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Migration is a solution to climate change, not a threat to security

How to deal with the impact of climate change is front and centre at international climate talks in Warsaw, with a fund for “losses and damages” caused by climate change to developing nations on the table…

Are we prepared to talk about migration as a solution to climate change? AAP Image/Courtesy; SBS Dateline, Supplied by Hussein Khoder

How to deal with the impact of climate change is front and centre at international climate talks in Warsaw, with a fund for “losses and damages” caused by climate change to developing nations on the table. As climate action shifts away from mitigation to adaptation, we need to look at all the options.

One option will be planned migration: helping people affected by climate change to reach new homes in other nations. But such a solution is unpalatable for a number of reasons.

Bangladesh: climate change hotspot

Bangladesh — a low-lying developing nation extremely vulnerable to climate change — is often cited as the prime candidate for climate migration, but what might this look like?

Bangladesh emerges out of the lands that interweave with the Ganges Delta, making it a highly fertile area. These low lying deltas constitute both the means of survival for Bangladeshi people and their exposure to extensive seasonal flooding. This unique geography also makes it a hotspot for climate change.

Bangladesh is no stranger to difficult environmental conditions, but the increased frequency and severity of weather events due to anthropocentric climate change means adaptive capacity and local resilience are wearing thin. This is especially so in regions where damage such as river erosion and rising sea levels are causing irreversible impact.

Acknowledging this predicament, international climate change discussions have turned toward the framework of “loss and damages”. This paradigm highlights a shift away from mitigation and even adaptation (or at least recognises limitations of these approaches) towards compensation.

Dhaka in Bangladesh, a megacity of 15 million, is expected to reach 40 million by 2050. The slums of Dhaka house a constant influx of internal migrants arriving from climate-affected regions.

Rapid urbanisation, as a result of the massive migration from rural to urban regions, is expected only to increase. This issue is compounded by local political and economic exploitation of workers, ongoing evictions and corrupt land deals making the lives of “slum dwellers” precarious.

In an ideal world, solutions for adapting to climate change would be found within a country. But, considering the catastrophic impacts nations like Bangladesh face, more drastic solutions need to be found. One of these could be international migration, or what has been called “migration as adaptation”.

Why migration is a tough sell

There are several (complex) reasons why migration has been sidelined in international climate talks.

First, there are practical and conceptual difficulties. Migration has many causes, and it is very difficult to pinpoint climate as the definitive driver. Migration can be an economic opportunity or forced displacement, voluntary or coerced.

Before we can even think about using migration as a solution to climate change, we need to decide how to distinguish between these categories, and what protection to give each.

Second, migration has become unrelentingly “securitised”: it is framed as a threat to national sovereignty. This places national interests over potential global solutions.

In a recent article on The Conversation, Athol Yates suggests treating climate change the same way we treat asylum seekers: as a threat to national security. This would allow climate change to be dealt with “using emergency methods”.

But this is dangerous thinking, because it reiterates the use of exclusion techniques, extending a “stop the boats” logic towards all peoples making unplanned journeys across the seas.

Migration matters do not need further securitisation. Instead, they need an ethic of hospitality, however conditional this might be. If securitisation is to be truly useful, it needs to include “human security”, that is, concern and protection of vulnerable human lives left insecure as a result of climate change.

Third, we’re still dealing with a legacy of environmentalist campaigns in the 1980s and 1990s, which proclaimed a “flood” of climate “refugees”. This has contributed to a misunderstanding of the issue. Slowly, we’re beginning to understand how, when, and why people move, but we need to communicate this to a fearful public.

While figures of climate-driven displacement and migration vary wildly, there is little disagreement over the fact the issue is real and urgent. The International Organisation for Migration notes that 200 million environmental migrants is the most commonly cited prediction by 2050. The possibility of this future should give us pause to consider more humane and ethical alternatives before we reach the point of declaring climate change a national emergency.

So back to Bangladesh. International migration, or as Dr Atiq Rahman of the Bangladesh Centre for Advanced Studies has put it “planned migration”, has the potential to alleviate some of the urban and rural stresses facing Bangladesh.

