The Climate Crisis Is Already Creating Climate Refugees

by Pedro Borges
(Los Angeles, California)

Last year in California the city of Paradise burned to the ground. Two years ago, hurricane Maria decimated Puerto Rico leaving thousands homeless. Recently, Hurricane Dorian has destroyed parts of the Bahamas so severely, they’ll never be the same. Tens of thousands no longer have a place to call home. What are these people going to do as a result of this extreme weather event? They’re going to move.

The climate crisis isn’t going to be an issue just for future generations - it’s an issue now. Tens of thousands of human beings are relocating, showing up at borders, seeking asylum, with nowhere to go. Who takes them in? Who pays for the rebuilding? Who creates sustainable infrastructure so these places in severely affected areas don’t have to constantly go through this?

These are all questions we’re not even thinking of asking as a society. This is how wars are started. This is how food shortages begin. We, as a whole, need to stop being so nearsighted and start thinking long term. We know parts of Florida are going to be underwater, we know areas of Indonesia are going disappear, we know areas of India and the Middle East are going to become so hot that they become uninhabitable. The question is: do we know what we do when the first mass wave of climate refugees starts to move?

Here’s a video of a fictional scenario of the first wave of climate refugees arriving. It’s terrifying.

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