CONSIDERING the political convulsions wrought by the tens of thousands of migrants arriving on Europe’s shores from war-torn countries, we could be facing an even bigger refugee crisis as a result of climate change.
UN envoy Mary Robinson put it succcinctly yesterday on her return from a fact-finding mission to Ethiopia, a part of east Africa that has suffered its most severe drought in half a century. Its misery is accentuated by the El Nino weather system that disrupts and stops vital rains in the tropics.
According to Unicef, 26m children need help in eastern and southern Africa as a result of El Nino.
“If parts of the world warm more quickly and become unlivable, where do they do go?” Mrs Robinson asked, pointing that Ethiopia’s crisis reflects “the emissions problem of a rich world punishing a poor world”.
It is hard to argue with that assessment, considering that we in Ireland produce almost 100 times more emissions per head of population than the people of Ethiopia.
Our former president also argued that education is the key to combating climate change. Ireland’s primary school curriculum already provides for social, environmental and scientific education but children must be taught more about their everyday lives directly impact climate change.
It is too important a lesson to ignore and the lives of future generations may depend on it.
© Irish Examiner Ltd. All rights reserved