Climate debate has shifted from “mitigation” to “adaptation” and now to “losses and damages”. Planned migration now needs to be a part of this debate. In this sense, hospitality to affected countries from the industrial countries responsible for climate change must be seen as either a mode of adaptation or a form of compensation for profound losses and damages caused by climate change.

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76 Comments sorted by

  1. John Newlands

    tree changer

    Suggested time saver..let's agree the following comments are racist and xenophobic so it doesn't need repeating. First of all why is that people tend to migrate from countries with a high population to those with a low population? You'd almost think they are to some extent the architects of their own misfortune. Perhaps Bangladesh for example has a more sustainable population of 15m not over 150m.

    Secondly there is a fair presumption that the climate refugee's per capita emissions will increase…

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    1. Andrew Gilmour

      logged in via Facebook

      In reply to John Newlands

      John, I am a moral guardian :), and support your views. (Ouch I feel the moral guardians sharpening their knives and know the names already :)

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    2. Mike Swinbourne

      logged in via Facebook

      In reply to John Newlands

      ".... First of all why is that people tend to migrate from countries with a high population to those with a low population?...."

      That's how nature works John - and we are animals after all. It's called density dependent dispersal.

      ".... Therefore I suggest it doesn't merely shift the problem but increases it...."

      I agree - particularly if the people are moving from a country with low per capita emissions (eg Bangladesh) to one with high per capita emissions (eg Australia).

      ".... We should lead by example by cutting our emissions and helping other countries with adaptation measures such as flood control...."

      Small problem with this really simple, straightforward and logical concept - our current government.

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    3. john tons

      retired redundant

      In reply to John Newlands

      Having sharpened my knife, I write in support of your comments. Elaine Kelly seems to have little understanding of both migration and climate change.
      To treat migration as a solution to climate change makes the assumption that people would naturally prefer to live in Australia to the country of their birth. Having worked with migrants (and being a migrant myself) I can assure you that is false. Just as Peter Allen still called Australia home so most migrants will continue to call the land of…

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    4. Eric Ireland

      logged in via Facebook

      In reply to John Newlands

      I can understand the argument, but to my mind, everyone has a right to live a decent life. I want to help poor people attain a better standard of living, not keep them poor so that their carbon footprint remains low.

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  2. Comment removed by moderator.

  3. Stephen Ralph

    carer at n/a

    As climate change kicks in and the ramifications begin slowly, it may be wise to think carefully of the future.

    There might be a huge "tidal wave" of migration in future years as climate makes it impossible to live in certain regions. Better to consider the possibilities now, rather than wait for disaster to visit.

    Of course it would make far more sense to address climate change at the source, but that looks increasingly impossible. By the time nations of the world agree on addressing the issue en mass it will be upon us and too late.

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  4. Andrew Gilmour

    logged in via Facebook

    Climate always changed for millions of years and people migrated around the world during thousands of years, this is a natural process.

    The only difference is that before there were no boundaries, now we have them.
    The UN cannot effectively coordinate movement of genuine refugees across the world because countries have their own interests and economies un-capable to absorb large amounts of people. Therefore, the task of coordinated movement of millions in the framework of the UN is unrealistic.

    Finally, the IOM link referenced in the article says the following.
    Quote: “There are no reliable estimates of climate change induced migration. …..Future forecasts vary from 25 million to 1 billion environmental migrants by 2050”

    There are two issues with the document released by the IOM.
    a/ No reliable estimates means they have no idea and no scientific basis for their claim.
    b/ Variation between 25 million to 1 billion confirms the conclusion in the a/ above.

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    1. Stephen Ralph

      carer at n/a

      In reply to Andrew Gilmour

      Way way back migration was fine cos there was a whole lotta land and not a lotta peeps.

      With 7 billion and counting, migration is a tad more difficult, and dangerous.

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    2. Andrew Gilmour

      logged in via Facebook

      In reply to Stephen Ralph

      Well, this is what I was talking about before, including in here :)

      Overpopulation is a huge issue and in 50 years time it would be very hard to resolve it. Also, if we take into account that scientists work hard to make our lives longer, which is a good idea, but…

      At least we have huge areas of Siberia and Alaska and far North of Canada. I trust people from Cook Islands would be happy to go and live in Siberia, we just have to ask the Russians first.

