Human Rights Violated by Climate Change

The UN Human Rights Council has adopted a resolution proposed by the Maldives to hold a panel discussion on the relationship between human rights and climate change.
The resolution states that “Global warming violates human rights of millions of people, especially in countries vulnerable to climate change such as the low-lying island state of the Maldives.”
“Climate change is one of the most serious challenges mankind has ever faced and has serious implications for the realization of human rights,” says High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay in her contribution to the Climate Thinkers Blog, an online discussion forum hosted by the Copenhagen Conference.
It is a response to a UN study in January which offered evidence that global warming undermines a number of basic rights such as food, water, shelter, health, life and self-determination.
The panel debate is to be held in Geneva in July this year, and the aim is to pressure governments to reach an agreement at the climate change negotiations in Copenhagen in December.
Saying that Climate Change or Global Warming violates human rights is all well and good, but it seems as if it is a pretty serious charge with no punitive punch. Lets face it, you shouldn’t “claim” violations with out “charging” for those violations, and I don’t foresee anyone in the near future charging the top oil executives with human rights violations.
Polluting organizations provide a service to humans. Humans consume the service they provide and the end result is that other people suffer and die. Who are the real human rights violators? We are. But if we are good at anything, we are good at denial.
We live in a society where, when a hurricane or flood damages or destroys our homes, we demand that our Government writes us a check. Since when did we become juvenile sons and daughters of Uncle Sam, demanding that he give us clothes, shelter and food like some babe in arms?
We have a personal responsibility to take take care of ourselves. There is no Constitution or Bill of Rights or Charter that says we have the right to free television, free secondary education, or a new home at Government expense if ours is destroyed.
But there is a Universal Declaration of Human Rights, wherein article #3 states “Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person.” Article #25 goes on to say “Everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of himself and of his family, including food, clothing and housing.”
Now let me say that even though you have the right to food, clothing and housing, you do not have the right to have them “given” to you. What you do have the right to do, is secure them.
Here is my underlying point. It is through the manipulation, consumption and improper disposal of resources that Climate Change is occurring, and it is this resulting Climate Change that “takes away” the opportunity for people to participate in their human rights. This is where the violation occurs.
Do you believe that Climate Change violates human rights? If so, who do you think is at fault?

Courtesy of Twilight Earth

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