For most of us, the daily Caloundra weather report is viewed in order to decide what type of clothing to wear, and to see if we should carry an umbrella or not. For those people who live in areas where extreme weather is a real issue, things are a lot more important. Those people need to know about huge weather storms moving in, as advance warning could very well be the difference between life and death. In other parts of the world, global warming and extreme weather are having a major impact, and life is becoming increasingly difficult for a lot of people less fortunate than we are.
In 2016, the UN put together a proposal to end hunger, poverty, and inequality across the world in an agreement known as Sustainable Development Goals (SDG). The idea is to have a better world in place by 2030, but the problem in that some governments are not doing their part, and a lot of it has to do with the weather, and El Nino in particular. The warming of the Pacific waters may not seem like a big deal to a lot of people, but it is having an impact on the areas that need help, with drought and floods the most common problems caused by El Nino.
All of the major weather models predicted that El Nino was on the way, but rather that take preemptive measures, many governments adopted a wait and see attitude that has delivered a major setback to the SDG plan. There are 22 different countries that have been negatively affected by the weather, and that has led to a $2.5 billion aid shortfall that has left a lot of people in those nations in real trouble. While we are busy complaining about the rain, these people are being flooded out of their homes or seeing crops die because of drought.
While this version of El Nino is drawing to a close, the damage that it has left behind will stay long after it has gone. One of the hardest hit areas is in Ethiopia, where entire crops have failed due to the weather. While this may all sound like an absolute horror story, there is a little bit of a silver lining in the large cloud. Because of the work that has been done in the region, people are better equipped to handle the problems, and while there is still widespread hunger, the number of deaths caused by the lack of food is in sharp decline.
There is likely to be a good lesson learned by the nations that are part of SDG, as they will now know that extreme weather predictions need to be looked at very seriously in order for goals to be achieved. We can only hope that this El Nino, which was the strongest in quite some time, will not have set things back too badly, and that the goal of an end to hunger, poverty, and inequality by 2030 can still be met.