Climate and Global Migration: Connected?
There is no doubt in my mind that as time has gone on and people become more innovated and more industrialized, the climate has changed. Winters are becoming more mild than they should be, summers are becoming hotter each year, fall stays later and spring comes earlier. It has been even more present this last winter to spring transition that the climate change is happening. The question that is brought up is, is there a connection between the people and their migrations? But then a follow up question I have is does the climate change cause people to migrate? Does one happen because of the other and does the other happen because of the first thing? Can this viscous cycle be ended?
First, let us look at some connections. The idea that climate-related migration could generate repercussions for European security is relate to the possibility of large inflows of people from the areas adversely affected by climate change. We have to look at the connections between temperatures and migration by looking at the different warming trends across countries on the probability of migrating out of the countries or migrating from rural areas to urbanized areas. There is a connection that increasing temperatures are associated with lower emigration and urbanization rates in poor countries. Urbanization and industrialization are extremely important for GDP growth.
So what does all of this mean? It means that people move because of how the climate affects their area. But it also means that because people migrate the climate changes. But also what happens when climate changes intensifies extreme weather events? How does the climate impact droughts, floods, and storms, and how do all of these impact emigration rates in poor countries? When natural disasters occur, people are more likely to move, but when people move from rural areas to urban areas there is a climate change.
In conclusion, there is this vicious cycle of the climate causing people to move but also because people are moving there is a change in the climate. Because people are moving and the climate is changing, that means that already urbanized areas are becoming more urbanized which means that the climate will change even more because of deforestation, slash and burn, increase in power plants to provide power for the areas. This cycle needs to end or else the effects will be detrimental. Already this season, in February, trees were already blooming and temperatures were reaching highs in the 70’s. Other than going off the grid and using wells and not using anything that would cause pollution, what can we do to slow the effects of global warming climate change? How can we start to fix our environment?