Saturday, February 13, 2016

Will 2017 Be the Year of the Great Global Migration?

It's going to happen and, when it does, it will eclipse anything we experienced in 2015. "It" refers to the first of what is predicted to become a constant wave of migrants seeking to move to safety ever further poleward.

Why 2017? Because you can't live forever in a place without water. A report yesterday in The Guardian dealt with new findings that more than 4-billion of us now experience severe water shortage for at least one month per year. As you can see in the graphic below, a good many of them endure several months of severe water scarcity every year. The kicker is that this is a situation that's only going to continue to worsen. reports that severe drought triggered by the latest El Nino is expected to persist across parts of Africa, Central America and Asia into 2017.

Agence France Presse warns that severe, extended drought is threatening food security across southern Africa.

Toward the Horn of Africa, Ethiopia is enduring its worst drought in 50-years and is expected to need tens, possibly hundreds of millions of dollars in food aid this year. Is that the same Ethiopia that regularly needs famine relief? Why yes. The same Ethiopia where foreign nations have been snatching up the best farmland for years, displacing locals from their historic plots? Indeed, one and the same. Odd that you would notice given that this is becoming standard practice among the poorest, most food insecure nations of the world. They're impoverished, damn it. Poor people are the easiest to throw off their ancestral lands. Don't get too worked up about it, though. The countries who most often take advantage of the little folks are in many cases nations we consider our friends and trading partners.


John's aghast said...

Do you mean like kicking the First Nations off their crop growing plot of land on the Peace River to create a big lake? Of course, they could ask permission to farm fish in it, I guess.

The Mound of Sound said...

I think you understand, John, that we're a little better at recognizing First Nations land claims if only thanks to the Supreme Court of Canada. Your point tends to marginalize what's happening, often at gunpoint, to the poorest in other lands.