Some Reasons For low Disability Response To Impacts of Global Warming On Them
by Conny Bellemakers
(St Odilienberg, Netherlands)
Yes, differences in temperature is also with me the number one issue that comes up. But that's because heart failure (for me) can be a more serious problem during warm weather and because great fluctuations of temperatures cause heart problems.
On the other hand, what can we – Dutch people with disabilities – contribute ourselves to minimisation of of climate change? This thought makes me feel that I have to start taking notice of my computer's energy use – even though a pc represents a basic need for me. Or be conscious of the charge needed for my electric wheelchair batteries or of substituting a regular globe for a fluorescent one (a neighbour or friend has to do this for me in any case) and so on. Would such concerns perhaps explain why there is a low response by disabled people on impacts upon them from global warming?
Recently the City of Amsterdam installed three public electric battery charging points – for electric scooters of their youthful owners. These are climate-friendly because of fewer emissions, less fossil fuel use etc.
Originally, their scooters had batteries which lasted for 70 km. After that it needed a charge for 7-8 hours. These youth consumers thought of this radius as too small and charge time too long. No problem! Immediately the market jumped to meet their wants: batteries grew smaller, easier to replace and the charge time was reduced to 3 hours. Public charge up points soon followed!
But... wheelchair- and scoot-mobile users remain stuck with batteries with a low radius and a charge-up time of 8-10 hours! And that, while mobility of wheelchair-using citizens is so limited in many ways.
Would such citizens first need to be "climate-change functional" before they get their needs met?