Climate refugees

As global warming intensifies, millions of people will be displaced in low-lying coastal areas. In addition to rising sea level, increasing rainfall is already swamping populations from Texas to Pakistan.…

**What Is Owed to Pakistan, Now One-Third Underwater**
**By Fatima Bhutto, The New York Times, Sept. 3, 2022**

**Today, one-third of my country, Pakistan, is submerged under water. After unusually intense monsoon rains fell over several weeks, the waters from flash floods made their way into the Indus, overwhelming the riverbanks. According to climate experts, rapidly melting glaciers caused by rising temperatures added to the downward rushing superflood of epic proportions.**

**One in seven Pakistanis have been affected, with many sleeping under open skies, without shelter. About 900,000 livestock have been lost, and more than two million acres of farmland and 90 percent of crops have been damaged. In some provinces, cotton and rice crops, date trees and sugar cane have been nearly obliterated, and half of the onion, chili and tomato crops, all staple foods, are gone. Over 1,350 people are dead, and some 33 million people (50 million according to unofficial tallies) have been displaced....** [end quote]

Politicians will argue about who is to blame and whether and/or how much more prosperous areas “owe” to areas that are less prosperous but suffering.

Apart from that, the Macroeconomic impact of massive migrations of climate refugees will intensify as global climate change intensifies. Some highly-populated areas will become uninhabitable due to high temperatures, drought, floods and coastal submersion. Millions of people will be moving.

In the U.S., the cost of mitigation will be huge. Federal flood insurance still encourages people to repeatedly rebuild in unsafe areas after disasters. Electric power grids will be increasingly stressed with the need for air conditioning.



The Syrian Civil War was the first major war fought solely because of climate change. An area of the country became too arid to support viable crops. The half million people moved across the country. They found no support from the government. The unmooring of the population caused an armed upheaval. It spread as the different tribes took sides.

Everybody talks about where these refugees will come from. Nobody talks about where they will be going.

Except Tim.

Russia has about 8 people per square kilometer, and Canada has about 3.5 people per square kilometer.

Canada and Russia have about the same fertility rate. 1.58. Canada is expected to raise its population by about 10 million over the next 10 years and Russia is not. The latter expectation is likely wrong.

Russia has an amazing amount of resources when people have seen their farms and homes wiped out and they are hungry and homeless, they will move.

This war that Russia is engaged in will likely have significant impacts on the population and economy of Russia, so much so that it will no longer exist in the form that we have traditionally known it. Even the language could be lost.

It seems we are on the cusp of a great human migration. There will be winners. It is a matter of figuring out who those will be and becoming one.


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Russia has about 8 people per square kilometer, and Canada has about 3.5 people per square kilometer.

And Australia about 2 and the US about 90.

How high is high?

Monaco - 19,361/km²
Singapore - 8,019/km²
Bahrain - 2,182/km²

Obviously, population density doesn’t tell the who story. Wealth of a country might be calculated by a ratio between people and natural resources, but those postage stamps with the highest density are very wealth despite not having natural resources. What also remains unstated is the population density of easily/desirably lived in areas of a country (say, excluding much of northern Canada, Siberia and the Great Desert of Australia - not to mention the Sahara in Egypt).

It’s easy to say "just ship the excess to Russia/Canada/Australia - they have plenty of space, but while the odds are good, the goods are very odd.


Global warming is likely to make India’s monsoon season wetter and more dangerous, new research suggests. Scientists have known for years that climate change is disrupting monsoon season. Past research based on computer models has sugges ted that the global heating caused by greenhouse gases, and the increased moisture in the warmed atmosphere, will result in rainier summer monsoon seasons and unpredictable, extreme rainfall events.…
Warming of Bay of Bengal and the Indian Ocean is likely to weaken the India monsoon further in the near future, which could be accentuated by land mass changes across the country, says a new study by the National Institute of Oceanography at Goa published in a peer-reviewed journal.



