Climate and human migration

Posted on January 23rd, 2014 by

(Photo by Mohamed Malik,

A boat on Vaadhoo Island (population of about 500), Raa Atoll, Maldives. (Photo by Mohamed Malik,

What does climate change mean for human migration? Will the world be overrun with climate refugees? Wilfrid Laurier University geographer Robert McLeman, the author of the recent book Climate and Human Migration, provides an interesting interview in the weekly news magazine Maclean’s.

“People are already on the move, in the same way they’ve always responded to deteriorating environments,” McLeman says, noting that “New Orleans has still not regained the population it had before hurricane Katrina in 2005, and not everyone will stay to rebuild their lives in the Philippines after typhoon Haiyan.”

Maclean’s writes that author McLeman is “still hopeful the world as a whole will do something, if not about the root causes of climate change, at least in adaptive measures to help keep people in place.”

For more on environment, migration, and climate, take a look at McLeman’s blog, This Geographical Life.


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