Global Warming and Poverty


Art by Justin Nguyen c/o 2023. Nightshade by Minh Nguyen c/o 2024

Justin Nguyen, reporter

As parts of the world develop at higher rates than other areas, significant changes take place. Some of the most notable outcomes can be considered economic, social, or environmental. However, it is possible for overlap to exist. When it comes to climate change, these three areas have a mutual effect on each other. An obvious part of the environmental crisis is the severity of climate change disasters on people in poverty. As climate change continues to damage the lives of people around the world through events influenced by climate change, people who live in an impoverished state of life are most affected due to their inability to return to their usual quality of life after being struck by these disasters. This prison of difficulty is displayed in the loss of resources necessary for the sustenance of life. In one example, a woman living in a certain area of Africa has experienced drought, leading to a decrease in food. Climate change has likely played a role in continuing this drought. Due to the fact that they are poor, the person and their family lack the necessary means to recover from the situation. This lack of food would potentially mean death from starvation. Climate change is perpetuating this situation of hardship and is taking away the lives of people. Furthermore, a case study for Nigerians has found that the poorest 20 percent of Nigerians are more likely to be affected by climate change disasters such as floods, drought, and heat waves. This means that people are not only unable to get out of a climate change disaster, but also that they are more likely to be put into that situation. In addition to this loss of food, the depletion of land due to climate change disasters is a major issue as well. In one event, a house was lost and the cause is associated with rising sea levels. The poor who are then deprived of shelter are forced to find a new home. In 2020, low-income countries have 20,000 people displaced by “severe weather events” in comparison to the 4,000 in countries with greater wealth. With this rise in migration and drop in land, the poor are left with less options for a new home.