Magazine article New Internationalist

Adapting to Uncertainty

Magazine article New Internationalist

Adapting to Uncertainty

Article excerpt

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 bordercrossings or the misery of destitution in bursting cities. …

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