Blog Action Day 2009: Climate Change

You may wonder what Climate Change has to do with Access to Justice. And at first glance, it may not seem to have a connection. But when you consider the potential negative effects of Climate Change such as lack of clean water supplies and more natural disasters, the connection becomes less tenuous.

Consider clean water. If Climate Change impacts clean water supply, it is likely that costs of water purification will rise even if the demand remains constant. This would impact people living in poverty such that not only would they be less likely to have access to the clean water, but their health may be at risk. With many people in poverty already living without health insurance, the numbers of unhealthy poor people will be expected to rise. With people paying a premium for water, simply for sustenance, they are less likely to be able to afford legal assistance.

Now consider increasing natural disasters. The entire U.S. nation watched Hurricane Katrina unfold. Who suffered most in this historic natural disaster? People living in poverty. They were less likely to be able to transport their families and themselves out of harm’s way. Even if they were able to do that, they were less likely to have home insurance. Less likely to have skills necessary to relocate to another location where their job skills would easily translate into a new/different job.

As stewards of this planet, we need to consider how our actions affect not only ourselves, but our neighbors as well.

As noted on the front page of Blog Action Day: Climate change affects us all and it threatens more than the environment. It threatens to cause famine, flooding, war, and millions of refugees.

Isn’t it time we consider our actions?