ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

A+| A| A-

Climate Crisis and Environmental Degradation

Future of People Living in Coastal Areas

“Climate refugees” are on the rise with people losing their lands and livelihoods due to climate hazards. India is one of the most vulnerable countries and suffers from the severity of the climate crisis. People living along the shoreline are in jeopardy because of extreme weather events. In the last 26 years, severe erosion has changed the coastline. Appropriate policy support is necessary to build climate resilience.


Homo Sapiens are the product of past climatic changes. We are adapted to survive under different climatic conditions. Both humans and various animal species have developed different physiological adaptations (teeth or paw shapes) over time. Likewise, our contemporary societies and structures have also been shaped, and evolved, due to shifting climate patterns. Historian John McNeill (2013) explained how a regions politics is strongly influenced by that regions specific geography and environment. Different theories (Daoudy 2020) point out that geographical position, temperate climate, and access to the sea made societies powerful. At the same time, drought and landlocked regions were easy targets of military, political, and cultural control. In his book, Mainsprings of Civilization, Ellsworth Huntington pointed out that droughts led to huge food scarcity in earlier societies, and mismanagement of the food shortages resulted in widespread famine (Daoudy 2020; Huntington 1945). Since the initiation of the agricultural revolution, we are also shaping the environment as it has shaped us. The industrial revolution additionally made a significant mark on the face of already existing climatic degradation. From 1880, the earths average surface temperature has been rising by 0.07C in every decade.

From a geological point of view, this change is natural, and the environment has been evolving since the geological past. However, the effect of human activities on nature is ubiquitous, and this has been shaping the local, regional and global environments. Since the beginning of the 19th century, greenhouse gas emissions have been predominantly connected to the burning of fossil fuels resulting in the average global temperature rise that has accelerated this change. The unprecedented and alarming rate of transformation, accompanied by frequent natural hazards, exposed the lacuna of knowledge and information in the area of nature and the environment. Hence, in 1988, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) was formed to evaluate, analyse, and share the state of the current technical, scientific and socio-economic knowledge about climate change. Therefore, scientists and policymakers came together for complete, accessible, unbiased, and cutting-edge research about the most pressing issue in the current times.

Dear Reader,

To continue reading, become a subscriber.

Explore our attractive subscription offers.

Click here


To gain instant access to this article (download).

INR 59

(Readers in India)

$ 6

(Readers outside India)

Published On : 20th Jan, 2024

Support Us

Your Support will ensure EPW’s financial viability and sustainability.

The EPW produces independent and public-spirited scholarship and analyses of contemporary affairs every week. EPW is one of the few publications that keep alive the spirit of intellectual inquiry in the Indian media.

Often described as a publication with a “social conscience,” EPW has never shied away from taking strong editorial positions. Our publication is free from political pressure, or commercial interests. Our editorial independence is our pride.

We rely on your support to continue the endeavour of highlighting the challenges faced by the disadvantaged, writings from the margins, and scholarship on the most pertinent issues that concern contemporary Indian society.

Every contribution is valuable for our future.