Don’t get me wrong. I don’t mean to down-play the horrific reality of what Syrian refugees are going through/have been through, and I also don’t mean to down-play the compassion and pure humanity shown by the likes of the Germans cheering in their new habitants as comrades and as equals. But I do mean to highlight that this is only the tip of a very large iceberg. (You’ll see what I did there…)
All this talk about ‘how to accommodate’ these poor people has got me thinking. In many respects, Mr Cameron, I am tempted to call this ‘migrant crisis’ a practice run… or a warm-up exercise (another aptly-chosen description there) for British politics. I say this because, at the rate that climate change is happening, in approximately 30 years time we’ll be facing a refugee crisis on a colossal scale, and unlike any crisis humanity has had to overcome before. In choosing to ignore or put-off what we now know we must do (that is: switch to renewable energy) we are self-destructing. One of the primary and major effects we can expect from the start of this self-destruction is that large areas of our planet will soon become uninhabitable. The soils of Sudan will become too scorched to cultivate crops as the Sahara Desert expands and the low-lying Pacific islands of Tuvalu will disappear altogether. This, in turn, will result in the biggest mass migration the world has ever seen.
As Ellie Mae O’Hagan states in Mass migration is no ‘crisis’: it’s the new normal as the climate changes:
There is only one problem with calling this phenomenon of migration a crisis, and that is that it’s not temporary: it’s permanent. Thanks to global climate change, mass migration could be the new normal.
It seems like a good idea, with all the ‘confusion’ (in both the media and parliament) between the terms ‘migrant’ and ‘refugee’, to state the definition of a refugee:
a person who has been forced to leave their country in order to escape war, persecution, or natural disaster.
Quite categorically, the developed, first-world countries such as the UK and the US are largely to blame for industrialisation, over-consumption, and the speed at which we have heated up our planet, and thus when the time comes, they will need to take responsibility for our many millions of displaced brothers and sisters. There is no dispute here, these will not be ‘migrants’ these will be refugees and the developed world has a moral responsibility to provide this refuge.
Mr Cameron is currently planning how the UK will take up to 20,000 Syrian refugees over the next five years. Once he’s done with that, I suggest he has the foresight to either start planning the overhaul of the UK’s energy system (that’s if we’re not too late)… or start planning how the UK’s going to meet the real ‘swarm of migrants’.