Climate Migrants: On the Move in a Warming World
Published by Twenty-First Century Books
Ages 13 and up
By 2050, at least 25 million people will be driven from their homes due to the effects of climate change. Although developing nations are especially vulnerable, ultimately, people in wealthy countries will also be forced to migrate. How they adjust to their new homes—and how their new communities adjust to them—will set the stage for a future defined by a warming planet.
A sober warning that climate change will become impossible to deny or ignore in the coming decades as mass population centers are rendered uninhabitable and the relocation of millions of people becomes inevitable. Relocation due to climate change is already a reality. Hirsch looks at the examples of Native Alaskan villages in Alaska, the Pacific island nation of Kiribati, and the Sahel region in central Africa. Droughts, desertification, rising sea levels, severe storms, and melting permafrost, all directly caused by climate change, are threatening communities of all sizes as well as entire nations. By 2050, at least 25 million people will be driven from their homes. Hirsch examines the immense logistical challenges and economic costs of relocating so many people, the consequences for communities whose cultural identities are geographically linked, and further environmental damage that will result from these mass migrations. She acknowledges that climate change cannot be stopped altogether but stresses that the consequences can be less catastrophic if nations take immediate steps to curb carbon dioxide emissions and initiate changes enabling communities to withstand climate-related damages and stresses. An accessible, informative, and alarming look at imminent, likely inevitable environmental catastrophes on a global scale. (maps, photos, glossary, source notes, bibliography, further information) (Nonfiction. 12-16)
School Library Journal
Gr 7 Up–Hirsch reveals how climate change can directly impact human populations on lands currently undergoing environment-related transformations. Hirsch argues that millions are displaced by natural disasters each year and this number will continue to grow owing to rising ocean levels, droughts, melting permafrost, and other environmental changes caused by the effects of global warming. The result of these changes will eventually lead to mass migrations. While climate change is not reversible, Hirsch’s outlook is not all gloom and doom. World leaders have the potential to take measures to curb carbon emissions and prepare for an influx of people in need of new homes. This is a well-researched study of an important issue, with full-color photographs, maps, graphs, and charts. The book is broken into five sections, each of which addresses a different aspect of the crisis. The final chapter also presents a future of climate change and climate migration. VERDICT A fitting addition to a classroom or school library. This thorough volume will be useful for reports and discussions on the intersection of environmental and social problems.
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