How do Poor People Adapt to Weather Variability and Natural Disasters Today?

2007/2008 Occasional Paper
By Dobbie, Philip; Shapiro, Barry; Webb, Patrick; Winslow, Mark

Poor people in much of the world are constantly threatened by the variability of the weather that they experience from year to year. Even without the effects of climate change, weather variability threatens the livelihoods of poor people. Poor people have become very good at adapting to the vicissitudes of their weather, and the capacities that they have developed to cope with current variability are indicative of those that will be needed to adapt to the effects of climate change. Unfortunately, poor people are already close to the limits of their capacities to cope, and the added effects of climate change may push them beyond their coping capacities unless real efforts are made to prepare for changes in climate.