Climate Library

Our climate library includes a wealth of interdisciplinary resources covering the causes, impacts, solutions and future of climate change in South Asia. It's aimed to be a repository of credible information for beginners and experts alike.

Feel free to go through the entire library, choose specific topics that pique your interest, and share what you think is most important. It's best used in order - especially if you're just starting out.

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What is Climate Change?

This question is somehow both very simple and yet endlessly complicated to answer.

Depending on how far along you are on your climate consciousness journey, the term 'Climate Change' can mean a number of different things to you. Essentially what we're talking about here, especially in commonly used broad-strokes definitions, relates to the warming of the earth. While the planet has always had natural fluctuations in its temperature, historically unprecedented (and increasing!) levels of human activity has contributed to accelerating global warming. This had led to many undesirable effects - including extreme weather, loss of biodiversity, unhealthy living conditions, forced migrations, social injustices, and alot more.

Human contributions come in many, many forms. In fact, it can be argued that almost all human activity has some sort of minutely small effect that can add up to contribute to the climate crisis. Still, some things we do are worse for the planet than others - unsustainable energy systems, transportation, waste management, agricultural practices, and manufacturing are a few of the sectors that, if transformed from the ground up, can have huge positive effects over relatively short periods of time.

Below are some of our favorite introductory resources.

UN CC: Learn's Introductory e-course on Climate Change has all the basic information you need. We use it often to introduce new team members to all things climate - highly recommended!

Nat Geo's Geography Resource website is one of our go-to's! It hosts a wealth of information with entries neatly organized into topic sections and grades - with beautiful images & must-know vocabulary.

Earth Ranger is great resource to teach Climate Change for younger students and teachers. Its packed with well-produced images, lessons, lesson plans, and games that make the process fun along the way!

Join host Raunak Mainali as he explores climate change in South Asia through a series of casual, bite-sized interviews in our in-house production: REWIND.

Extinction Rebellion's podcast series features Dr. Ciarán O’Carroll explaining the science and answering FAQ's about climate change. Its fun, accessible, and informative!

Journalist Alex Blumber and scientist Dr. Ayana Elizabeth Johnson talk climate change solutions in this highly engaging and entertaining Spotify original podcast.

Climate Change in South Asia

South Asia is an incredibly diverse region.

The peaks of the Nepalese Himalaya, the fertile lands of Bangladesh, the plain desert as well as the lush forests of India, and the Indian Ocean island nations of the Maldives and Sri Lanka are all parts of the region. Perhaps even more diverse than its geography, however, is it's vast array of communities, languages, and cultures. Over 1.4 billion people live in South Asia, among which an estimate of over 600 million fall below the absolute poverty line. Critical systems that govern these societies - such as energy, water, agriculture, politics, economic institutions, prevailing social injustices, etc. - are all directly informed by centuries of chronic poverty prevalent in the region, and thus, threaten not only efforts aimed at economic development but also directly affect climate action programs.

A number of different organizations have been responding to such threats with strategic campaigns and programs - from research projects and poverty alleviation campaigns, to community strengthening programs and political empowerment drives. Thus far, much of the region’s attention has revolved around extreme weather adaptation measures, renewable energy investment, and climate-resilient urban development. Conversations around Climate Justice and Systems Thinking have become more common in the last few decades. Additionally, various existing poverty alleviation programs have also now begun to include the climate change dimension in their efforts.

Below is an assortment of organizations active on the frontlines.

Climate Justice

Not all climate impacts are distributed equally.

The term Climate Justice has increased in popularity quite dramatically in recent years. However, its meaning is still pretty flexible. It is often used to refer to an academic movement linking the climate crisis to various social inequities in research, activist networks addressing intersectional issues pertaining to climate change vulnerabilities, or just as a catch-all term used to frame global warming as a political and/or socio-economic issue. This connection is achieved by relating the causes and effects of climate change to concepts of social and environmental justice.

Historically marginalized communities, such as women, ethnic minorities, indigenous groups, and communities of color often face disproportionately severe consequences of climate change, in the form of poverty exacerbation, vulnerability to extreme weather, habitat displacement effects, etc. On the flipside, these communities are generally least responsible for the climate crisis themselves, as historically overlooked groups are less likely to have actively contributed to environmentally harmful activity in relation to others. Given the complex ways in which issues surrounding Climate Justice manifest themselves across cultures and contexts, activist communities throughout the world have begun setting up legal systems designed to protect the rights and interests of groups that are multi-fold vulnerable to the effects of climate change.

Some learning resources specializing in Climate Justice are linked below.

What's Next?

If you have checked out the resources listed above, you now have a solid understanding of the basics of the climate crisis, climate justice, and how these issues manifest themselves in the South Asian region. However, we have only just scratched the surface.

There are a number of different topics that are connected both directly and indirectly to the climate super phenomenon. We suggest you begin exploring deeper corners of the climate change discourse by diving into books related to whatever strikes your interest - sustainable living, systems thinking, circular economy, legal structures, scientific literature, activism handbooks and guidelines, etc.

Below is an assortment of books that are great introductions to deeper topics within the climate change discourse.

Climate Justice
Mary Robinson

The Uninhabitable Earth
David Wallace-Wells

Cradle to Cradle
Michael Braungart
William McDonough

On Fire
Naomi Klein

McKenzie Funk

This is Not a Drill
Extinction Rebellion