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Answers with Ankita: How imperialism still impacts the efforts of curbing climate change

Oh boy, do I love winter! There's just something about the crisp air, the crunching of snow under my feet and the warm glow of a fire that makes me feel all cozy inside. And let's not forget about the snow! It's just so darn magical. It transforms the world into a winter wonderland, making everything look so clean and pristine.

But this year, I'm feeling a little disappointed. The snow just isn't falling like it used to. Sure, there's been a little here and there, but it's just not the same. I miss waking up to a blanket of white outside my window and hearing the sound of shovels scraping the driveway. I miss watching people glide down Jeff Hill on their moving carts and mattresses, pretending they're sledding down a mountain. It's just not the same without enough snow.

According to recent climate data, the average temperature in Ohio is increasing, causing a decline in snowfall. This is part of a larger trend of global warming which is causing the polar ice caps to melt, sea levels to rise and temperatures to climb worldwide. In Ohio, the temperature has risen an average of 1.5°F in the last century and is projected to continue to rise in the future.

The rising temperature in Ohio is just one example of the larger trend of global warming. And while we may not be facing the same level of catastrophe as other countries, the effects of climate change are still serious.

In South Asia, for example, flooding in Pakistan has led to a humanitarian crisis with thousands dead, tens of millions homeless and billions of dollars in damages. India has faced both drought and flooding, resulting in significant losses to their food production.

In Europe, a severe drought is being called the worst in the last 500 years and is expected to hit crop yields, spark wildfires and last for several months more in some areas.

It's important to understand that climate change is a global problem, and its effects will be felt differently in different parts of the world. However, it's important to note that the effects are becoming increasingly evident, even in countries like North America where the population density is low and the location is less vulnerable.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) recently acknowledged the impact of colonialism on the climate crisis. The report stated that current development challenges, such as high vulnerability, are influenced by ongoing patterns of inequity, including colonialism, which has contributed to heating the planet and destroying its resources. Colonialism was driven by the exploitation of the environment and the subjugation of populations, making it difficult to address the climate crisis in a just and equitable manner.

In recent years, several countries in Southeast Asia, such as Indonesia, Vietnam, the Philippines and Sri Lanka, have struggled with managing an overwhelming amount of plastic waste, much of which is a result of colonialism. Despite their efforts, they are criticized for their inability to address the pollution crisis. Meanwhile, Germany, the world's largest exporter of plastic waste, is named the top recycler by the World Economic Forum. Germany annually exports an average of over one million tons of plastic waste, surpassing the rest of the European Union.

Colonialism has had a lasting impact on the world, particularly on developing or "Third World" countries. It has resulted in ongoing economic, social and environmental exploitation and injustices, including the climate crisis. The historic and ongoing pattern of colonialism, including the exploitation of natural resources and the subjugation of local communities, has played a significant role in heating the planet and causing environmental degradation.

Despite this, imperial powers have not taken accountability for their actions and continue to contribute to the problem. For example, developed countries often export non-biodegradable products to developing nations, causing further environmental harm. These countries are then left to deal with the consequences of waste and pollution while being blamed for "failing" to manage the issue.

It is imperative for the international community to acknowledge the ongoing impact of colonialism and to work towards implementing solutions fairly and equitably. This requires developed nations to take responsibility for their actions and to support the efforts of developing nations in addressing the impacts of colonialism and the climate crisis.

Ankita Bansode is a sophomore studying economics and mathematical statistics at Ohio University. Please note that the views and opinions of the columnists do not reflect those of The Post. What are your thoughts? Tell Ankita by emailing her at

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