With so much public and political attention on reducing greenhouse gas emissions, I often get asked to explain why climate change adaptation is also important.
It’s important because the climate has already started to change, and it is affecting people and nature in negative ways.
As a scientist, I can rattle off facts and figures about how sea level rise will alter coastlines, how changing patterns of precipitation will affect crop yields, how species’ ranges will shift, etc.
The recent book Environmental Refugees: The Case for Recognition by Molly Conisbee and Andrew Simms predicts that as many as 50 million people will become environmental refugees as soon as 2010. These are real and present climate problems that require solutions.
But these sort of responses seem distant and clinical when compared to Munem Wasif’s haunting photographs that reveal the personal and emotional impacts of climate change on climate refugees in Bangladesh.
Look through the lens of Wasif’s camera to see how personal climate change is, and why adaptation is so important.