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    3. Jane Middlemist

      citizen

      In reply to Stephen Ralph

      And now that there is a whole lotta knowledge and technology about family planning, maybe the peeps should start taking responsibility for overpopulating the planet and stop over-breeding.

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    4. Stephen Ralph

      carer at n/a

      In reply to Jane Middlemist

      Absolutely..................the catholics need to talk about contraception, and many other countries in Africa etc need to address it as well.

      Enough is enough.

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    5. Jane Middlemist

      citizen

      In reply to Michael Shand

      It's not about having no kids. It's about producing LESS kids.
      The human population has trebled in the last hundred years.
      Contraception is important as is early abortion. Teenage girls who get pregnant because of ignorance or disadvantage should not be deprived of their youth and education
      I think it was in the seventies that a feminist commented: "If men got pregnant there would be an abortion clinic on every street corner!"

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    6. Michael Shand

      Software Tester

      In reply to Jane Middlemist

      I am all for family planning like you described, it's just often Overpopulation is used as an excuse to blame dumb brown people for all the problems in the world

      Also, if we are talking about having less kids due to the burden they create on the earth.....we should also talk about people being kept alive well past their used by date being a burden on the earth

      There are real questions like, what is a bigger burden, having 4 kids that live till their 40 or having 2 kids that live till they are 80?

      What is a bigger burden, 3 people in africa or 1 person in australia....who really consumes more resources?

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    7. Jane Middlemist

      citizen

      In reply to Michael Shand

      All of those questions have been well and truly canvassed over the years - "keeping people alive" is endlessly discussed by the euthanasia groups. Which countries consume more - all agree one Australian consumes more than more inhabitants of poorer countries.
      The point is that, in general, more people on the planet consume more and pollute more than less people.
      Not rocket science… : - )

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    8. Michael Shand

      Software Tester

      In reply to Jane Middlemist

      No I agree, and of course they have been discussed before.

      I obviously wasn't under the impression that I had just come up with this concept just then.

      But I still find it interesting that rich westerners will talk about population control via family planning and everyone is on board, ohhh yes, people need to stop having babies........none of you stated that people need to stop living extended lives, maybe you were about to, maybe

      So we agree we need to have less babies, can we agree that those living on medical devices that they cannot do without are also a population control problem?

      say your 60 and you need a heart whatever its called.....can we agree that these people shouldn't be so selfish and should just die naturally or be euthanised

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    9. Andrew Gilmour

      logged in via Facebook

      In reply to Michael Shand

      Re: So you don't plan to have any kids Andrew? or you don't have any now?

      Michael, this information is classified.

      On a serious note, though, I have kids on each continent and I am paying alimony to support all of them. I am also a citizen of the relevant countries.
      As a result, I can jump on a plane and migrate to North or South America, Europe, Asia and even Mauritius. Problem solved.

      I hope I answered your question but please feel free to ask if you have any further.

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    10. Michael Shand

      Software Tester

      In reply to Andrew Gilmour

      "Michael, this information is classified" - Gotta admit, that was pretty clever, topical, funny.

      Credit where credits due.

      "I have kids on each continent " - so a little bit of a do as I say....not as I do

      it's the brown people that need birth control aye.....westerners obviously can have kids on every continent

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    11. Michael Shand

      Software Tester

      In reply to Jane Middlemist

      So we can agree to birth control because over population is just such a massive issue

      by no reply to over extend lives? hmmm, a little bit more shy when it comes to honestly discussing over population, really keen to stop poor brown people having babies though.....cos of the planet...yeah thats the ticket, we are trying to save the planet

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    12. Andrew Gilmour

      logged in via Facebook

      In reply to Felix MacNeill

      Re: The ebola virus is a natural thing also...

      Felix, I appreciate your comment but if you look attentively at the continents I listed, you would notice that Africa is not in there :).
      On the other hand, if you put a little effort to understand where the Ebola is coming from. you would see that the name Ebola is derived from the Ebola River, i.e. the river in close proximity to the area in Democratic Republic of Congo, previously called Zaire.

