Monday, June 18, 2007

Climate refugees

Somalian refugees

The year 2050 is not that far away. Sure, I'll be dead by then but I'm pretty old. For people just starting out or for those in the "prime of life", forty-three years is really a short time. Take a look at this Reuters article entitled "Global warming to multiply world's refugee burden":

BEIRUT (Reuters) - If rising sea levels force the people of the Maldive Islands to seek new homes, who will look after them in a world already turning warier of refugees?

The daunting prospect of mass population movements set off by climate change and environmental disasters poses an imminent new challenge that no one has yet figured out how to meet.

People displaced by global warming -- the Christian Aid agency has predicted there will be one billion by 2050 -- could dwarf the nearly 10 million refugees and almost 25 million internally displaced people already fleeing wars and oppression.

"All around the world, predictable patterns are going to result in very long-term and very immediate changes in the ability of people to earn their livelihoods," said Michele Klein Solomon of the International Organisation of Migration (IOM).

"It's pretty overwhelming to see what we might be facing in the next 50 years," she said. "And it's starting now."

It's starting now. It's simply going to grow to a billion by 2050. So who is going to take these people? How are they going to manage?

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