by Mitchell Evans
Welcome to this blogs last post. As the title suggests, this blog will focus on how Israel plans to adapt to the pressures of climate change. It must be understood that much of the world is more focused on midigating climate change than they are about adapting to it’s effects. The truth of the matter is that we can’t perfectly predict what challenges climate change is going to impose on our planet. So, planning to adapt can be a tricky situation. This post will focus on what Israel is doing to adapt.
According to the Ministry of Environmental Proctection adaptations is defined as “a change in a system’s behavior in response to an external stimulus, such as a change in the climate system.” (http://old.sviva.gov.il/Enviroment/Static/Binaries/Articals/Aklim-72-98_1.pdf) So, the question is: what is Israel doing to change it’s systems behavior. ”
“The reaction to climate change is on two levels: reaction by precursory actions, in anticipation of change (such as building planning and disaster insurance), and reaction to the change itself (such as migration from disaster areas, coastal nourishment, and enforcement of building regulations)” (Ibid). I found that the precursory actions listed above (building planning and disaster insurance) were two of the most interesting things that Israel is pursuing in adapting to climate change.
Adapatations that Israel’s insurance companies could make are planning for their redemption capacity. Insurance companies could raise rates now to plan for the increased expenditures that they could face. This would obviously create a lot of tension with the insurance companies customers though, so another option that has been proposed is for insurance companies to provide incentives to it’s customers who prepare themselves for the the impacts of climate change. If people took individual interests in adapting to climate change, the insurance companies would have less burden to bare, so incentives are a great idea.
As for building planning, Israel would be wise to reinforce it’s infrastructures. Increased flooding could potentially impact Israel. If it’s railroads, bridges, port, and other essential elements of Israel’s infrastucture are not built to withstand increased flood, this could potentially cripple the way Israel citizens function. It might sound like it’s a waste of finances before anything happens but if Israel were to be devastated by increased flooding, the cost they would have to pay in order to fix their infrastucture is sure to be lesser than it would be merely to reinforce it.
Though Israel should be concerned about elements such as insurance and infrastructure reinforcement, this does not mean that this should be every countries concerned. Some lesser developed countries, such as Uganda, still need to prepare for climate change but the country is not as developed as Israel, so insurance and infrastructure might not be as important. For instance, Uganda, might be concerned with implimenting a task force in order to protect the countries ecosystems, Israel already moving forward with adaptation. This is not to say that Israel and Uganda don’t have similar concerns. Both countries absolutely need to make sure that clean water is a priority. It doesn’t matter how developed your country is, if there are not safeguards in place to provide the country with clean water in a time of disaster, the people will not survive and chaos will ensue.
Israel is not in a region that would welcome it migrating onto their land for any reason. If Israel does not plan ahead for the impacts of climate change, the consequences could be dire. Being a Jewish state surrounded by Muslim countries, some of which believe that Israel is rightfully theirs, military readiness must be Israel’s first line of defense against climate change.
This should be followed closely by disaster planning. These are more important than anything Israel could do to attempt to midigate climate change. Adaptation to climate change is, by far, the most important mesaure that Israel should take. They’re not the biggest emitter of greenhouse gasses but they are an extremely vulnerable region. Not because of direct natural causes, but rather because of the volititlity that exists in the region. If Israel was hit by a natural disater, there are many countries around them that would love nothing more than to pounce on the opportunity and attack, leaving Israel vulnerable to be hit from two fronts.
I hope that this page clearly conveys the threats that Israel faces due to climate change. I believe their greatest threat is their neighbors and this could just be exacerbated by the threats that climate change poses. Climate change could devastate many areas of the world with natural disasters but in many developed countries, these consequences could be repaired. Israel might not have that luxary. Israel is in a unique situation because it has many supporters that would be willing to go to war if Israel were to be attacked. So, more lives are at stake than just the Israeli people. This is why it should be Israel’s divine responsiblility to be aware of the potential impacts of climate change and seriously prepare for them. If they ignore this responsibility, the impacts could be global.