The effects of global warming are wide spread. One such effect would be the increase of ‘Environmental Refugees’. Recently I came across an article in ‘The Times of India’, a daily Newspaper, which also throws light on the ‘Environmental Refugees’.
In a recent conference of American Association for the Advancement of Science held last week, UN projected that there would be about fifty million Environmental Refugees by 2020, fleeing food shortages sparked by climate change.
Environmental migrants or refugees are those people who are forced to migrate away from their homeland due to sudden or long-term changes to their local environment. Some causes for environmental migration are increased droughts, desertification, sea level rise, and disruption of seasonal weather patterns such as monsoons. Migrants are those people who can no longer gain a secure livelihood in their homelands because of the environmental problems together with the associated problems of population pressures and profound poverty. The people facing environmental disasters have no choice but to leave the affected area.
The change in climatic condition makes it worse for the people to survive. Due to global warming, there is a drastic change in the climatic conditions. Winters have become warmer in some regions while there is increase or decrease of rainfall in other regions. The climate change has impacted food security and safety. Warmer winters allow pests that carry plant diseases to survive over the cold months and attack crops in the spring. Increased rainfall would is another result of climate change, when coupled with more fungal pathogens can dramatically impact crop yield and quality. The greenhouse gases and atmospheric pollutants have changed plant structures and reduced crops’ defenses to pests and pathogens.
Environmental changes are especially pronounced in Sub-Saharan Africa. Southern Europe is already witnessing a sharp increase in what has long been a slow but steady flow of migrants from Africa, many of whom risk their lives to cross the Strait of Gibraltar into Spain from Morocco or sail in makeshift vessels to Italy from Libya and Tunisia. Environmental migrants and residents of the area absorbing them may clash over jobs, resources and way of life, and violent interactions such as theft, beating, armed scuffles, seizure of resources and property, murders, insurgencies, and organized militarized violence are possible.
The global economic crisis has pushed down the priority of Climatic Change on Government. If a country is suffering economically, climate change is not going to be the first thing that the government would fund.