Effects of Climate Change Increasing in Intensity


ICNA CSJ

Date published: Mon, 24 June 24


This June, 1400 temperatures were broken as major heat waves soared across the world. 

For this year’s Hajj, over 1,000 people have died from the heat. Of those who died, over 600 were Egyptian, 60 were Jordanan, and 25 were Tunisian. Temperatures at the Grand Mosque in Mecca reached 125 degrees Fahrenheit. Saudi Arabia has estimated that around 2,000 pilgrims suffered from heat stress. CAIR offered its condolences to a couple from Bowie Maryland, who passed away due to the extreme heat. 

Reuters reports that this sort of climate related catastrophe will worsen in years to come. Reuters says, “The timing of the haj is determined by the lunar year, which sees the pilgrimage move back by 10 days annually. While the haj is now moving towards winter, by the 2040s it will coincide with the peak of summer in Saudi Arabia.”

The physical exertion required for Hajj, large crowds, and older populations are all factors that contribute to the death toll. A 2021 study published in the journal Environmental Research Letters found that if the world warms by 2.7 degrees Fahrenheit above “pre-industrial levels,” heat stroke risk for those going to Hajj will be five times greater. 

Although the Saudi government claims to have put measures in place to address rising temperatures, pilgrims have stated that they are unable to rest in shaded areas, with authorities ushering them.

The rising cost of Hajj has also led to many people not registering with Hajj authorities, meaning that they were forced to stay on the streets, exposed to intense heat. 

Rising global temperatures are a cause for concern for governments and policymakers. Between 2000 and 2019, extreme heat has killed an estimated 489,000 people according to the World Meteorological Organization. A 2023 UN Report advises that nations need to immediately stop using fossil fuels to prevent overheating in the next decade.

Climate change is not divorced from political realities, and rather, war, imperialism, and colonialism play a role in climate change and global rising temperatures. Scientists have estimated that more than 281,000 tons of carbon dioxide were generated by Israel’s genocide on Gaza.This is estimated to be greater than the annual carbon footprint of more than 20% of the world’s most climate-vulnerable nations.

Countries who have suffered from present-day imperialism and past colonialism are most vulnerable to climate change. As imperial and oppressive powers like the US and Israel do not meet climate standards, the poorest countries suffer.