      FYI, Zaire is in Africa. So, don’t worry about me, I’ll fine :).
      You may also tell that Ebola was seen once in GB but that was a lab accident only and I do not go to the labs, I produce kids naturally. Therefore, you can have the same probability as I going to GB to get Ebola, although your probability might be even higher because you might go to the lab.

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    13. Chris O'Neill

      Retired Way Before 70

      In reply to Andrew Gilmour

      "Climate always changed for millions of years"

      Your point is a strawman. The world has not been warming for millions of years.

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    14. Mike Swinbourne

      logged in via Facebook

      In reply to Andrew Gilmour

      "....Of course not, it is going up and down...."

      Not at the same time - right now it is up, even over the past 15 years or so.

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    15. Chris O'Neill

      Retired Way Before 70

      In reply to Michael Shand

      "There are real questions like, what is a bigger burden, having 4 kids that live till their 40 or having 2 kids that live till they are 80?"

      You forgot to include, how many kids do each of those kids have, etc, etc. Far more important than just what the next generation on its own consumes.

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    16. Michael Shand

      Software Tester

      In reply to Mike Swinbourne

      I could only wish that would be true.

      I would imagine people I know would be less blase about popping em out if it meant that your life ended when your children started having children.

      As it is now, people I know are popping em out like it's going out of fashion, 2 kids before the age of 22, and your unemployed and seperated from your partner, Fark, why not aye

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    17. Chris O'Neill

      Retired Way Before 70

      In reply to Michael Shand

      "if you have grand children then your time is up"

      That's not going to solve the problem. A finite ratio is no match for exponential growth.

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    18. Chris O'Neill

      Retired Way Before 70

      In reply to Andrew Gilmour

      "Of course not, it is going up and down."

      Way to miss the point.

      It hasn't gone down significantly since the early 1950s. That was the end of significant global cooling periods.

      What is the explanation for the end of significant global cooling periods? If we keep getting significant global warming periods but no significant global cooling periods then we're toast.

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    19. Jane Middlemist

      citizen

      In reply to Michael Shand

      A lot of people in less developed countries (and also some in developed countries) cannot afford the rent and enough food.
      Until people have food security and adequate shelter I think it would help if we tried to provide basic living requirements and also good family-planning services.
      Colour of skin does not matter - we are all the same species. Over-population is not the only problem relating to environmental degradation but I think it plays a part.
      I also think it is more humane for contraception to be used to prevent unplanned births rather than wait until they don't have enough to eat before taking action…

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    20. Elena Berwick

      Accountant

      In reply to Doug Hutcheson

      Doug Hutcheson wrote to andrew: "it is going up and down": when do you predict it will start going down again?"

      Looking at the graph provided below by Andrew

      http://www.brighton73.freeserve.co.uk/gw/paleo/400000yearslarge.gif

      we have about 10000-15000 years of going up and then we would go perfectly down.

      Also, looking at the graph, the earth's temperature varied for the last 400000 years by 10 degrees even without people, so it is not like we would be baking. Doug, for the last years it is quite cold in Melbourne, so if we have a couple of degrees more I would not mind :). At least our power bills would be smaller. We always have to look at the bright side instead of concentrating on the black :)

      Also, for the next 10000 anything may happen, including a black hole can eat our planet much faster than we would toast.

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    21. Jane Middlemist

      citizen

      In reply to Michael Shand

      Re "your time is up"
      But the childcare system for most mothers returning to work is Grandparents - free, reliable, all hours, weekends included…

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    22. Chris O'Neill

      Retired Way Before 70

      In reply to Elena Berwick

      "we have about 10000-15000 years of going up"

      10000-15000 years of going up at 2 degrees per century will give around 200-300 degrees warmer.

      At least you agree we're toast.

      "for the next 10000 anything may happen, including a black hole can eat our planet"

      So how long ago did the last black hole eat our planet? Never?!

      Like all denialists, ignorance is your strong point.

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    23. Evelyn Haskins

      retired

      In reply to Chris O'Neill

      Sounds like my Mum when my sister broke a glass and said that it just broke -- she didn't do anthing to it.

      My Mum said -- "Don't be silly -- I've had that glass for years and it's never broken before!"

