Thursday, February 08, 2007

Human Rights and Global Warming

We here at Rights Readers are always interested in bringing creativity and humor to activism, so today we bring you wooden snowmen protesting global warming in Norway (more background at Boing Boing).

On a more serious note, here are a couple of articles on the intersection of human rights and global warming. First from an article in Amnesty Magazine by Ross Gelbspan,
The Universal Declaration of Human Rights guarantees the rights to secure shelter, food, health, and the tools for basic sustenance — all of which are endangered by the extreme weather, disease outbreaks, crop failures, and famine caused by global warming. The impact of an increasingly unstable climate falls disproportionately on people in poor countries. They are hit hardest — not because nature discriminates against the poor, but because developing countries cannot afford the kinds of infrastructures, such as back-up food reserves, redundant generating systems, and accessible healthcare facilities, needed to buffer the effects of global warming.
And from openDemocracy:
...there must be a conscious reframing of the climate-change debate in terms of human rights. One group of the world's peoples (namely the poor and vulnerable) have found that their right to live and prosper has been harmed by the actions of another group of people (namely the rich).
Something to keep in mind as we plan our usual run of "Earth Day" events this spring. Hmmm... this has really turned into Science Week here at Rights Readers!

Update: Always alert for a book-related link, we note that Mark Hertsgaard, author of Rights Readers selection, Earth Odyssey: Around the World in Search of Our Environmental Future has weighs in at The Nation. Plus another article at openDemocracy observes tensions between the developed and developing world already heating up over global warming at the African Union meeting.
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