Climate Change & Human Rights

Climate change has obvious affects on the environment, with one of the biggest effects being on extreme weather. The United Nation’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) published a report on climate change’s effects noted, “The report identified the increasing frequency of extreme weather events and natural disasters, rising sea-levels, floods, heat waves, droughts, desertification, water shortages, and the spread of tropical and vector-borne diseases as some of the adverse impacts of climate change”. This report also noted that the primary cause of climate change were human produced greenhouse gases. This is an important factor as greenhouse gases from humans are more specifically made by humans in developed nations; human rights are once again (indirectly) being exploited by those in higher power, and thus it is the responsibility of those in power to amend the situation- not only for the environment but also for the people that they are affecting. Furthermore, the rights being violated are numerous. Agrarian nations such as India suffer as their seasonal growth is limited or eliminated entirely, destroying the livelihood and nutrition for countless farmers and villages. The effects in this context are disastrous, with suicide rates on the rise, local economies sinking, and malnutrition increasing among women and children.

An Indian farmer shows a dry, cracked paddy field in Ranbir Singh Pura

An Indian farmer shows a dry, cracked paddy field in Ranbir Singh Pura

Climate change is making world weather hotter and weirder

A more violent effect of climate change is the example in Syria. Syria has been ravaged by a civil war that has been driving out its inhabitants since 2011; this along with climate change causing extreme weather has led to a series of violent outbreaks in search of basic necessities. Water related violence has been on the rise as droughts ravage the nation and the infrastructure breaks down. The incredible absence of water has been directly linked to the economic deterioration of the nation.

http://journals.ametsoc.org/doi/abs/10.1175/WCAS-D-13-00059.1

Noor speaks of the obstacles presented by the West’s superiority complex. He brings up a few points on how the West does this. Most notably, the west truly believes that their dominance over the global economy and broad influence of western products equates to their ideals being above those of the rest of the world. He brings up the examples of Malaysia on how understanding past history of a  culture’s ability to reach a position of progressiveness and equality and how it can not always be claimed that it is the West who caused that progress. He traces back the true roots of the progress and how the West became involved in it. Moreover, he uses those factors along with the example of Islam’s influence on Malaysia to debunk the myths that Asian elites exploit their populations beliefs for political and economic benefits and that Western ideas of human rights need to be exported globally. While he argues the western ideal of superiority, he is not arguing human rights themselves. He is simply stating that the rights as an individual object exist while each culture or nation has different perceptions and thus various methods of achieving these rights. He insists that westerners stop forcing their methods of enforcing human rights on the rest of the globe as this form of moral superiority will cause more harm than good. 

Islam in Malaysia

Islam in Malaysia

Islam in Malaysia

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