Migration and Climate Change

People intercontinental migrating, putting pressure on areas that are already facing resource scarcity, then, making a place over populated with less and less resources or resources that are astronomically priced. If the people stay in their original homes they are facing issues such as desertification, degradation of soil or issues considering salinization or other environmental issues like sea level rising for people off the coasts or in areas that are already below sea level such as many islands. In the first article I read (Mahnke, Eva.) it posed the idea of being a climate refugee, so leaving one’s country due to issues that were facing the community environmentally, making them leave for better resources. It says that the people can’t seek refuge for environmental issues because of the Geneva Convention that is not specifically said. My question would be, if there is already so much political strife over resources and to whom what country has rights to resources such as water, or oil, or any other “natural” or “renewable” energy source, what must happen for them to change the terminology within the guidelines. I believe that there should be a such thing as climate refugee, because these are issues that we on a global spectrum are causing and it is not necessarily these people seeking refuge that are causing these horrible issues such as sea level rising or desertification of land, drought or natural disasters. There are issues emerging on a larger level now in regards to human resources and the access to resources. The movement of people in to other countries or intercontinental are putting strains on the already scarce amenities. This meaning that there could be an issue with political and social issues and which could ultimately conclude to wars over resources. The places that are at stake for these types of issues are “Bangladesh, already well known for its disastrous floods, faces rising waters in the future due to climate-driven glacial meltdowns in neighboring India” (Werz, Michael, and Laura Conley). Other places such as

“Andean region of South America, where melting glaciers and snowcaps will drive climate, migration, and security concerns. The average rate of glacial melting has doubled over the past few years, according to the World Glacier Monitoring Service. Besides Peru, which faces the gravest consequences in Latin America, a number of other Andean countries will be massively affected, including Bolivia, Ecuador, and Colombia. This development will put water security, agricultural production, and power generation at risk — all factors that could prompt people to leave their homes and migrate.” (Werz, Michael, and Laura Conley)

Therefore, the migration of people is moving to try to find refuge because of environmental crisis shows the rest of the world what we are doing to our country and these people are having to pay for our actions. In Mary’s presentation, she spoke about the poor or underprivileged people that were being exposed to the harmful chemicals by the treatment plants that are located near their houses, this to me parallels to this issue with people being pushed out of their homes. In Chicago, the idea of class genocide was brought up in our discussion and this just made me think about us trying to displace these people that probably don’t have as large as a carbon footprint as someone from the western world may have and they are getting booted from their homes because of our greedy nature and over production of goods and emitting too much CO2 into the atmosphere. How is it fair for those people to not have a choice to relocate when it’s the major players such as the U.S. and China that are distributing the most green-house gases and CO2 and other horrible things into the atmosphere? The people that are seeking refuge because of environmental issues should be able to find a home in another area because they’ve been taken with their right to live in a safe place, and they have no meanings of prospering because their living conditions aren’t allowing them to be healthy, make a living, or any ability to be successful.

Sources:
Mahnke, Eva. “Climate Migration ‘a Complex Problem’.” Our World. United Nations University, 31 Oct. 2013. Web. 05 Mar. 2017. <https://ourworld.unu.edu/en/climate-migration-a complex-problem>. 
Werz, Michael, and Laura Conley. “Climate Change, Migration, and Conflict.” Center for American Progress. Center for American Progress, n.d. Web. 05 Mar. 2017. <https://www.americanprogress.org/issues/security/reports/2012/01/03/10857/climate change-migration-and-conflict/>.