Bangladesh is a country that is highly vulnerable to climate change, as this article from NPR says:
“Bangladesh is often called a climate victim. It contributes only a tiny fraction of global carbon emissions – 0.56%, by one count. But it suffers disproportionately from their effects.
Its low-lying geography, south of the Himalayan mountains, means it's particularly vulnerable to flooding as glaciers melt and sea levels rise. Its agriculture relies on monsoon rains that increasingly come in spasms. And it gets battered with some of the world's worst cyclones.”
But Bangladesh and its people are doing powerful work in not only fighting climate change but also in protecting their population from its disastrous effects. For example, deaths from “rains and cyclones have fallen dramatically. For example: In 1970, Cyclone Bhola killed up to half a million people in what is now Bangladesh, while last year's Cyclone Sitrang killed 16.” This isn’t due to massive expensive levees or pumping stations - which this country couldn’t afford anyway - but rather because of a combination of “high-tech forecasting and low-tech relationships”.
You can learn more about the strategies that the country and individual Bangladeshis are using in the NPR article but most important is the mindset. Here’s what “Saleemul Huq, director of the Bangladesh-based International Centre for Climate Change and Development” says is the reason behind Bangladesh’s successful tackling of climate change:
"I tell my American friends, 'You should send your skeptics to Bangladesh! The awareness of climate change here is the highest in the world,' " Huq says. "But we have gone through the doom and gloom phase. That's yesterday's news in Bangladesh. "
Now it's all about solutions, he says.”
Maybe by looking at what people and governments are doing in places with far fewer resources than most of us have we too can move beyond ‘doom and gloom’ and on to solutions more quickly.