Reports by and about Cleo Paskal: Associate Fellow Chatham House, London, UK; Trudeau Fellow, CÉRIUM, Canada; Adjunct Faculty Manipal University, India. Author Global Warring: How Environmental, Economic, And Political Crises Will Redraw The World Map.
Rajesh Kumar Edacheri: Do you think climate change will worsen poverty, political instability and regional conflicts?
Cleo: It can, but it is not inevitable. With thought, effort and will we can get through this. We have to.
Think of a factory on the coast of Kerala. If it continues as usual, it might first have problems with erosion affecting its foundation; then power lines down the coast might fall over, affecting its electrical supply; then the building itself may flood. And flood again. It will face problem after problem until it is too much and it collapses.
Alternatively, it can defend itself, perhaps with anti-erosion techniques; can put in its own renewable energy supply, covering the cost of installation by selling off the excess energy it generates; and then become highly profitable as it develops and sells a new water purification system.
Business usual is not going to work anymore. But we all are in a position to turn that challenge into an opportunity and to create more stability and security for ourselves, our neighbors, our communities and our countries, and the world. We have to. The cost of failure is unimaginable.