Migrants and Climate Change

Source: Thomas Friedman, The New York Times, November 16

When you visit the Pentagon, ask the generals about climate change. Here’s what they’ll tell you: a majority of immigrants flooding Europe today are not coming from Syria or Iraq. Three-quarters are from arid zones in central Africa, where the combination of climate change and runaway population growth are making small-scale farming unsustainable.

Last April, as part of a National Geographic Channel documentary, I followed a group of these refugees from Senegal through Niger on their way to Libya and Europe. Thousands make this trek every month. The same thing will happen in our hemisphere – and no wall will keep them back. You can’t ignore climate change and think you have an immigration policy.


2 responses to “Migrants and Climate Change

  1. Cherry picking the facts. What about corrupt governments and desertification caused by grazing?

  2. Fred, `why’ might be open to debate, but the fact you can’t ignore is that each month thousands of people are fleeing their homelands and going to where the grass is greener.
    Your choice is let them in or let them starve.
    You could of course mount a `rescue’ mission and help them turn their degraded lands into productive ground and a military expedition to rid them of their corrupt leaders.
    Then you could take over the running of their countries to make sure the corrupt elites did not return.
    It’s called colonialism. Cecil Rhodes would be proud.

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