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Climate Change Patterns Around the World - Research Paper Example

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Your Name Prof’s Name Date Global Warming, Resources and the Developing World Global warming is almost certain to now have a global effect on health. The issue, however, is that this global effect is not very well understood, and will not be evenly distributed throughout the planet…
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Climate Change Patterns Around the World

Download file to see previous pages... People often use these metrics to discuss how climate change could disproportionately affect the developing world, which, by and large, tends to be more towards the equator, and could thus suffer more from extreme weather (such as tropical storms) drought (as in sub-Saharan Africa), and so forth. The problem with these analyses is that they miss the fundamental role that resource allocation plays in determining the health outcomes of climate change. Certainly, poor countries around the Sahara will suffer more from climate change simply because of their geography and the propensity for drought. But more importantly, resources that can be used to support health will become less and less abundant even as they become more and more necessary due to climate change. Resources allocation, not the actual changes to climate themselves, represent the main reason developing countries will suffer from climate change. The fact is, rich countries have a “buffer” against climate change simply because of the amount of resources that they have access to. According to Gallup surveys, the median American spends approximately $125/week on food (Gallup 2012). Compare this to the median income of approximately $500/week, and it is clear that Americans could, theoretically, afford to spend more on food. This is not to say that doing so would not cause some hardship – but developed economies have a built in buffer of spending – people spend on luxuries. In the developing world, this is not the case. Most people live at or around subsistence levels. So when global warming nearly inevitably drives up the cost of food (Hannesson 2007), Americans have resources to divert to food purchasing, while the only option for most in developing countries will be to eat worse or less food. This starts a chain of problems that will be incredibly harmful to developing countries. As food prices rise, malnutrition will increase. Then, health resources that are already being used elsewhere will start needing to be used simply to combat the explosion of health costs. So, for instance, educational campaigns combined with anti-retro-viral treatments and expanded availability of subsidized condoms, which have been demonstrated to be very effective at fighting HIV (Benagiano, Carrara, Filippi, Brosens 2011), will suddenly need to have their funding diverted to combating things like mal-nutrition which are growing because of global warming. Developed countries, however, will not have to face such tough decisions, having a buffer to provide funding for live saving treatments and food. This kind of process will occur again and again and again in the developing world, where new issues, caused by global warming, will push the now ‘lesser’ issues off of funding, causing things like increasing HIV rates. One final little recognized aspect of resources and global warming is the fact that resource scarcity and the progress of global warming are likely to march hand in hand regardless of the actual changes in the climate. This is because global warming is largely caused by expanding resource extraction – so the fewer resources are left on the planet, the more global warming there is likely to be. So just as global warming’s climate change effects get into full swing, the planet is likely to start seeing shortages of fuel sources such as oil. The problem is that few strategies focused ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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