Climate Change / Natural Disasters

Climate Change / Natural Disasters

Migration Experts Series | Michael Doyle
Michael W. Doyle is the Director of the Columbia Global Policy Initiative and University Professor of Columbia University, affiliated with the School of International and Public Affairs, the Department of Political Science, and the Law School. At Columbia, he co-directs...

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Responding to Hurricane Harvey and Other Natural Disasters
Hurricane Harvey has caused catastrophic flooding in Texas, forcing thousands from their homes. Many of its survivors are desperate for shelter, food, and other forms of assistance. Among the most vulnerable are the hundreds of thousands of immigrants living in...

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On Climate Change, Migration and Policy

I want to highlight the difficulties with understanding mobility in the context of climate change:

First, how can we responsibly deal with the multi-causal nature of population movements? Can we even talk of “climate change-induced displacement or migration?” We know that decisions to move are rarely mono-causal and that the line between “voluntary” and “forced” is often quite blurry. 

Secondly, there is no consensus in our field about the appropriate terms to use about the people we are talking about. 

Thirdly, there is the difficulty of how to situate those who move because of the effects of climate change in the broader context of population movements undertaken for other reasons. The fundamental question is: Should people displaced by the effects of climate change receive preferential treatment compared to those displaced by volcanoes or tsunamis, in comparison with those forced to leave their communities because of wars or grinding poverty?

A fourth difficulty in the policy realm is that we really don’t know how many people we are talking about.

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The paper discusses two forms of ethnic identification in American society: the cultural world to which immigrants and socially and economically marginal racial groups cling and the “new ethnics” who utilized ethnic awareness to fulfill emotional or pragmatic goals. The...

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CMSOnAir | Pelenise Alofa on Climate Change Migration
Warming temperatures, increasing rainfall, ocean acidification, and rising sea levels are threatening the 33 islands of the Kiribati (pronounced Kee-ree-bas) nation (Office of the President, Republic of Kiribati n.d.a).  The islands, which spread across the central Pacific Ocean, barely exceed...

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