Environmental Refugees?

October 15, 2008

The contemporary focus on global warming has always made me wonder if the future will be prepared for when refugees are no longer fleeing from war and conflict, but instead are forced to cross other nation’s borders because of environmental disasters? With Hurricane Katrina internally displacing many in the United States and the 2004 Tsunami killing thousands and destroying homes, if global warming alters the landscape of the world, how will the international community respond?

An article by Urmee Khan in the Telegraph entitled, “Climate change study predicts refugees fleeing into Antarctica.” has begun to ask those questions and suggests the following:

Refugees are expected to move to Antarctica because of the rising temperatures that will see the population of the continent increase to 3.5 million people by 2040.

While this statement may be controversial and could be up for debate, the international community must start thinking about what impact the change in the global environment will have on the migration of people. Will we be able to respond accordingly or will chaos unfold?