News: Are you concerned about immigration? Then, consider this–a report from The World Bank estimates that Sub-Saharan Africa, South Asia, and Latin America could see more than 143 million people (human beings) move within borders by 2050 due to climate change. This is 143 million human beings added to all the other people that are forced to leave their homes in these areas–due to crime, violence, oppression, lack of opportunity, and on and on.
Okay, you say, but I live in the United States or Europe or in other “developed” areas. How does this concern and affect me?
Well, do you think those hundreds of millions of people (again, human beings) can or will stay in their countries? Countries that are struggling now to handle crime, violence, economic downturn, political upheaval, and more are unlikely to be able to successfully accommodate the size of this additional projected internal migration.
And so, those migrants will come to the United States, Canada, England, France, Germany, Italy, Greece, Eastern Europe, Northern Europe, etc. If you worry about migration now as a destabilizing force (or see it as a positive), what is happening right now will pale compared to the not-too-distant future. And, no slatted wall will keep them out, no outdated immigration policy will suffice, no infrastructure we have right now can handle the movement of so many people–remember, they are all human beings forced to move to avoid their own catastrophe. You would do the same.
Think we are immune to this in the United States? The U.S., by itself, may see tens of millions of internal climate migrants in the next 20 to 30 years, if not sooner. This is in addition to migration from other countries. People–just like you and me–moving to escape rising seas, rising heat, lack of water, wildfires, frequent flooding, and a myriad of other reasons. People from Florida, people from along the East coast, people from Arizona and the Southwest, people from the Northwest and California, millions of people from all over the United States–all moving to other places within the United States.
Will we build walls between each U.S. state?
This is not fear-mongering; this is reality.
Yes, life is changing and will change–as it always has over time. The changes–due to climate change and related pressures–are beginning to happen now and that will continue. Life will be different. But, it doesn’t have to be a complete catastrophe. We need to learn, to understand, and open our eyes. We need leaders who think beyond the next election and not only of personal gain. But, we can’t wait for them; we have to be leaders ourselves, doing our small part, unsung, every day.
Learn more: Groundswell: Preparing for internal climate migration (World Bank, 2018).