This is another of those studies that, though perfectly necessary, pretty much just get categorized in to the “Well… duh!” category of my reporting. Sadly, just because something can be so categorized, doesn’t mean it was unnecessary. Too often humanity will overlook the blatantly obvious until it is thrust directly in front of their faces.
In a report (pdf) compiled by the International Council on Human Rights Policy (ICHRP) entitled ‘Climate Change and Human Rights: A Rough Guide’, the authors argue that human rights have the ability to act as a compass to determine what research must be done and what policies must be implemented, as a result of climate change.
“Human rights are a helpful tool for asking who’ll be affected by climate change or climate change policies in a particular way, based on a set of well-defined, internationally recognized criteria,” says Robert Archer, executive director of ICHRP.
A prime example is to look at the growing lack of water in Africa. It won’t come as a massive shock that Africa is a land bereft of mass wealth and prosperity. But the ever continuing need for water belies the fact that there is less and less water in the area. Why is this? What must be done? These are questions that spawn from the humanitarian angle, but are the result of scientific issues.
“On the science side we have a baseline level of data even in poor countries, but on the social side we’re starting from zero.”
Another humanitarian angle that mustn’t be overlooked is the effect that adaptation and mitigation policies will have on various peoples. “[Programs] could generate secondary impacts which could harm people and impede human rights. A program that might globally benefit society might harm the wellbeing of minorities or groups of people living in particular circumstances,” says Archer.
If it needed a slogan, I would pitch this for the ever worsening state of our planets climate;
Climate Change: it’s not just affecting you ya wealthy bastard!