Thursday, April 16, 2009

Rural livelihoods and climate change

A New York Times story today titled "Third-World Stove Soot Is Target in Climate Fight" has a rural angle. First, most such polluting stoves are in the developing world, which is where 90% of the world's rural population live. Second, within the developing world, the stoves are more likely to be in rural locales. Here is a short excerpt from Elisabeth Rosenthal's story, highlighting the rural dateline:
That remote rural villages like Kohlua could play an integral role in tackling the warming crisis is hard to imagine. There are no cars — the village chief’s ancient white Jeep sits highly polished but unused in front of his house, a museum piece. There is no running water and only intermittent electricity, which powers a few light bulbs.
Consider this news feature in the context of the United Nations' recent report, Cities: Blessing or Burden, which can be downloaded here. The report discusses the relative "greenness" or lack thereof of cities vs. rural areas, including in the developing world.

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