A newborn held aloft in Pakistan sums up the sheer injustice of the climate crisis |
This summer, intense monsoon rains combined with glacial melt caused super-floods across Pakistan. We are home to the second largest number of glaciers after the polar regions and, thanks to global heating, they are melting at unprecedented, terrifying speed. This is the year the climate emergency came home to me, and this is a photo that haunts me.
The floods wiped out approximately a million livestock, decimated crops, displaced 30 to 50 million Pakistanis, destroyed thousands of kilometres of roads – and months later, the damage is still going on. Stagnant water means farmers cannot plant new crops – those who could not plant rice in October, with water in certain parts remaining thigh high, will have no harvest to reap come March.
Famine is not a possibility: it is a certainty. There is a health crisis: hundreds of thousands of pregnant women have no access to maternal care, and fetid water means there are epidemics of snake bites, malaria and dengue. Medicine shortages affect the poor – who cannot access even basic relief – above all. Millions upon millions of people…