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A Review of "Climate Change, Migration, and Civil Strife"

During my freshman year, I was feeling outraged and discouraged about the climate crisis. It was overwhelming to realize that certain populations are disproportionately affected by our changing climate. I was blinded by the way influencers have instead painted a sustainable lifestyle as a buzzy aesthetic choice, more for Instagram posts rather than as a functional way to live. They leave out issues like environmental racism, climate refugees, and sustainable cities. These topics aren’t mentioned very often in discussions of the crisis, but I think they should be.

However, the article “Climate Change, Migration, and Civil Strife,” brings light to the intersection of human migration and climate change. Everything in our ecosystem is connected. Evidence shows that the changing climate is causing the displacement of communities, whether voluntary or forced. “Climate change is expected to displace vast populations from rural to urban areas.” Although this initially does not seem concerning, urban areas will eventually not be able to support this spike in population. The cycle continues. Many will continue their migration into more unlivable environments. Places like the African Sahel, the Middle East, and North Africa (MENA), the “Dry Corridor” in Central America, and South Asia are some of the most dangerous places for migration. Billions will be faced with unpredictable weather (draughts, hot temperatures) and food insecurity.

A reason why we are faced with these problems is that European migrants have failed to address population movement in the latter half of the 20th century. “It has taken too long for migration to finally be recognized not only as a consequence of instability but as an adaptation strategy for the changing climate.” It is imperative that we come up with a plan to be able to support those being displaced. It is not fair to place the burden upon them. We need to push for powerful governments to “change course now” and to start thinking about sustainable cities. It’s time to adapt to our ever-changing climate.

— Olivia Bennett

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