Recently, the IFSW News highlighted the report of the Overseas Development Institute describing the effects of environmental degradation and extreme weather on the most vulnerable: the world’s poor. News of the report could not have had more cogent timing, as the world is transfixed by the tragedy of Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines. My antenna went up at the report finding that “Extreme weather can be the most important cause of poverty”. Certainly, the poor are most vulnerable and at greatest risk when natural disasters strike. They often live on the margins, in the least resourced and least sustainable and safe environments. But it seems to me that poverty and natural disaster exist in a symbiotic relationship, where each exacerbate the effect of the other. While extreme weather certainly worsens the plight of the poor, and increases the depth of their poverty and dependence, does it “cause” poverty? Surely, economic and social structural inequality contributes most to the creation of poverty. International imbalances and governmental impotence sustains that poverty and the effects of devastating weather compounds the symptoms.