Every planet in our solar system has a range of temperatures it generally reaches, and eight of them (Pluto will always be a planet to me) have climates that have remained relatively unchanged since the beginning of time. There is one planet, however, that has a climate that is beginning to grow warmer. This is the planet Earth—the one that virtually every living being calls home. It is also the planet that was placed in the exact position to have the climate needed for us to all thrive. We all have different ideas of how the Earth got here, but it is a universally accepted fact that it was placed exactly where it needs to be. This begs the question, what happens when we mess with the climate?
On the surface, we can see the problems that are arising. People are needing to be relocated due to flooding, plant and animal species are going extinct, and cultures are being lost. We often think that these losses for a few people come as the price for a more industrialized world for the rest of us, but we fail to realize that these people’s rights are being taken from them. As stated in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, we all have the right to be welcomed and have a place to call home. We have the right to live without fear of the wellbeing of our descendants, yet so many people aren’t able to.
Aside from countries situated right at sea level, Afghanistan is one of the countries that is considered most vulnerable to climate change. It may not be submerged in melted glacier water anytime soon, but they lack the resources necessary to react to any changes. The people have grown accustomed to the weather in the nation, and most of them simply cannot afford to cool their houses or artificially produce the temperatures needed for their agricultural activity. On top of this, water is becoming more of a scarcity in Afghanistan. The people are doing their best to conserve water and get more water to flow through the mountains, but droughts are still an issue. This threatens their rights to live comfortably without fear.
The fact that we live in a Eurocentric world does no justice for the recognition of Afghan’s human rights. How could they be expected to thrive in a world where Muslims are seen as terrorists more often than as humans and only the wealthy rise to world power? Middle Easterners are too often looked at suspiciously and as criminals by people in Europe and the Americas. They are more likely than white people to be ‘randomly selected’ for extensive body searches, and this is often humiliating and degrading to them.
While there is still much work to be done, steps are being taken towards a more equal world. Faris Noor explained that the rise of other nations is soon going to deplete the world domination of Europe and the United States. This is a very good thing, because domination often results in a feeling that you are better than everyone and lack of respect for other cultures. This has been seen over and over in our world. People have been enslaved by people who had power and dominance. There have been mass murders by people who wanted to show they have power. The sooner we can realize that we are all humans and all deserve our rights, the sooner we will be able to come together as a community and all do our part to prevent the climate from changing too much and to make sure everyone is given the resources they need to survive comfortably.