Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Climate Change Predicted to Uproot Millions

According to a top U.N. official, climate change could uproot almost six million people annually and the effects of global warming might displace 200-250 million people by mid-century. Steps to adapt to and reduce climate change, while important, will not prevent a rise in weather-related disasters and conflict over scarce resources. The world's most underprivileged populations are often the first to feel the impact of climate change, but they are unable to fully prepare for these impending crises. The U.N. Deputy High Commissioner for Refugees claimed that aid agencies will need to increase their relief supplies 10- or 20-fold in order to respond to future catastrophes.

University of Washington anthropologist Holly Barker provides insight into this dilemma in her CounterPunch op-ed, "The Inequities of Climate Change and the Small Island Experience."