The Syrian refugees are climate refugees. They are not the first.
That distinction belongs to people of the western Pacific island nation of Tuvalu, who are now located in Australia. Sea-level rise destroyed Tuvalu.
Drought, with farmers unable to raise anything for years, destroyed Syria.
Given our lack of urgency in addressing global warming, the Syrians will not be the last climate refugees. Shall we speculate where the next will come from (Bangladesh, the Philippines, Miami)? Shall we wait and see where they come from, or shall we actually begin to address climate change and thereby ease the refugee as well as other climate associated problems?
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Our country's leaders assume that increasing our extensive national security establishment will keep us safe from climate chaos, but that establishment itself warns that it cannot do so, and certainly we cannot shoot, bomb, or burn nature to get what we need to survive.
Each of us must take a hard look at his priorities and realize that whatever his cause, it's a lost cause on a dying planet. We had better deal with what a D.C. legislative aid this week called "the most profoundly impactful issue of our time." If we do not, you or your descendants may be in one of the next waves of climate refugees.
While doing whatever you can to lower your own carbon footprint, you should also express your concern to policy makers at all government levels. Parts of the solution require changing long-standing government attitudes, and that only happens with very strong signals indicating what constituents want.
John E. Darovec, Jr.