irony of climate refugee

Topics: Bangladesh, Climate change, Climate Pages: 5 (1543 words) Published: February 14, 2014


Climate change is today the cause of movements of people and in future is expected up to 200 million people getting affected unless drastic changes will happen, for instance by introducing significantly more renewable energy. Climate change does not only force people to flee, it can also cause wars. The war in Sudan between north and south has several causes, but one of them is climate change because there are shortages of food and water. The war in Sudan is described by some as the world's first climate war. It is mostly developing countries that are affected by climate change, namely Africa and Asia. This is ironic since these countries have not contributed as much to pollution as the industrialized countries that only have minor annoyances because of climate change. In Asia there are large rural areas of Bangladesh that are very low lying and as a result of climate change increases sea level and has displaced thousands of people.

of global warming and the expected scale of climate change are becoming repetitious and tiresome, as are the endless debates about whether or not it’s all really happening and what’s causing it. The models and prophecies of chaotic weather leading to floods, droughts, heat waves, and monstrous storms seem almost irrelevant if not downright boring. Why? Because they’re already happening. Climate chaos is with us. And about 20 million people around the world have already suffered the consequences. Twenty million is the widely accepted estimate of “climate refugees,” currently defined as people who have involuntarily left their homelands in response to untenable environmental factors. Never before have so many people lost their homelands so rapidly and so permanently.

By TERRY J. ALLEN It has already started. The first ripples from rising seas are inundating low-lying areas, threatening coasts and islands. Climate refugees around the world are fleeing regions beset by violent storms, extreme temperatures, melting glaciers, spreading deserts, swelling oceans and other escalating effects of global warming. Billions of people are at risk and the number is growing. Environmental stress forced more than 25 million to migrate in 1998, according to a Red Cross and Red Crescent study–roughly the same number that fled armed conflict. Even though specific events often cannot be pinned to global warming, the scientific evidence that climate change is radically remapping our planet forms a cumulative, consistent and alarming pattern. Everyone but the head-in-the-sand dolt and the hand-in-the-industry-pocket hack understands that as large areas of the planet become unsuitable for human life, the sad stream of climate refugees will become a torrent. As a resident of the small South Pacific island of Tuvalu recently told NPR’s “Living on Earth,” a man needs only two skills: how to climb a coconut tree and how to catch a fish. On this remote atoll, halfway between Hawaii and Australia, where the land crests a few meters above the sea, the shoreline is visibly receding. Salt from rising tides is poisoning the palms; bleached and dying coral reefs no longer support the fish that support the people. New Zealand, one of the few countries to acknowledge and plan for the coming flood of climate immigrants, has agreed to accept all 11,000 Tuvaluans, starting with a limited number each year. Many Tuvaluans live in Auckland, lonely and lost, without the support of community and culture, or the skills to survive an urban life based on money. In much of South Asia, the irony of climate change is that it creates too little water in some places and too much in others. The summer runoff from mountain glaciers that now provides most of the drinking water to 40 % of the world’s population is rapidly disappearing. And so are myriad inhabitants, forced to...
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