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Climate Change Refugees

Terry J. Allen writes in In These Times:

It has already started. The first ripples from rising seas are inundating low-lying areas, threatening coasts and islands. Climate refugees around the world are fleeing regions beset by violent storms, extreme temperatures, melting glaciers, spreading deserts, swelling oceans and other escalating effects of global warming.

Billions of people are at risk and the number is growing. Environmental stress forced more than 25 million to migrate in 1998, according to a Red Cross and Red Crescent study—roughly the same number that fled armed conflict.

…New Zealand, one of the few countries to acknowledge and plan for the coming flood of climate immigrants, has agreed to accept all 11,000 Tuvaluans, starting with a limited number each year. Many Tuvaluans live in Auckland, lonely and lost, without the support of community and culture, or the skills to survive an urban life based on money.

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Categories: Environment
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