Global warming is likely to make India’s monsoon season wetter…

Warming of Bay of Bengal and the Indian Ocean is likely to weaken the India monsoon…

Global warming and South Indian monsoon rainfall—lessons from the Mid-Miocene
Reuter et al.
Precipitation over India is driven by the Indian monsoon. Although changes in this atmospheric circulation are caused by the differential seasonal diabatic heating of Asia and the Indo-Pacific Ocean, it is so far unknown how global warming influences the monsoon rainfalls regionally. Herein, we present a Miocene pollen flora as the first direct proxy for monsoon over southern India during the Middle Miocene Climate Optimum…

Therefore, the strength of monsoon rainfall in tropical India appears neither to be related to global warming nor to be linked with the atmospheric conditions over the Tibetan Plateau. For the future it implies that increased global warming does not necessarily entail changes in the South Indian monsoon rainfall.

Ya pays your money, and ya takes your choice


The Syrian Civil War was the first major war fought solely because of climate change.

Or not.

Climate change and the Syrian civil war revisited
Selby et al.
For proponents of the view that anthropogenic climate change will become a ‘threat multiplier’ for instability in the decades ahead, the Syrian civil war has become a recurring reference point, providing apparently compelling evidence that such conflict effects are already with us. According to this view, human-induced climatic change was a contributory factor in the extreme drought experienced within Syria prior to its civil war; this drought in turn led to large-scale migration; and this migration in turn exacerbated the socio-economic stresses that underpinned Syria’s descent into war.

This article provides a systematic interrogation of these claims, and finds little merit to them. Amongst other things it shows that there is no clear and reliable evidence that anthropogenic climate change was a factor in Syria’s pre-civil war drought; that this drought did not cause anywhere near the scale of migration that is often alleged; and that there exists no solid evidence that drought migration pressures in Syria contributed to civil war onset.

The Syria case, the article finds, does not support ‘threat multiplier’ views of the impacts of climate change; to the contrary, we conclude, policymakers, commentators and scholars alike should exercise far greater caution when drawing such linkages or when securitising climate change.




Reading most of your article linked it is poorly written misquoting people who embellished as if that was the bedrock of the discussion.

The reality is you only posted something that supports further heating the globe. That is nonsense. While the report does not directly say that it is a piece of propaganda for the use of fossil fuels as if nothing is wrong. Or what is wrong is always wrong. More nonsense.

The main thing about the poorly written report it really says nothing while whining on and on.

The Syrian Civil War was the first major war fought solely because of climate change.

It’s pretty absurd to say SOLELY because of climate change.…

Syria’s population has EXPLODED over our lifetimes (boomers amongst us), multiplied by 5. Not a 5% increase, a 400% increase.

How does the same amount of land suddenly (in the big picture) support 5 times as many people? Fertilisers, mechanical assitance to farmers (all envornmentally damaging) etc … and maybe in the best of times it can be done. But any glitch like a one year drought and harvest fail … and it’s turmoil.

And from that population chart you can see the population is on track to keep growing at a massive pace … and it’s not alone, in spite of the population levelling out in Japan, Korea, Russia … the growth in Africa and the Middle east is so overwhelming that global population is still growing at 80 million a year overall.…

Multiplied by the very numerous peoples of China, India … continuing to industrialse using fossil fuels and even increasing use of pure-carbon coal … totally offsetting the effort to decrease in US and America …

Things are getting worse, fast …


I meant of course, overwhelming efforts to decarbonise in US and Europe …

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Mr Plunger is correct, and this is a surprise to me because so many of the big countries, Iran, Turkey for example have replacement or sub replacement fertility rates.

A look at the population pyramid and the fertility rate in Syria shows that they have grown a lot and still have a positive fertility rate. (2.7)

The same seems to be true in Jordan.

Just looking at the data, we may be able to draw 50 to 100 thousand people out of Syria per year for 20 more years. As these tend to be well educated this is a plus of the economies that import labor.

Which brings up a question.

We have been labeling economies importer/exporters based on goods. How do we label economies that require the importation of labor?