Devastating floods in Pakistan have been labelled a “climate dystopia” by the country’s climate minister and left a third of the country under water. If we don’t starting taking climate action seriously, these events will only get worse.
More than 1,000 people have been killed in this year’s “monster monsoon”, which started in early June. The monsoon season is an annual event and essential for irrigation of crops, but this level of devastation is unprecedented.
“Pakistan has never seen an unbroken cycle of monsoon [rains] like this,” Pakistan’s Climate Minister Sherry Rehman told DW News.
“Eight weeks of non-stop torrents have left huge swathes of the country underwater. This is a deluge from all sides.”
Pakistan has never seen an unbroken cycle of monsoons like this.8 weeks of non-stop torrents have left huge swathes of the country under water.This is no normal season,this is a deluge from all sides, impacting 33 million plus people,which is the size of a small country. @dwnews pic.twitter.com/gYAbv9ldlH— SenatorSherryRehman (@sherryrehman) August 28, 2022
Approximately 33 million people are affected by the “monster monsoon”, which Rehman described in another interview as “catastrophic” and “apocalyptic”. To put into perspective, that’s one in seven Pakistanis. More than the entire population of Australia, which sits at roughly 26 million people.
One-third of Pakistan is under water. Frankly, no one has seen this kind of downpour & flooding before,and no one country can cope alone with the multiple, cascading effects of extreme weather, climate events. The monsoon pattern pic.twitter.com/ymawtZKtb6— SenatorSherryRehman (@sherryrehman) August 29, 2022
Social media has been rife with devastating footage of entire buildings collapsing as villages wash away in torrential waves of mud.
The scenes, as Rehman put it, are of “biblical proportions” — 146 bridges have collapsed, more than 3000km of roads are underwater, and some communities are still trapped and in need of rescue while their homes disappear around them.
The flooding in Pakistan is being driven by glacier melt from climate change. Pakistan has the most glaciers in the world outside the Arctic. https://t.co/JuwFDWkaAM— Murtaza Hussain (@MazMHussain) August 26, 2022
Pakistan is responsible for less than one per cent of global carbon emissions, but it is one of the most vulnerable countries when it comes to the effects of climate change.
The country’s floods are driven by an amalgamation of factors, but they’re exacerbated by the global climate crisis.
Pakistan’s glaciers are melting due to the burning of fossil fuels which release carbon into the atmosphere and trap heat. This causes global warming and increased rain in the monsoon season.
Terrible scenes in Pakistan. It has over 7,000 glaciers which are currently melting away.— Lowkey (@Lowkey0nline) August 28, 2022
Pakistan will pay a heavy price for climate change, even though it only contributes 1% of all global carbon emissions.
Sherry Rehman has condemned climate change deniers and those that refuse to wrangle with relationship between climate change and the worsening Pakistan floods.
While there’s definitely something to be said about infrastructure and government incompetence at dealing with natural disasters, these events also straight up wouldn’t be so devastating if it wasn’t for climate change.
“This is a dogged refusal to understand that this is nature not going back to normal,” she told Channel 4 News.
“The world has to understand we’ve crossed a tipping point here.”
This horrific climate flooding in Pakistan yesterday wasn't even mentioned in the New York Times. It is caused by burning fossil fuels. The fossil fuel industry systematically lies and blocks action. Climate damage is irreversible. The media is failing humanity and the Earth https://t.co/5wQp5NonUH— Peter Kalmus (@ClimateHuman) August 28, 2022
Now’s probably a good time to mention Prime Minister Anthony Albanese has refused to ditch fossil fuels, even though climate action was a significant reason he was voted in. In fact, he just approved gas-drilling in 47,000 square km of ocean.
It’s privileged people in cushy positions who continue to make decisions about our future that they know likely won’t impact them. Because let’s be real: it’ll always be the poorest and most vulnerable populations, especially in developing countries like Pakistan, who bear the brunt of climate destruction.
PAKISTAN IS DROWNING AND YT FIRST WORLD NATIONS ARE TO BE HELD ACCOUNTABLE♬ Get You The Moon – Kina
Unless our Federal Government, and all governments, eradicate fossil fuels, we can expect these wild weather events — not unlike our own devastating floods earlier this year — to become the norm.