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Question

Are we planning to work on the Mass Migration amicably or are we waiting for the situation to get worse? Climate Actions could lead to a mass emigration of people.

Vaishali Sharma's picture
Manager, IIM - Kashipur

I am a successful and results-oriented professional with extensive experience in Stakeholder Management, Influence & Persuasion, and Strategic Management. I am a problem solver with over 7...

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The climate catastrophe is real, and there's a risk we'll need to see more of it before we reach the net-positive stage. However, I would want to throw some light on the current global circumstances that have the potential to lead to conflict and war between governments and nations.

African nations have a lot of flooding-related problems.
Hot weather is a major problem for countries in Europe, the US, and Asia.
Ukraine Conflicts in Russia may result in a food shortage.

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Large scale migration is always problematic. Those with places on the lifeboat will always tend to oppose taking others aboard. Often the tendency is strongest among those who have recently secured a place on board.

Much better to do what we can to minimize the need for migration. There are three different problems that we'll need to address:

  1. Lowland flooding from sea level rise;
  2. Climate shift -- the poleward movement of climate zones and changes in long-term average climate conditions affecting agriculture;
  3. Extreme weather events. Extreme heat waves, extreme rainfall events with flash flooding, and extreme cold snaps. These are associated with looser confinement of the polar vortex and wider meandering of the jet stream.

There's not much that can be done about rising sea levels. In some cases, dikes can be built to protect large areas of lowland, a' la the Netherlands in Europe. But in other cases, dike building is useless, because the coastal region overlies porous limestone. Seawater will just seep under any dikes built. That's the case in Florida, for example. In those cases, the only option is to artificially raise the land and buildings. That's possible, but expensive. It's already happening to a degree in Miami.

Climate shift exacerbates problems with crop failures, tree die-offs and forest fires, and with invasive insects and new diseases. Not much that can be done toward large-scale mitigation, but accelerating the shift toward indoor farming will help.

Extreme weather events are causing the biggest problems recently. The catastrophic flooding in Pakistan, torrential rain storms and flash flooding in much of the U.S. and Europe, deadly heat waves and deadly cold spells are all examples. One may deny that these result from climate change, since incidents of extreme weather events have occurred throughout history. It's the frequency and average severity of the incidents that are on the rise. Climate models predict that the rise will continue, and they show us why. There are reasonable mitigation measures that can be taken. Starting with "passive air conditioning" for heat waves.

During a recent heat wave in Texas, tens of thousands of cattle and other unprotected farm animals died of heat stroke. In India, it's been unprotected human beings, and not just farm animals, who have been dying.

There's a reasonably cheap, semi low-tech solution for that problem: "cold tents". There are recently developed paints that are super-reflective in visible and near-infrared wavelengths, while being efficient emitters of thermal infrared. If a mesh canopy with such paint on its top side is spread over a region of land, the partially shaded land below the canopy will be cooled below ambient air temperature. There is no power consumed, and I believe the cost of land coverage can be on the order of a dollar per square meter. $10,000 per hectare. That's a non-trivial expense, but cheap for a life-saving shelter from intense heat.

This aspect is still in preliminary planning stage. No action plan is yet made.

First and foremost - follow the science - the real science - not the social media and political messaging, because the first victim of science entering the public domain is Truth. Facts can be easily seen in the Antarctic Ice Cores. They show that the Earth's climate changes regularly.  They show the planet is mainly in ice age conditions, with  briefer periods of warming, such as the one we are in now. What you need to look at are the SCALES of the ice core analysis graph. You will note EVERY prior warm period was hotter than today - up to 3 degrees C hotter during the last one. Secondly, the gas analysis during ALL the prior warming events shows CO2 was a maximum of 280ppm. So this PROVES CO2 is a minor, not a major, contributor to CC. In fact, it accounts for about 12% of the warming seen in prior - and presumably current - warm periods. If you read Callander's 1938 paper where he first estimates the impact of CO2 on warming, you will get the response equation that the IPCC is still using today (despite all the BS about how complex their models are). to 'predict' the impact of CO2 on CC. Incidentally, you will also read that Callander was calling for MORE CO2 to be introduced into the atmosphere(!) - because he wanted to delay the onset of the next ice age. So, if you believe that reducing CO2 is going to change anything - sorry to disappoint! The only viable thing to do is expect further warming and mitigate, because you cannot avoid it, and anyone who tells you different is after your money.

