On the Run from Global Warming


Center for American Progress – March 1, 2007

This is an interesting article that states that there are currently 25-50 MILLION climate refugees.  This is an amazing statement.  Evidently the UN does not recognize refugees for climatic reasons and so this count is not accurate.  In fact, it is not clear how this count is arrived at.  It does appear that the count includes anyone that has been affected by flooding or desertification so the claim (while possibly true) is likely exaggerated since surely not all of these people are casualties of global warming. It does state that 60 million people live at less than 3 feet about seal level, which would mean that these people would have to evacuate if the oceans rise a considerable amount.  Since the article is quite political in nature, I will also file this in the Politics category.

Center for American Progress Research Associate Teresita Perez reported on this issue in December, and argued that in order to tackle this issue that United Nations and governments worldwide must grant formal refugee status to environmental refugees.

…define a new category of “environmental refugee” in order to better document the number of people who are being forced from their homes and better anticipate the support that they will need.

…climate change disasters are currently a bigger cause of population displacement than war and persecution. And the numbers will only intensify as global warming increases.

The predicted rise in sea level could displace all 60 million of these people, as well as the 215 million more people who live within 15 feet of sea level.

The United States, as the largest contributor to global warming—accounting for 25 percent of the world’s carbon pollution—has a moral responsibility to lead the global effort to curb this phenomenon.

But we must also prepare ourselves for the effects to the environment and population if climate change continues to go unchecked. Inaction is an option we can no longer afford.

Read the article here.

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