Positioning the human factor at the center of climate change


By Peter Makwanya

TOO MUCH has been said about the environment as the epicenter of climate change while human activities have been cited as the main drivers of global warming. The placement of human beings in the climate crisis as a whole is sometimes not very much emphasized compared to what has been said about human activities.

Although people are the main drivers of global warming through various activities, it is difficult to separate them from their human activities. Thus, we sometimes forget that it is the populations who are subjected to climatic risks. Therefore, human activities are sometimes more covered than the people themselves. In this regard, human activities are not people, but the processes and main ingredients of climate change.

With climate change the least understood, the least materialized despite the impacts unfolding as evidence, this is the most abstract, dubious and confused subject. The abstract nature of climate change is mainly pronounced through complex science and statistics, although climate change is still seen as an interdisciplinary and cross-cutting phenomenon. Interdisciplinary yes, but science dominates this community of practice more than human nature.

Facts, ambivalences and rhetoric from many sides and directions have not placed human beings sufficiently on the receiving end of the crisis compared to the causes.

Amid the calamities of climate change, the climate narrative must demonstrate that there is light at the end of the tunnel, the lighter side of climate change that can be humorous and satirical to some extent. Despite the urgency and gravity of climate change, why can’t people joke and laugh about it and why can’t it be demonstrated that human beings have also come of age and come up with the actions, answers and amazing interventions that are helping to save lives.

There are people who face extraordinary circumstances of climate change. They are climate heroes and infantry because climate change has become one of the most difficult issues of the 21st century. The usual rhetoric and drama about forest rejuvenation and supposed reforestation around the world must be paired with evidence on the ground, with real heroes being credited with putting carbon under the ground, cultivating and maintaining sinks. If done in the right way, these people will leave a legacy. Their stories will be told for decades. May these stories and their struggles shape the global climate discourse and turn into lifelong testimonies. Investing in forestry or forestry lies has no place in sustainable development because lies have short legs.

The integration of climate knowledge and the dissemination of information for rural and urban poor people increases their readiness for resilience as well as the global knowledge and understanding of the climate phenomenon at large. It is essential that people are able to translate climate information into paths and actions to deal with their own situations.

As the majority of people’s lives are negatively affected by climate change, there are people who offer inspiring solutions in their communities. Their stories have yet to be told or documented. The reason why these stories have not come to light is that such voices are suppressed.

They cannot speak for themselves, someone has to speak and think for them. They have limited access to platforms that help them voice their concerns.

One thing that many people don’t seem to realize is that there is already too much carbon in the atmosphere (the measurements don’t matter right now), which is enough to send chills down the road. back a lot. Right now, there are people who are trying so hard to manage these shows with or without the usual limelight that has chaperoned those from developed communities, but they are in the background.

Back home, businesses like mobile phone companies can help write people’s stories and also improve their brands and corporate images if they provide the database for the underprivileged and marginalized, make them pay less. expensive data so that they are not excluded from these development paradigms and enjoy the benefits of technology.

It is common knowledge and public domain that these companies are in business, but as part of their corporate social responsibility (CSR), they can help those on the front lines of climate risk to help them manage their situations. The same goes for energy companies, as part of their community engagement and CSR, they can place people at the heart of sustainable development, climate resilience and mitigation. There is no form of climate justice that surpasses these climate action strategies and corporate responsibilities.

Sustainable people-centered climate narratives strengthen livelihood options and help people avoid climate vices such as climate migration, climate-induced mental health issues and suicide, human-to-human conflict, and human-wildlife conflict due to competition for scarce resources.

Successful human-centered stories need the support of simple, clean, and renewable rural technologies to generate electricity during the day, store it for cooking at night and light, or power pumps that draw electricity. basement water for household chores and small-scale drip irrigation schemes.

In this way, people will have been placed at the heart of a green recovery, of a resilient and inclusive integration. Investing in people today is essential and transformative for a better future.

In the discourse on resilience and mitigation, people should be placed at the heart of sustainable development in order to strengthen their voices, their livelihood options, for mitigation actions. This is important for changing lives, building strong institutions and developing infrastructure.

  • Peter Makwanya is a climate change communicator. He is writing here in his personal capacity and can be contacted at: [email protected]


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