If Sea Level Rise is a ‘Man-Made Weapon’, Who’s Pulling the Trigger?
With 104 dead, 645 injured, another 172 missing, and 230,000 displaced after flooding in Malawi February 11, Grist Justice Editor Brentin Mock and writer Janani Balasubramanian marked International Polar Bear Day February 27 by describing sea level rise as a “man-made weapon” rather than a coincidence or an act of God.
“Understanding the rise in sea levels as solely an environmental phenomenon prompts us to try to save polar bears and ocean water,” Balasubramanian writes. “Understanding sea level rise as a weapon makes us wonder ‘who’s pulling the trigger?’ and ‘who designed the gun?’”
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Even on a day devoted to polar bears, “some of the worst climate change impacts are still happening to humans, particularly those with the least resources to withstand them,” Mock adds.
“It’s within this context that we see Balasubramanian’s larger point that thousands, if not millions, throughout the Global South are being displaced, maimed, and killed because of climate change-related disasters summoned from fossil fuel powers. Those companies, and the governments that have enabled them, need to be held accountable, but they’re not.”