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JPIC Atlantic: Eradication of Poverty

Anne T. Gillis CND, JPIC

Having been made more aware of the struggles related to this issue by the "UN Declaration for the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty” on Sunday, Oct. 17, perhaps we could share an update on why this is considered so critical at this time. As part of JPIC Atlantic, I participated in a worldwide Webinar related to this issue: it featured 1,000 participants. Of course, I didn't hear input from that many, but heard from such areas as Bangladesh, Uganda, Brazil, Guatemala, the USA and Canada, to name a few. Some spoke of being "fracked and gridded" out of existence by the oil and gas and coal mining industries; others spoke of 1800 people living under tarpaulins for two years because of the inability to control the flooding related to climate change.

In most of these areas, if not all, there is an interrelationship between poverty and climate change, and now COVID. The UN NGO Committee for Social Development has a position statement on "Poverty and Climate Change" (Nov. 2010). It is said that: "Every oil-drilling lease, every acre of the Amazon Rainforest torched to create pasture for scores of livestock, and every gas-guzzling SUV on the road will decide how much longer our planet will be habitable,” and perhaps how unrealistic it is to imagine that poverty can be eradicated.

Because Earth's atmosphere is now saturated with so much carbon dioxide from human activity, it is trapping more warmth, which causes more heat waves and leads to more moisture being absorbed, which when released causes more flooding. The interrelationship of all these factors leads to countless people being stripped of their lands and natural resources preventing them from being able to sustain any quality of life. The UN proposes that "we will move forward together" to address these issues. Let us stay tuned for the UN COP26, the climate talks in November, and perhaps consider what we might be able to do on this periphery. We need to remember also our own US CNDs in the coal mining area of Appalachia.

(“Fracking and gridded" are processes used in the extraction of oil and gas; processes which are destructive to the landscape and to the earth itself).


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