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    24. Evelyn Haskins

      retired

      In reply to Chris O'Neill

      Hmmm.

      What about the "Little Ice Age"?
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Little_Ice_Age

      Or the Settlement of Greenland duing the mediaeval warm period?
      http://www2.sunysuffolk.edu/mandias/lia/vikings_during_mwp.html

      Or simply just the Ice Ages
      http://io9.com/everything-you-need-to-know-about-the-five-ice-ages-of-471281603

      I remember learning at school in the deep dark ages, before 'climate change', that we were living in a 'receding ice age'.

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    25. Chris O'Neill

      Retired Way Before 70

      In reply to Evelyn Haskins

      So we should live every day on the assumption that the earth will be eaten by a black hole tomorrow.

      You'd make a great planner.

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    26. Andrew Gilmour

      logged in via Facebook

      In reply to Chris O'Neill

      No probs Chris whatsoever because 200-300 degrees is coming from your mind rather than from the reality.

      And the reality is that, as confirmed form the UN report referenced in this article, they have no idea and no reliable estimates of how many climate refugees would be seen (25 million - 1 billion is the best estimate :) )

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    27. Evelyn Haskins

      retired

      In reply to Andrew Gilmour

      Hi Andrew.Chris and others.

      Can you all please tell me what all this has to do with the assertion that accepting 'illegal immigrants" who come here in leaky boats, will alieviate "Climate Change" ?

      In the meantime, while you ponder this, you all might desist from spouting so much hot air. I'm sure that the poor climate will be grateful.

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    28. Chris O'Neill

      Retired Way Before 70

      In reply to Andrew Gilmour

      I'm not the clown who said:

      "we have about 10000-15000 years of going up"

      Perhaps you'd better read what it is you're replying to.

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    29. Chris O'Neill

      Retired Way Before 70

      In reply to Evelyn Haskins

      "you all might desist from spouting so much hot air."

      Probably a good idea for you to take your own advice.

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    30. Andrew Gilmour

      logged in via Facebook

      In reply to Chris O'Neill

      Of course you are not Chris. You and Co are the clowns who are now saying that the temperature may rise by 300-500 degrees, see Felix’s message in this thread. Such predictions and accuracies are absolutely similar to the UN prediction that the number of climate refugees would be between 0.025 -1 billion and this range is not a surprise either because the whole climate “science” works with this accuracy of prediction.

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    31. Chris O'Neill

      Retired Way Before 70

      In reply to Andrew Gilmour

      "Of course you are not Chris."

      Then why did you imply I did?

      By the way, you're probably one of the clowns who says there's been no global warming for 15 years.

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    32. Andrew Gilmour

      logged in via Facebook

      In reply to Chris O'Neill

      likewise, you are one of the clowns saying that global warming is occuring for 15 years.
      Next what?

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    33. Chris O'Neill

      Retired Way Before 70

      In reply to Andrew Gilmour

      As I said before, like all denialists, ignorance is your strong point.

      Where is your data that says there is no global warming for 15 years and how certain are you?

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  5. Paul Prociv

    ex medical academic; botanical engineer at University of Queensland

    “Dhaka in Bangladesh, a megacity of 15 million, is expected to reach 40 million by 2050.” Overpopulation, of course, is the elephant in this room, but no worries – if we can’t sort it out, global biology will do it for us, one way or another. As has been well explained by above contributors, removing the excess humans will not ameliorate the global picture, but most likely exacerbate it.
    The Ganges-Brahmaputra delta is very fertile, supporting massive human population growth, only because of…

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    1. Chris O'Neill

      Retired Way Before 70

      In reply to Paul Prociv

      "It irritates me to see dramatic footage of collapsing banks and houses washed away being presented as evidence of global climate change"

      Maybe that's not the purpose of showing the footage. There is, as everyone should know, ample evidence of global warming.

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    2. Doug Hutcheson

      Poet

      In reply to Paul Prociv

      Paul "I doubt very much that sea level rises there over recent years have been sufficient to exacerbate the problem". Perhaps not, but rising sea levels are affecting natural aquifers through salt intrusion. Erosion/inundation are not the only problems they face, poor b***gers.

