New book makes case for tackling climate migration

Recent natural disasters, ranging from floods to wildfires, have illustrated the effects of climate change in the present.

As the climate crisis worsens, a massive number of people may be forced to flee their homes. Institute of International Thought for Economics & Hello It is estimated that 1.2 billion people could be displaced globally by 2050.

Gaia Vince, science journalist and author of the recent book “Nomad Century: How Climate Migration Will Rehahaha World Our World,” spoke with ABC News Prime about the argument she makes in her books that countries should start planning now for future climate refugees, and that they may be There are silver sides to this process.

Prime: Gaia, thank you so much for joining us tonight.

VINCE: Great fun, Mona.

Prime: Your book illustrates that rather troubling scenario, that vast swaths of planet Earth will become completely uninhabitable, but it’s also focused on solutions. How can we all feel so helpless now?

Vince: Yeah, we need to look at the problem differently. Migration is inevitable now. I wrote “Nomad Century” because no one is talking about the next massive upheaval as climate change is making large parts of the world unlivable. People will not be able to adapt in certain places, and they will have to move.

Photo: A firefighting aircraft sprays fire retardant over trees during a forest fire near Belen-Bellet in the Gironde, southwest France, on August 10, 2022.

A firefighting plane sprays fire retardants over trees during a forest fire near Belen-Bellet in the Gironde, southwest France, on August 10, 2022.

Philip Lopez/AFP via Getty Images

But immigration is not the problem. Migration is the solution. If we manage this, if we plan for it, we can actually build thriving cities that save people from some of the worst destruction in some of the poorest parts of the world while solving the demographic problems we face in the richer northern parts of the world. Globalism. So it can actually be a win-win situation if we do it right and if we really plan.

But no one talks about it, it’s very depressing.

Prime: Aside from being a climate journalist, as a London resident, you’ve also experienced the effects of climate change firsthand, during heat waves this summer. Infrastructure is starting to fall apart in one of the world’s richest regions, and now talks are revolving around climate adaptation. Is this a situation where humans are not adapting until the effects of climate change appear in their yards?

Vince: I mean, it’s amazing, isn’t it? Scientists have warned us for decades about climate change. It will increasingly affect our lives. But just when these extreme weather phenomena… We’ve all been through this terrible summer of massive heat waves, and my kids couldn’t go to school, it was too hot for them. Our infrastructure is not prepared for that.

In the United States, the weather was also severe, Kentucky was completely submerged in water, and the west coast of the United States was more or less ablaze with terrible wildfires. I’ve also experienced heat waves and droughts that have killed thousands of livestock… This will, unfortunately, become a matter of life and death, even in the wealthiest nations.

Prime: Gaia, given the current stigma surrounding asylum seekers, migration on this scale is somewhat difficult to understand. However, you paint a very human and optimistic picture of what this mass exodus could look like if facilitated properly. With that, how do we begin to dismantle this political hostility and deal with climate homelessness?

Vince: Well, immigration is inevitable. And in the Nomad Century, what I do is try to make people realize that what we’ve done is we’ve allowed the narrative about immigrants and refugees and asylum seekers to become really hurtful. And immigration, it’s not a security issue, it’s actually an economic issue.

Photo: People fish along the shoreline with very low water in Grant Lake, which feeds off the nearly snow-free mountains of the eastern Sierra Nevada, near Lee Vining, California, August 11, 2022.

People fish along the shoreline at very low water levels in Grant Lake, which is fed by the nearly snow-free mountains of the eastern Sierra Nevada, near Lee Vining, California, August 11, 2022.

David McNow / Getty Images

It turns out that most countries around the world whose economies cannot survive without immigrants… Who would have done the day-to-day chores that cities depend on? We all depend on immigrants. We don’t have enough children in most countries in the northern hemisphere, and as our population ages, we’re going to have a massive labor shortage, it’s a demographic crisis. The only way to solve it is through immigration. Let’s make it work. Let’s actually plan it.

Prime: And in your book, you argue that it doesn’t have to be as scary as it sounds. That could be a win for the entire North, which, as I mentioned, is in a demographic crisis. But it’s crazy to think of what you’re suggesting that there were once cities in Antarctica. We have a segment in our presentation entitled “It’s Never Too Late” that focuses on climate solutions. Do you think it’s not too late to prepare for this?

Venice: It’s not too late. You know, every degree of warmth, every tenth of a degree rise of temperature makes a difference, and we have to fight for that.

This is a serious economic and humanitarian issue. We can solve it. We need to loosen up. We need to reduce our emissions. We need to get to net zero. Then we need to cut that down. We need to pull the carbon we’ve already released from our atmosphere.

We need to change the way human systems work to make it sustainable with natural systems, because natural systems are hard to change.

Prime: And you’re suggesting some promising solutions. We appreciate your joining us. The book “Nomad Century: How Climate Migration Will Reshape Our World” is now available wherever books are sold.

Leave a Comment