NewEnergyNews: The Migrant Caravan And Climate Change

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    Thursday, November 01, 2018

    The Migrant Caravan And Climate Change

    The unseen driver behind the migrant caravan: climate change; While violence and poverty have been cited as the reasons for the exodus, experts say the big picture is that changing climate is forcing farmers off their land – and it’s likely to get worse

    Oliver Milman, Emily Holden, David Agren, 30 October 2018 (UK Guardian)

    Thousands of Central American migrants trudging through Mexico towards the US have regularly been described as either fleeing gang violence or extreme poverty…But another crucial driving factor behind the migrant caravan has been harder to grasp: climate change…Most members of the migrant caravans come from Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador – three countries devastated by violence, organised crime and systemic corruption, the roots of which can be traced back to the region’s cold war conflicts…[but] climate change in the region is exacerbating – and sometimes causing – a miasma of other problems including crop failures and poverty…[And experts] warn that in the coming decades, it is likely to push millions more people north towards the US…

    …Migrants don’t often specifically mention ‘climate change’ as a motivating factor for leaving because the concept is so abstract and long-term…[But] US Customs and Border Patrol data shows a surge in outward migration from western Honduras, a prime coffee-producing area…[Many say] changing weather patterns had a lot to do with the problem…A third of all employment in Central America is linked to agriculture, so any disruption to farming practices can have devastating consequences…Climate change is bringing more extreme and unpredictable weather to the region: summer rainfall is starting later and has become more irregular. Drought fuelled by El Niño has gripped much of Central America over the past four years, but the period has been occasionally punctuated by disastrous flooding rains…As a result, more than 3 million people have struggled to feed themselves…With an estimated 150 million to 300 million climate refugees set to be displaced worldwide by 2050, a new international framework will be needed to accommodate them…” click here for more

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