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How Does Climate Change Affect People Unfairly?



From skyrocketing global temperatures to disastrous forest fires, climate change is one of the most pressing issues facing the world. Although nobody is safe from its effects, some people will face greater hardships than others due to climate change.


Access to Cooling Devices

Climate change disproportionately affects those in communities of differing financial status. As temperatures increase, the demand for items that assist with heat, like air conditioning, will continue to increase as well. As a result, people with lower incomes will not be able to afford these adaptations in their homes. Unfortunately, this means that they will be forced to live in extremely unpleasant conditions compared to those in more fortunate communities. 


Decreased Income

Not only is heat uncomfortable, but it has numerous other harmful effects. According to a study done in the United States, workers are 28% less productive in hot temperatures. Since people living in poorer communities are more susceptible to heat, they're also more at risk of being less productive than those with higher incomes. Due to their decreased productivity, the incomes of those in poorer communities will likely lessen because of climate change.


Access to Food

In addition to making less money and having to live in terrible conditions, people with lower incomes will not be able to afford food because of climate change. The heat changes that come as a result of climate change can substantially affect the growth of plants. Because of this, it is estimated that the global crop yield will decrease by 10% by 2050. With the population rising and the World's amount of food decreasing, the price of food will increase significantly. Sadly, those living in poorer communities will not be able to afford this, and therefore they will be at a much higher risk of food insecurity. 


Lesser Quality Education

Lack of food, income, and uncomfortable conditions are not the only problems people with lower incomes face as a result of climate change. Compared to kids attending schools in more fortunate communities, kids who attend schools in poorer areas are at a disadvantage. Heat impedes school performance significantly, as proved in the many studies that have shown that children perform better on tests when they are taken in comfortable temperatures. Many low-income communities are more at risk of extreme heat, and thus kids who attend schools in these communities are more likely to perform worse in school than kids in richer communities. 


Although climate change affects everybody, people living in low-income communities face more challenges when it comes to overcoming the problems that come with climate change. Now more than ever, it is important for those with higher incomes to support low-income communities in their fight against the harmful effects of climate change. 


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Thank you for reading!! - Evelyn Z


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