The ramifications of climate change are very real
So, here in this country, our government asks us to pay a carbon tax and take other measures to help in the fight against climate change. We owe it to our planet and to other less fortunate souls to do what we can to reduce greenhouse gases and lower our high carbon footprint.
The Pentagon called climate change a near future threat to national security.
In many overpopulated sub-Saharan African countries today, we see an outmigration of millions of men from their late teens to their 50s. They see pictures of a prosperous European Union to their north and that becomes their destination to earn money to feed their starving families.
At home, severe drought and erosion-depleted soils have made it impossible to provide basic foodstuffs for survival - whole villages have been hollowed out as this group of males makes the perilous trip north. Climate change is blamed for the encroaching desertification of these unfortunate nations.
As these desperate men make their way, by whatever means, to Europe, authorities find it impossible to control this flow of humanity. These are intelligent beings who will not allow their families to starve when they see a land of plenty beckoning. Many are enslaved, or end up in temporary encampments - trapped with no means to go forward or back to their homes. Many die at sea in rickety boats; but still they come - they have no choice!
In many European countries, right-wing populists and extremists are gaining in popularity at the polls as canny politicians exploit the rising dismay and fear of the local populace. Where will jobs come from? Will the crime rate increase? Will these mostly illegals be a drain on limited social security budgets? All legitimate concerns, to be sure. Demands arise for stricter border controls, fences, deportations, etc. Hidden racist feelings emerge and hate crimes increase.
Here in North America, a similar phenomenon takes place. Nations like Haiti, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, El Salvador are among the most environmentally degraded and deforested nations in Central America. As New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman puts it, “they cut their forests; we got their kids.”
Canada, too, feels the mounting pressure to take more refugees and immigrants from these countries to the south. The United Nations Refugee Agency reported that globally, one in 122 humans is now a refugee, internally displaced, or seeking asylum.
So, here in this country, our government asks us to pay a carbon tax and take other measures to help in the fight against climate change. We owe it to our planet and to other less fortunate souls to do what we can to reduce greenhouse gases and lower our high carbon footprint. Let’s get out of our bubbles and look globally at this precious Earth and act locally to respect and conserve Nature’s dwindling natural capital.
By the accident of birth, we are the lucky/fortunate few to inhabit this corner of the planet. Be thankful, and generous in spirit and material goods to others not so fortunate.
Charlie Menchions writes from Sandy Cove