Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Taking Care Of Yourself By Taking Care Of Others

Scientists are not in agreement on how much ocean levels will rise due to climate change. They do agree that it will rise enough to displace large portions of the world's population. Since humans tend to congregate on alluvial plains near where they fan out and enter the ocean, over 25% of the world's population lives in urban centers only a few inches above sea level. A very small rise in sea level will therefore mean that one out of four people on earth will have to move soon.

It is time for everyone to take a look at our priorities. We have had some recent high profile news stories about desperate refugees drowning because they could not get help. We are going to have a lot more of them soon. We need to get ready for this.

Those people who are shortly going to be flooded out of their homes by rising sea levels will have to go somewhere. We can plan for this peacefully, like the world did with the refugees that were distributed all over the world, from the chaos after the Vietnam war. We can pretend it is not happening and let all Hades break loose. 

Most people are not going to quietly drown and watch their families do the same, as the ocean eats away the land their homes rest on. They will generally fight to prevent that sort of thing. 

It will not even work to try to ignore the fighting that ensues when you have too many people, in an area with too few resources. Fierce wars where people are forced to fight for their lives, produce ripples that spread all over the world. If you want proof of this, start looking at the country of origin on products in stores that you frequent. This includes the produce department. Like it or not, the world is a more interdependent place than it used to be.

I am not even trying to present a moral argument for making plans to take in climate refugees worldwide. If you want to protect your own posterior, it makes sense to make these plans for taking in climate refugees. 

No. It will not be easy to find places for so many people. It will just be worse not to do so.

This is simply another form of disaster risk reduction. You are not merely looking out for people who have no connection to you, on the other side of the world. You are taking care of yourself as well.

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