The European migrant crisis is a nightmare. The climate crisis will make it worse

Peter Mellgard writes: The hundreds of thousands of migrants arriving in Europe or dying on the way to its shores could be a harbinger of things to come, researchers and policymakers warn, because a potentially greater driver of displacement looms on the horizon: climate change.

As U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry warned at a recent State Department-led conference on climate change in the Arctic, the scenes of chaos and heartbreak in Europe will be repeated globally unless the world acts to mitigate climate change.

“Wait until you see what happens when there’s an absence of water, an absence of food, or one tribe fighting against another for mere survival,” Kerry said.

World leaders have long warned that natural disasters and degraded environments linked to climate change could — indeed, have already started to — drive people from their homes. UN High Commissioner for Refugees António Guterres declared in 2009 that climate change will create millions of refugees and internally displaced populations. “Not only states, but cultures and identities will be drowned,” Guterres said.

Displacement is already happening in some parts of the world. Almost 28 million people on average were displaced by environmental disasters every year between 2008 and 2013, according to the Internal Displacement Monitoring Center — roughly three times as many as were forced from their homes by conflict and violence. [Continue reading…]

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One thought on “The European migrant crisis is a nightmare. The climate crisis will make it worse

  1. pabelmont

    Kerry is not quite right. Things will NOT get worse UNLESS the nations mitigate climate change. Things will get progressively worse as time goes by, because of the GHGs that are already in the air. Too late to take them back. And every day there are more of them. And every day the earth (land, waters) is warming. Already. Not soon. Now.

    Perhaps what Kerry means is that things will get much, much, much worse even than that if we continue to pretend we have a second option other than immediate and energetic global warming mediation (the first option being, of course, world suicide or something of that sort — the option it appears that our leaders and corporations have chosen.).

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