A new Cornell University study indicates that climate change could force 1.4 billion people to become refugees by 2060 and 2 billion by 2100.
Those who once lived on coastlines will face displacement and resettlement bottlenecks as they seek habitable places inland.
With certain segments of the human population unable or unwilling to control their breeding, on its current trajectory, Earth’s population is expected to top 9 billion people by 2050 and climb to 11 billion people by 2100.
“We’re going to have more people on less land and sooner that we think,” said lead author Charles Geisler, professor emeritus of development sociology at Cornell. “The future rise in global mean sea level probably won’t be gradual. Yet few policy makers are taking stock of the significant barriers to entry that coastal climate refugees, like other refugees, will encounter when they migrate to higher ground.”
“The colliding forces of human fertility, submerging coastal zones, residential retreat, and impediments to inland resettlement is a huge problem. We offer preliminary estimates of the lands unlikely to support new waves of climate refugees due to the residues of war, exhausted natural resources, declining net primary productivity, desertification, urban sprawl, land concentration, ‘paving the planet’ with roads and greenhouse gas storage zones offsetting permafrost melt,” Geisler said.
Droughts, floods and high temperatures are already creating millions of climate refugees and few are finding a welcoming new home.
Cultural conflict between immigrant Muslims and their host nations will continue to drive anti-refugee sentiment in many countries that could host climate refugees.
Now is a good time to start building a new sustainable culture and civilization that is free of the ignorance, apathy, corruption and stupidity that has brought us to this point.