Rising Tides: Climate Refugees in the Twenty-First Century

Rising Tides: Climate Refugees in the Twenty-First Century

Rising Tides: Climate Refugees in the Twenty-First Century

Rising Tides: Climate Refugees in the Twenty-First Century

Synopsis

Global climate change and global refugee crises will soon become inextricably interlinked. A new tsunami of climate refugees flows across the earth. We are now at the moment of truth."

Climate change is with us and we need to think about the next big disturbing idea - the potentially disastrous consequences of massive numbers of environmental refugees at large on the planet. In 2020 the United Nations projects that we will have 50 million environmental refugees mostly from Africa, Asia, and Latin America. How will people be relocated and settled? Is it possible to offer environmental refugees temporary or permanent asylum? Will these refugees have any collective rights in the new areas they inhabit? And lastly, who will pay the costs of all the affected countries during the process of resettlement? Environmental refugees are a problem beyond the scope of a single country or agency."John R. Wennersten and Denise Robbins, from the book

Excerpt

Climate change has been on the public radar for years, thanks in part to documentaries and news reports like Al Gore’s An Inconvenient Truth. the most crucial element of this problem, however, extends far beyond the natural environment; it affects all of the people on this earth. There is little public concern about the people who will be displaced and cast asunder on the planet as the result of climate change. in developed countries many do not see climate refugees as a pressing issue; others see climate change and refugee populations through the national lens of homophobia and nativism. the fate of the polar bear in an age of global climate change generates more public concern than the fate of millions of lives.

In writing this book we have sought to offer a critical survey of climate refugees in the twenty-first century and to discuss the problematic and hopeful aspects of the issue. the most difficult problems in the future will be not only getting the public to accept climate change as a rationale for massive population displacements but also to convince governments to thoroughly address the issue. the world has a moral duty to protect those who are forced to flee, whether by war, famine, or climate change.

Global climate change and global refugee crises will soon become inextricably interlinked. the climate is changing and the pace of that change has been increasing at rates that have startled geophysicists, demographers, and the general scientific community. a new tsunami of climate refugees flows across the earth. We are now at the moment of truth.

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