Lurching through the streets of Dhaka on a narrow rickshaw seat, I thought I would be catapulted out at any time.
Then I peered through the dust around me. I saw all sorts of precious cargo balanced on passengers’ knees: sleeping infants, panes of glass, towers of egg boxes.
The driver understood his environment well, I realized, and could navigate the many hazards on the roads.
A nail-biting journey by rickshaw struck me as an analogy for how Bangladesh is navigating the impacts of climate change: with grit, ingenuity, limited technology and no safety net.
I chose not to run photos of natural disasters and floods in this issue. Devastation is already well documented on rolling 24 hour news channels, but we hear less about Bangladeshis’ resilience in the face of encroaching seas and erratic rains.
I also met those people for whom the only adaptation option was migration. This brought with it the danger of cross country border-crossings or the misery of destitution in bursting cities.
Adaptation to climate change charts a path between ecology, climate science and competing models of development. The latter is the subject of both our Argument and special feature this month.
Our debaters consider whether aid should be cut to countries with poor human rights records, while Andrew Bowman considers some of the downsides to Bill Gates’ brand of ‘venture philanthropy’.
Worldbeater returns this issue, taking aim at Equatorial Guinea’s Teodoro Obiang: ‘ruthless kleptocrat and good family man’.
Hazel Healy for the New Internationalist co-operative.
New Internationalist co-editor Hazel Healy travelled there to find out how people are adapting to a warming world.
It is hard to believe the village was built from scratch. It looks as if it has always been here. Tidy kitchen gardens sit next to thatched mud houses raised on to plinths. Banana trees and betel nut palms line the paths; chickens, goats and children muck around in the dust. Cows munch steadily, tied to stakes. Green rice seedlings stand in the fields.
Just three years ago all this was a sodden pile of mud and ruined homes, after Cyclone Aila blew into Bangladesh on 25 May 2009. ‘We heard [ne...
Human rights lawyer Errol Mendes and aid campaigner Jonathan Glennie go head-to-head - read their arguments and join the debate.