It is true that the impacts of climate change are being felt across the globe. The degree of vulnerability has also risen to alarming levels. For instance, pastoralists and subsistence farmers in sub-Saharan Africa are among the worst hit populations in the continent since they completely depend on the weather output for survival.
Worse still, they lack adequate capacity to adapt to the changing weather and climate patterns. However, it is pertinent to note that pastoralists and small scale farmers are not the only vulnerable groups. A wider look at the entire African continent reveals a lot of missing links in regards to disaster preparedness.
Most African economies are not performing well. Therefore, disaster management is still an uphill task for most countries (Smith and Wigley 448). The capability to manage the impacts of climate change is largely determined by the availability of resources at the national level.
For instance, severe instances of drought coupled with subsequent desertification require a rapid response mechanism in order to safeguard the vulnerable populations. Subsistence farmers can be cushioned against the threats of climate change by the adoption of latest technologies such as greenhouse development.
Low income economies cannot effectively respond to the negative effects of climate change due to lack of funds. The current mitigation measures adopted by most countries are mainly reactive in nature since response to disasters takes place long after the tragedy.
It is discouraging to mention that nutrient depletion during crop production has translated to poor health of the affected populations.
The poor segment of the population cannot also access healthcare whenever they need such services. The trend is likely to continue into the future if the menace of climate change is not addressed.
Whereas the impacts of erratic weather and climatic patterns are being felt across the world, some environmental scientists argue that the changes that are being experienced are merely climate variability or temporary deviations from the known climate patterns.
The discourse on whether the changes are permanent or temporary is rife. However, policy makers should concentrate with mitigation measures against the adverse effects of weather and climate because the affected populations are suffering altogether.
The authors suggest that people can be taught on decision making framework and the holistic management of climate impacts. Such measures may not work among the impoverished populations because even the level of education cannot permit a smooth learning process (Houghton 49).
Holistic management of climate impacts can only be executed by national governments. The latter have the necessary resources at their disposal.
Finally, climate change has not been instigated by natural factors. We are fully responsible for environmental pollution through toxic emissions. The industrialized world has significantly contributed towards the emission of greenhouse gases to the atmosphere.
Gasses such as methane and carbon dioxide are harmful to the environment even though the developed world is still adamant to cut down on their emission quotas. Unfortunately, most poor nations that do not even produce in large scale will suffer the most at the negative effects of climate change.
How long will the industrialized nations continue to pollute the environment with impunity? Why did the United States retracted from the Kyoto Protocol?
These are some of the terse questions that policy makers should be asking themselves. Holding global summits every year will never ease down the impacts of climate change especially if the major emitters of greenhouse gases are not committed to cut down pollution (Houghton 65).
Houghton, Theodore. Global Warming: The Complete Briefing. New York: Cambridge University Press, 2004. Print.
Smith, Steven and Tom Wigley. “Global Warming Potentials: 1. Climatic Implications of Emissions Reductions.” Climatic Change 44. 4 (2000): 445-457.Print.