides her analysis into three distinct categories of areas that will impact human life the most signifincantly that are also the most vulnerable to climate change: Food, Disease and changes in sea level. It is somewhat superficially obvious that all of these things will be impacted by climate; sea levels will obviously rise as polar ice melts (DeWeerdt 2012), food production, which is obviously very climate dependent will have to shift, and disease will obviously increase with any serious shifts in population, as these often lead to unsanitary conditions.
Her analysis is novel, however, in indicating the degree to which these changes will impact different parts of the world. DeWeerdt argues that development, which is usually meant in economic ways, can actually be considered a society’s degree of ability to adapt to climate changes (DeWeerdt, 2012). Places that have high degrees of infrastructure, for instance, will be more able to cope with any of these changes. Firstly, they can establish things that directly mitigate the effects of climate: things like greenhouses to cope with cold weather or irrigation to cope with dryness. Secondly, they can use transportation infrastructure to cope with secondary effects of climate change as well, easily developing newly productive areas while abandoning areas that have become unproductive due to climate change. Undeveloped countries, however, will suffer more greatly: people cannot flee a newly formed desert, cannot build seawalls to hold back a rising tide, and so forth. Conceptualizing development as a society’s degree of ability to cope with climate allows one to see very clearly that the effects of climate change will disproportionately affect developing societies.
Using DeWeerdt’s analysis indicates that one can actually conceptualize as climate change (including both its causes and effects) as a particular damaging form of pseudocolonial resource extraction. If one imagines a favorable climate as a resource, in that it provides a whole sleuth of production but can be depleted if not properly managed, then developed countries, which achieve their development largely through the highest use of fossil fuels (DeWeerdt 2012) are actually taking a valuable resource from developing countries every time they use fossil fuels. This is an especially damaging form of resource consumption because the people who get the resource depleted do not gain from the depletion, unlike mining, for instance, in which minerals can be sold. Climate can more be imagined as a river dammed outside of a country’s borders: they lose, and do not gain, while the other country gains but does not loose. ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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