rural road Ian Cumming/ZumaPress

Chi soffrirà di più a causa del cambiamento climatico?

SEATTLE – Alcuni anni fa io e Melinda siamo andati a trovare un gruppo di coltivatori di riso a Bihar, India, una delle regioni maggiormente colpite dalle alluvioni. Erano tutti estremamente poveri e dipendenti principalmente dal riso che coltivavano per sostenere le loro famiglie. Ci raccontarono che con l’arrivo delle piogge monsoniche ogni anno, i fiumi si ingrossano e minacciano le coltivazioni e le loro fattorie. Loro scommettono sempre sul fatto che le loro fattorie vengano risparmiate, ma è una scommessa che spesso perdono e una volta perso il raccolto vanno in città in cerca di un lavoro qualsiasi per sfamare le proprie famiglie. L’anno successivo tornano comunque alla fattoria (spesso più poveri di prima) pronti a ricominciare a coltivare il riso.

La nostra visita ci ha ricordato che per le famiglie più povere la vita è un esercizio di equilibrio senza rete di salvataggio. Non hanno accesso alle sementi arricchite, ai fertilizzanti, ai sistemi di irrigazione o ad altre tecnologie vantaggiose come i coltivatori dei paesi ricchi. E non hanno neppure un’assicurazione sui raccolti per proteggersi dalle eventuali perdite. Un solo colpo di sfortuna (una carestia, un’alluvione o una malattia) basta a farli diventare più poveri e a soffrire la fame.

Oggi il cambiamento climatico aggiunge un ulteriore rischio alle loro vite. L’aumento delle temperature nei prossimi decenni porterà ad ulteriori problematiche per l’agricoltura, in particolar modo nelle zone tropicali. I raccolti non riusciranno a crescere a causa della scarsità o dell’abbondanza delle piogge, mentre i parassiti aumenteranno con il clima più caldo e distruggeranno i raccolti.

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