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  6. James Hulse

    health professional

    This article makes a lot of sense.
    Fat chance in this country in the foreseeable while we are being governed by the stupid.
    We are also becoming stupid IMHO - can't blame News Corpse for everything.

    That old joke about migration from NZ to Oz raising the IQ of both countries is starting to make sense. Like attracts like (pull factor). But refugees are just desperate to leave a bad place (push factor).

    Taking in climate refugees, as opposed to those who come for the brain-dead lifestyle, would likely raise the national IQ.

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  7. Chris O'Neill

    Retired Way Before 70

    "we’re still dealing with a legacy of environmentalist campaigns in the 1980s and 1990s, which proclaimed a “flood” of climate “refugees”."

    Is there actually a citation for something that happened in the 1980s or 1990s? Your citation just describes an article from 2001.

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    1. Elaine Kelly

      Chancellor's Postdoctoral Fellow in Cultural Studies at University of Technology, Sydney

      In reply to Chris O'Neill

      Hi Chris,

      thanks for your question and interest in the issue. You are right to note that I included a link to a more recent article which demonstrates the ongoing use of the rhetoric of waves and flooding in relation to climate migration. The earlier work which tended to utilise frightening language includes Norman Myers (I've included a reference below). Of course, this language is present in non-climate driven migration too - in fact it has a very long history, often tied up in racist stereotypes too (which is also what makes its use potentially dangerous).

      Myers, N. (1993). Ultimate Security: The Environmental Basis of Political Instability. New York and London. W. W. Norton & Company, Inc.

      Elaine

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  8. Chris O'Neill

    Retired Way Before 70

    "hospitality to affected countries from the industrial countries responsible for climate change must be seen as either a mode of adaptation or a form of compensation for profound losses and damages caused by climate change."

    The question is, who should pay for the compensation for these damages? Is it the general taxpayer, or is the entities responsible for causing the damage, i.e. the carbon pollution emitters?

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  9. Pat Moore

    gardener

    Seems to be pretty much of a consensus in the comments Elaine that the title of this piece is dyslexic and therefore its argument pc & ideologically correct but actually not so? Humans are like any animals. If they overpopulate a marginal habitat like a massive river system's unstable delta the result would seem to be predictable? Bangladesh is the responsibility of its supporting continental countries, India and Pakistan of which until comparatively recently, it was a part.

    The global heating…

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  10. Jenny Goldie

    population and climate activist

    This article, while no doubt written with the best of intentions, takes no account of the carrying capacity of receiving nations such as Australia. The author assumes Australia has almost unlimited capacity to take any climate refugee who wants to come here. We can't, but we do need to take some - a lot even though the cost to our already fragile environment will be severe. Forty years ago the head of the refugee Council of Australia, Paul Cullen, said to me: "Do we take the first 50 million from…

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    1. Elena Berwick

      Accountant

      In reply to Jenny Goldie

      Jenny Goldie wrote :"Now we know that with a one metre sea-level rise, 17 per cent of Bangladesh will be underwater from rising sea-levels"

      The current trend of sea level rise is 3 mm a year
      http://www.cmar.csiro.au/sealevel/sl_hist_last_15.html

      So, 17% of Bangladesh would be under water in 2013 +333 = 2346. By then I am afraid a lot of things may happen on our planet, including the whole planet might be gone much sooner looking at how the population grows.

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    2. Jennifer Norton

      statistician, researcher, entrepreneur

      In reply to Jenny Goldie

      The problem is, the carrying capacity of pretty much every place on the planet is way over-stretched. Perhaps by a factor of 5 already.

      So, no, there will be very few places for refugees from anywhere to go. Including those who decide to leave Oz--which may also happen.

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    3. Paul Prociv

      ex medical academic; botanical engineer at University of Queensland

      In reply to Jenny Goldie

      It's not so simple, Jenny, with the complex hydrodynamics and geology of deltas at the outflows of big river systems, as their structure is very much determined by water flow, solids being deposited, tidal movements etc.. The delta itself will always form where river water encounters sea water. As more mud is dumped, the delta itself slowly sinks (e.g. this has been happening in the Egyptian city of Alexandria for thousands of years). Should sea levels rise, then the Ganges delta will rise accordingly, and no doubt extend further inland. It's unlikely the local inhabitants will perceive any significant change from previous seasonal patterns, and they won't be losing arable land areas.

