Earth Day - Climate Refugees
Earth Day was first held on April 22, 1970, to draw attention to the urgency of the climate catastrophe and environmental degradation and the need for immediate action. Today the need to be conscientious about our environment and climate change is crucial. Climate change is happening throughout the world as a result of global warming. When humans burn fossil fuels such as natural gas, oil, and coal, gases are released into Earth's atmosphere. The warming of the planet impacts local and regional climates. The effects of climate change, however, make weather patterns more unpredictable. That may mean that higher than average temperatures can produce more severe and prolonged droughts in a desert. Unpredictable weather patterns can also make it difficult to grow crops and maintain farmland.
The consequences of climate change include extreme weather conditions to catastrophic natural disasters of floods and tornados. However, one of the most critical consequences we need to consider and hopefully be prepared for is those climate refugees. Since 2008, 26.4 million people are forced to leave their homes due to severe weather events such as flooding, earthquakes, hurricanes, and droughts. Despite the global magnitude of this issue, environmentally induced displacement is not covered by the 1951 Refugee Convention. Most displaced people are in the global south. As climate change gets worse, we're likely to see more people having to leave their countries behind permanently.
Climate change will affect us all. However, those whose lives are already precarious, living on marginal land, or in drought or flood-prone cities and countryside will be most affected.
Let us be conscientious this Earth Day, let's recycle, let's avoid meat as much as possible, let's avoid single-use plastic, let's upcycle, let's go organic, to name a few. This behaviour will help our planet and counter a situation that would affect millions of people.