By: Alex Day
Summary: For majority of human history, we have lived in areas that fell in a small range of temperatures and that had the ability to produce large quantities of food. At our current rate by 2070 the amount of barely livable hot zones on earth will increase to 19 percent from where we are currently at 1 percent. This would inevitably cause people to have to move for survival. Right now, in Guatemala almost all citizens are experiencing some sort of food insecurities. This is causing children to develop with weak bones, bloated stomachs, and stunted growth. El Nino, an event of droughts an irregular storm, is becoming more regular which leads to this food insecurity hurting Guatemalans. They are expected to lose 60 percent of rainfall which would than cost farmers 83 percent of water they use to keep the soil moist. This could lead to crop production being one-third of what it is currently by 2070 in Guatemala. So as climate change continues similar situations to Guatemala’s land failure will appear from Mekong Delta to Sudan to Central America resulting in a global migration unlike anything seen before. The area of livable land will narrow down to cooler, northern areas. Although some won’t migrate from these countries and will opt to try to endure the conditions by 2100 even being outside for a couple hours could kill you from the heat in parts of India and Eastern China. Due to these severe conditions the world population is going to have to remap, and northern nations such as the US and UK will be looked to for support. This has caused these northern countries to react by setting immigration laws backed by nationalist governments. Examples of this type of mass immigration have been seen in Europe when Syrian refuges fled drought and war, causing the discontent that led to Brexit. And keep in mind this was with 2 million people. With a current model made by The New York Times Magazine and ProPublica joined with the Pulitzer Center shows that 30 million immigrants would head to the US over the next 30 years. The model also shows the relation between climate change and migration, which is that as climate change increases so does migration. So, if governments were to take action to reduce emissions it would lower the number of those migrating by 680,000 people from now to 2050, if no action is taken on climate change the number of those of migrating per year will be over a million.
Why we should care? We should care because as citizens of the United States we will be looked at as a haven by these immigrants escaping climate change. This can also be used to gain support of climate change policies by those worried about immigration.
What I found interesting about the article is that valid issues each party in America are concerned about, immigration and climate change, are closely related. Issues of immigration can be helped relieved by combating climate change. By keeping the climate sustainable for these southern countries, it will reduce the need for them to leave their land and migrate north. This rhetoric could be used as a way to convince others that combating climate change is important and won’t only create new jobs but protect those jobs as well as other jobs too. But unfortunately, I do not see this being the route taken by the government and politicians.
Science in Action.
Abrahm Lustgarten is a Senior Environmental Reporter at ProPublica.
I believe this scientist’s research is extremely relevant to the issues discussed in the blog, because he is also a reporter. As a reporter he documented the actual stories of people who were in these unfortunate situations due to climate change and had no other options but to migrate north. Abrahm meet a man in Guatemala named Jorge who was a farmer effected by El Nino due to it destroying his crops that he needed to support his family. He eventually signed away his house for an advanced for seeds that were also destroyed by El Nino. So, he pawned off his remaining goats at a 100 percent interest to afford to pay for his families migration. Abrahm also went on to form a team with other organizations to create a model for this exact situation of climate change’s effect on immigration.