Friday, December 15, 2006

No Time to Travel? The World Will Come To You!

Today's Toronto Star has a story (Droughts to set off exodus) by Peter Gorrie, about a conversation with Zafar Adeel, director of the United Nations University, discussing the impact of emigration from drought and severe weather afffected areas of the world, and the corresponding impact of an influx of refugees to wealthy nations, notably Europe, Australia, Canada, the U.S. and New Zealand. (Photo: Family Near Aksum Ethiopia)

According to Adeel, the number of projected emigrees, dubbed 'environmental refugees', will "swamp the current global total of 19 million refugees from all other threats . . . " and likely "hit 50 million in a decade . ." (read the full story) This is more food for sober thought for those who pooh-pooh climate change and global warming, taking the short for-profit view over sustainable-for-all.

The advent of the new millennium seemed to promise a new global era of wholesale change in our collective viewpoints: That differences in philosophies could be set aside for the common good, a laissez-faire approach embracing our differences, and celebrating our similarities. But that dream soon shattered. The best we can do, it seems, is to wring our hands in dismay, and stay the 'ignore it and it will go away' course, no matter that it's not working.

Even with the recommended 'fixes' (revegetation, solar power, eco-tourism) to allow people to stay in their homelands (the print story includes photos of Africa's Lake Chad and a desertified area in Somalia), some areas would likely be uninhabitable for many years.

For those who currently don't have time to travel the world, do nothing: In a few years, the world will come to you.

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