Laurie Parsons
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Climate precarity
How global inequality shapes environmental vulnerability
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We are used to the idea that climate vulnerability depends on geography, that certain parts of the world are more exposed to floods, droughts, or sea-level rise, and their populations are more exposed as a result. Yet, in reality, geography is only a part of the story. Within any given place, whether it be London or the Sri Lankan highlands, our experience of the climate is far from universal. Monsoon rains, even landslides, mean something quite different to someone surrounded by sturdy walls than they do to a person whose ceiling is in danger of collapsing. Economic inequality, the result of a long history of unequal accumulation, is the single biggest determinant of how climate change impacts the world’s populations. The poorer you are, the more vulnerable to climate change you are. If your livelihood is precarious, then you are climate precarious. Whether shivering in the safety of a London flat or braving the frontline of the climate crisis in the monsoon-lashed highlands of Sri Lanka, the environment we experience depends upon who we are and what we have.

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Carbon Colonialism

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