Mixing Up The Medicine

Although we steer clear of politics, we pay close attention to policy; we do our part to support policy outcomes that match our values and interests; and (given the complexity of it all) mostly we just try to keep on our radar the various issues that lead to the need for policy in the first place.  You don’t need a weatherman. You need be neither policy wonk nor know-it-all nor tree hugger to know where those winds are blowing us. Case in point:

Dear President Obama,

As the lead negotiator for the world’s 48 Least Developed Countries (LDCs) in the United Nations climate change negotiations, I congratulate you on your re-election. I also want to express my admiration for your response to superstorm Sandy: without the preparations that you made, the impacts to those hit by the storm would have been even more devastating. As communities in the north-east work to rebuild and recover, the world has an opportunity to begin a new, reality-based conversation about climate change.

I write with a simple request: as this discussion continues in the world’s most developed countries, remember those who live in its poorest regions. Remember that as a result of climate change, this kind of fatal weather event has become commonplace for us while we lack the infrastructure and resources to adequately protect our citizens.

As researchers at Brown University’s climate and development lab have shown, climate-related disasters such as droughts, extreme temperatures, floods, and hurricanes have caused an estimated 1.3 million deaths since 1980. Two-thirds of these deaths (over 909,000) occurred in the least developed countries. We are only 12% of the world’s population, but we suffer the effects of climate-related disasters more than five times as much as the world as a whole.

Read more here.

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