Andrew Revkin on the First World-Third World adaptation dichotomy: our robust First World economic engines are both causing climate change and providing us the resources to adapt to the damage it causes. The Third World? Not so much:
Michael H. Glantz, an expert on climate hazards at the National Center for Atmospheric Research who has spent two decades pressing for more work on adaptation to warming, has called for wealthy countries to help establish a center for climate and water monitoring in Africa, run by Africans. But for now, he says he is doubtful that much will be done.
“The third world has been on its own,” he said, “and I think it pretty much will remain on its own.”
I’m surprised more people are talking, or blogging, about Revkin’s article. The “inequity” of climate change is fairly clear: the developed world is largely repsonsible for the problem but the developing world is expected to bear a greater burden (*).
Revkin’s article goes a step further to demonstrate an inequity not often discussed. The developed world is devoted much more money to adaptation at home, than in the developing world. So not only are we largely causing the problem that will detrimentally impact others, we’re spending more to protect ourselves.
*I’ve published about this in relation to coral reefs (http://www.simondonner.com/documents/Donner%20and%20Potere%20-%202007.pdf)