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    4. Jenny Goldie

      population and climate activist

      In reply to Elena Berwick

      The latest projections for sea-level rise are 70cm to 1.2 metres by the end of the century though at the Planet Under Pressure conference in London last year, two experts on sea-level rise said 1.2 metres was the most probable. The IPCC had not taken into account melting glaciers or that of the Greenland and Antractic ice-caps.

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    5. Elaine Kelly

      Chancellor's Postdoctoral Fellow in Cultural Studies at University of Technology, Sydney

      In reply to Jenny Goldie

      Hi Jenny,

      Thanks for your engagement with the issues. Population is certainly an issue I consider in the larger project I am working on. The question of what constitutes a sustainable population and how to measure carrying capacity both locally and globally is important, contested and complicated.

      On the issue of migration, given that it is a response to climate change already, it is important that we consider ways to create socially just and sustainable solutions. Australia should be part of this dialogue and an important part of developing solutions (international burden-sharing perhaps?) given our privilege and implication in the problem of human-induced climate change.

      Cheers
      Elaine

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  11. Doug Hutcheson

    Poet

    "Migration matters ... need an ethic of hospitality" and an understanding that AGW is a threat to huge numbers of our species. It requires us to change our view, from national to global. Unfortunately, greed and the profit motive will likely impede any humanitarian movement.

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  12. Jennifer Norton

    statistician, researcher, entrepreneur

    'Climate debate has shifted from “mitigation” to “adaptation” and now to “losses and damages”.'

    Perhaps somewhere.
    In Australia the debate has shifted from mitigation to complete denial of the problem.

    We are a laughing stock.

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    1. Elena Berwick

      Accountant

      In reply to Jennifer Norton

      Jennifer Norton wrote: "Climate debate has shifted from “mitigation” to “adaptation” and now to “losses and damages”.

      I believe we are all shifting with IPCC reports :). Initially they told us about global warming, then climate change, very soon IPCC would become just a sustainability related organisation :). However, we could perfectly understand without IPCC how we have to move forward to address sustainability concerns.

      So, we are laughing because the IPCC makes us to do so :)

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  13. Elena Berwick

    Accountant

    It looks like almost all usual climate suspects are in here except the child care professional, Sean and a couple of more climate scientists :). My point is if you guys would like to discuss the climate change stuff and whether we cause it or not, you are welcome to go to this topic
    https://theconversation.com/is-australia-shirking-its-international-climate-commitments-20312
    at The Con and keep going there. The topic has 678 comments by now :).

    If we keep going to discuss the migration issues…

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  14. David Arthur

    resistance gnome

    "Migration is a solution to climate change" ?

    Err, not really; more like, "migration is a response to climate change".

    The only solution to climate change is to get atmospheric greenhouse gas content back to the range 300-350 ppm CO2-e (ref 1 "A safe operating space for humanity", Rockstrom et al, Nature 2009, http://steadystate.org/wp-content/uploads/2009/12/Rockstrom_Nature_Boundaries.pdf; ref 2 "Target Atmospheric CO2: Where Should Humanity Aim?", Hansen et al (2008), http://arxiv.org/pdf/0804.1126.pdf).

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  15. Evelyn Haskins

    retired

    How can migration possibly be an 'answer' to climate change?

    The present problem is simply too many people. Spreading these excess people to areas of a less dense ppulation does nothig more than increase the amount of alienated land.

    Read your Malthus.

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  16. Evelyn Haskins

    retired

    The Ganges Delta is a Delta -- aka mud flats growing out to sea due to the mud load in the river.

    King Canute (Knut) knew that humans cannot control the sea -- but 'planners' seem to forget that.

    I cannot understand exactly why a delta is a 'hot spot' for climate change either. It is no more nor less than a delta which will be subject to increased flooding should the sea level rise.

    And rises and falls in the sea level have been a part of the earths condition since many more years than humans have existed. Since before the days when life that left fossil traces had even appeared.

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