I strongly recommend the following two interactive articles about the great climate migration. Part 1, “The Great Climate Migration,” shows how roughly 20% of the currently populated parts of the world will become virtually uninhabitable in about 50 years. Part 2, “How Climate Migration Will Reshape America,” explores how the climate crisis will increasingly affect migration patterns within the United States. All this raises the question, “where will these climate refugees go?”
(The above research results from a partnership between ProPublica and The New York Times Magazine, with support from the Pulitzer Center. You can also read more about the data project that underlies the reporting.)
These articles display a careful and conscientious analysis of the data. They give the very best estimate of how the current and future climate change will produce more climate refugees and stress on food production, as well as inciting violence and political instability.
Be prepared though. This is a thoughtful analysis using the best data available and not the trite nonsense that pours from the lips of the current American President and his sycophants, scientifically illiterate or dishonest Republican politicians, or those who profit from spewing greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. It provides what is so desperately needed in our complex world—deep, informed, and honest thinking.
However, after reading the articles and seeing the photos, I admit to sometimes wondering if all the pain and suffering in this life is worth it. Perhaps it would be better to just let life on this planet go extinct. While in his eighties, one of my intellectual heroes, Bertrand Russell captured my sentiments as follows:
Love and knowledge, so far as they were possible, led upward toward the heavens. But always pity brought me back to earth. Echoes of cries of pain reverberate in my heart. Children in famine, victims tortured by oppressors, helpless old people a burden to their sons, and the whole world of loneliness, poverty, and pain make a mockery of what human life should be. I long to alleviate this evil, but I cannot, and I too suffer.
But then I think of my children and grandchildren and all the little ones I see in these article photos and I revolt. They should be saved. They should be able to live decent lives. Again Bertrand Russell poignantly expressed my sentiments in this regard. Still in his nineties, in his very last manuscript, Russell answered the question of the possibility of creating a better world differently,
Consider for a moment what our planet is and what it might be. At present, for most, there is toil and hunger, constant danger, more hatred than love. There could be a happy world, where co-operation was more in evidence than competition, and monotonous work is done by machines, where what is lovely in nature is not destroyed to make room for hideous machines whose sole business is to kill, and where to promote joy is more respected than to produce mountains of corpses. Do not say this is impossible: it is not. It waits only for men [and women] to desire it more than the infliction of torture.
I too await such an awakening of the human heart and mind.