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The Caribbean and climate refugees

Are Hurricanes Creating Climate Refugees In The Caribbean?   Forbes, , 21 Sept 17 “………Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit declared that 95% of the country of Dominica was destroyed by Hurricane Maria. I suspect that many of the 73,000 residents left the country and with that level of destruction, when can (or will) they go back? Other countries like Cuba, Puerto Rico and the British/U.S. Virgin Islands took massive hits from Irma and Maria as well.Some reports estimate that Puerto Rico may be without power for 4 to 6 months. Places like St. Bart, Anguilla, St. Maarten, Barbuda and Dominica are much smaller, and I am already noticing that they do not get mentioned very much in the social and broader media discussions.

It is for these reasons that I wonder if some of the residents will ever return.  Maria Cristina Garcia is the author of the book, Climate Refugees: The Environmental Origins of Refugee Migrations. In a Cornell University media release, Garcia stated

People have been displaced by climate for millennia…but we are now at a particular historical moment, facing a new type of environmentally driven migration that will be more fast and furious. It will require incredible adaptability and political will to keep up with the changes that are forecasted to happen…..

Garcia is also concerned because climate refugees (displaced due to sea level rise, loss of agricultural productivity, storm-related destruction) would not fall under the current legal designations for refugees. U.S. law bases refugee status on persecution related to religion, race, political viewpoint, or nationality. Other international laws are similar and provide no protection.

The U.S. military is also concerned about climate refugees. A 2011 National Academies study commissioned by the U.S. Navy discussed the various threats and political destabilization that an influx of climate refugees in certain nations would cause. Bangladesh and India may offer a glimpse of such border conflicts already. The same report also expressed concerns about U.S. military resources being stretched thin for climate-related natural disaster relief……..https://www.forbes.com/sites/marshallshepherd/2017/09/21/are-hurricanes-creating-climate-refugees-in-the-caribbean/#163d49ac5e97

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September 23, 2017 - Posted by | climate change, OCEANIA

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