There is no climate catastrophe. All statistics clearly demonstrate that fewer people are dying from extreme weather and the weather in general.

 There is no need to panic just because the left want to stamped the populace into lining the pockets of the investor class that bankrolls the socialist agenda.

Continue with efforts to wisely use energy and we will all do just fine.

The reality is that we're doing virtually nothing in this context. Let's acknowledge at the outset that this is an extremely daunting proposition from a political standpoint. It's been estimated that by the 2050s, the number of so-called "climate refugees" could number in the hundreds of millions. By contrast, a few million refugees from Syria during its civil war threatened the viability of the governments in place, e.g. Germany, and helped impel the nativist Presidential campaign of former President Trump. So, the prospect of HUNDREDS of millions ...

In a perfect world, major emitting nations would recognize their moral responsibility to both take in a large number refugees displaced by climate change in the future, and/or to help with internal displacement. However, that's not likely to be the case. From a legal perspective, this is also a very difficult lift. The primary international treaty that addresses the rights of refugees, 1951 Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees and its 1967 Protocol, focuses on the interests of refugees threatened with persecution and war, so it would have to be amended to address climate change as a driver of displacement, and again, that's difficult to conceive of from a political perspective. Nations could also seek legal action against major emitters, such as in the International Court of Justice, under customary international law principles, such as the no-harm principle, or by invoking provisions of the Paris Agreement, but it's likely that major emitters wouldn't engage in such actions. 

It may be possible to formulate solutions that are less fraught politically, however. For example, the loss and damage provisions of the Paris Agreement, which focus on how to deal with residual harms that cannot effectively be addressed through mitigation or adaptation, includes references to climate displacement. Ultimately, major emitting States might agree to establish a pool of funds to help address displacement, perhaps in exchange for definitively taking liability off the table. Of course, how one effective addresses displacement without acknowledging the need for large-scale migration remains a major challenge, but it would at least potentially provide a substantial pool of resources that might help ameliorate the need to do so. 

Vaishali Sharma's picture
Vaishali Sharma on Aug 5, 2022

It is critical to developing a strategy and action plan for resilient systems all over the world.

It is preferable to act now rather than show sympathy or provide donations after the disasters.

This issue necessitates significant funding as well as international cooperation.

Barry Nicholson's picture
Barry Nicholson on Sep 9, 2022

Your comment only makes sense if the developed countries are responsible for climate change, and they are not.

Kimberly McKenzie-Klemm's picture
Kimberly McKenzie-Klemm on Sep 9, 2022

Several incidents in the last ten years or so...the iceberg that broke off of the Antarctic, the flooding of areas such as Pakistan, seasonal wildfires, extended ritual hurricanes every season, and heat waves and drought in the western USA. It seems to me we can always cry at disasters because the pain is global. On the other hand, not all of the migration question is about global warming. Regional repeated disaster zones do influence population choices. I think a "mass migration" fear is unfounded, but disaster relief is a necessary reality. Part of that disaster relief does need to include global warming weather effects. I think our best efforts are to encourage regional recoveries and to employ "givebacks" from more fortunate unaffected areas- (such as "would you like to add $5.00 to your energy bill for efforts of energy relief in _______".). These can be written off in charitable contributions and even out at taxes time. I know I have lived in a few places that practice this sort of donation decision. Also, I like involving further with energy community pairings with organizations such as "Habitat for Humanity," etc. for further energy efforts to rebuild disaster area energy product functions. These are things I know are already in at least partial practice. Tow the line and continue is how I see it... 

Barry Nicholson's picture
Barry Nicholson on Sep 10, 2022

If you really want to prepare, then put a tax on people - say $20 a head - into an international disaster fund. The governments like China and India - having more than half the World population - will finally have to contribute for their destruction of the environment. It would have little impact on their GDP (India GDP= $2.63 x 10^12, annual contribution $2.7 x 10^10) but would provide an annual input of $160 billion to provide mitigation of CC effects, and might give countries some incentive to reduce their over-population.

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