After the election of Donald Trump, people concerned about climate change will be searching for ways to convince the world’s most powerful climate denier that he should address the greatest challenge of our time. And what better way than presenting climate change as a threat to national security and a driver of unprecedented flows of refugees?
Yesterday, an international group of military leaders declared that climate change would create an “unimaginable” refugee crisis. These are fears that the U.S. military and politicians have expressed before. But this time, migrants and refugees have been described as a key source of violence and chaos.
It’s certainly true that climate change will reshape patterns of migration across the world. But using the specter of hoards of refugees to scare governments into doing something about climate change won’t work.
Presenting refugees and migrants as a cause of war, chaos, and terrorism is both inaccurate and unhelpful. It just fuels existing fear and prejudice against refugees. And now that an aggressively anti-immigrant president is about to take power in Washington, it’s particularly dangero... Read more