Climate change, natural disasters and environmental refugees

heat and climate change in Africa

Both the current refugee situation and the topic of climate change are hotly debated. Bringing both together, it comes to the so-called “environmental refugee”.

According to the journal science, global warming would drive masses of environmental refugees to Europe. But here the spirits are quarreling! So the question is: is it really climate change that forces particularly Africans to flee to Europe?

Crop failure in Africa

Fact is, the weather is going crazy all over the world these days. The droughts in East Africa are becoming increasingly blatant. As a result, food can no longer be grown and the corn crop (a food that is a major component of African food) fails. The German “Spiegel” reports: “The higher and longer the temperature in a country’s corn production area has risen above 20 degrees, the more applications for asylum have been made from such countries.”

Climate is going crazy

Also in terms of hurricanes and tropical storms 2017 a record was broken. The 2017 hurricane season is one of the worst in decades, with 13 storms in the North Atlantic – Irma, Harvey, Maria and others in the Caribbean, as well as gigantic monsoon floods in South Asia. And it is similar here in Costa Rica. The weather is not what it used to be. It used to be unthinkable for rain to fall in December. Now we had tropical rain in the Hotel Costa Rica on the first Advent! How could that be? Tropical Storm Nate has also already moved through the country this year and has left behind a few casualties in addition to major damage.

Escaping motives are complex

But back to the real question: Is there really a connection between rising numbers of asylum seekers and climate change? Or are these two scenarios coincidental and it’s more of politics and economic crises that drive particularly Iraqis to Europe. There is no proof, but there are always speculations and theories. According to other studies, people affected by environmental change are more likely to compensate within the borders of their own country of origin or at most in neighboring countries to compensate for harvest or livestock losses.

The poor are always the hardest hit

Whether environmental refugee or not – climate change is real. And in contrast to the rich industrialized countries, it is above all the poor countries who really feel it, and these are probably the least responsible for it – and besides, they are probably the most helplessly exposed to him. This can also be seen well in the latest statistics of the Global Climate Risk Index. Storms, heat waves, floods, landslides, etc. caused more than 524,000 deaths between 1997 and 2016 due to a total of 11,000 extreme weather events. Immense numbers that you have to imagine. It should make everyone think and let them act and do something about climate change and the deaths of thousands of innocent people. And if there really is a connection between the extreme weather conditions and the increasing number of refugees, then the Europeans should stop complaining that there are always more migrants.

Climate change is also the reason for endangered polar bears in the arctic.

Economic Growth or Human Well-Being is also an interesting article.


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