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Record 42 Million Displaced Worldwide By Climate Change “Mega-Storms”

Record 42 Million Displaced Worldwide By Climate Change “Mega-Storms”

According to a report released yesterday by the Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre (IDMC) (a United Nations-guided monitoring and advocacy organization), a staggering 42 million people were displaced in 2010 by what the IDMC calls “mega-disasters” (violent storms, massive earthquakes, record flooding and other large-scale natural disasters).  The IDMC expressed concern that this number of displaced individuals due to climate-related events has more than doubled since 2009′s 17 million sudden natural disaster dispacements.

Why the profound increase in just one year? Many experts are pointing to climate change, and warning that such precedent-setting weather events will only increase as our human industrial impact on the environment continues to build.

Elisabeth Rasmusson, the secretary general of the IDMC’s Norwegian Refugee Council, said at this week’s international conference in Oslo about climate change and displacement:

“The intensity and frequency of extreme weather events is increasing, and this trend is only set to continue. With all probability, the number of those affected and displaced will rise as human-induced climate change comes into full force.”

Right here in the United States, we have experienced devastating tornadoes across the south, midwest and eastern seaboard, and floods have pummeled states from Montana to Louisiana. Record snows fell this winter in many states of the upper midwest.

According to the Associated Press,

U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees Antonio Guterres called the issue of climate-related displacement “the defining challenge of our times” and criticized the international community for lacking the political will to reduce to [sic] pace of climate change.

Take Action: Sign the petition to keep climate change dialogue going.

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Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons

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93 comments

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8:16AM PDT on Mar 28, 2013

Thank you for sharing.

7:45PM PST on Nov 13, 2011

It is only to be expected that the number of persons displaced by climate events will vary from one year to the next. Simply comparing two consecutive years does not establish a trend. In order to determine that, let us see the data for an extended period.

9:39AM PST on Nov 13, 2011

Thank You for the article..very informative!

1:27PM PDT on Aug 2, 2011

William, I'm sorry, but you are clearly incapable of carrying on a legitimate conversion. I spend hours digging through the science, attending conferences, etc. This next week I will spend seven days surrounded by some of the leading climate scientists crawling around glaciers, taking messages, and recovering cores to analyze. It's a shame you can't be with us, you might have learned something.

12:26PM PDT on Aug 2, 2011

Joanna C. - You win. We work on two somewhat different philosophies. I work at learning every day. If Mr. Gore is your minister for the Greenhouse Effect church, you should get together and apply for tax free religious status. Meanwhile, I will keep reviewing the science and hope I can actually ferret out the truth. Trying to have a legitimate discussion with you has wasted valuable research time. Thank you for your effortless replies.

12:16PM PDT on Aug 2, 2011

William, the site is meaningless. I looked up two of the Ph.D. Aagaard is a biologist, Abbott is retired from UC Davis, where she apparently taught animal husbandry. Neither has a degree in applied physics or climatology. The site would only have creditability if the majority had doctoral-level training in applied physics and climatology.

12:04PM PDT on Aug 2, 2011

William, just because a person has a Ph.D. doesn't mean they have any expertise in climate science or applied physics. I looked up Ursula K. Abbott, PhD. She is retired faculty at UC Davis, School of Animal Husbandry. Earl M. Aagaard, PhD is a biologist. The petition has no more validity than a petition signed by K-12 students.

I asked you whether you have read any of the climate change articles in Spectrum?

11:47AM PDT on Aug 2, 2011

Joanna C. - Propaganda? This you refer as a political site? www.petitionproject.org The purpose of the Petition Project is to demonstrate that the claim of “settled science” and an overwhelming “consensus” in favor of the hypothesis of human-caused global warming and consequent climatological damage is wrong. No such consensus or settled science exists. As indicated by the petition text and signatory list, a very large number of American scientists reject this hypothesis.

It is evident that 31,487 Americans with university degrees in science – including 9,029 PhDs, are not "a few." Moreover, from the clear and strong petition statement that they have signed, it is evident that these 31,487 American scientists are not “skeptics.”

These scientists are instead convinced that the human-caused global warming hypothesis is without scientific validity and that government action on the basis of this hypothesis would unnecessarily and counter productively damage both human prosperity and the natural environment of the Earth.

These folks must be political because they do not agree with you? NO, I do not read Sprectum.

11:20AM PDT on Aug 2, 2011

William, the three links you sent are not peer-reviewed scientific journal sources. They are for the most part funded by industralists like the Koch brothers from all appearance. The UK site is our equivalent of the Tea Party.

11:18AM PDT on Aug 2, 2011

Do you read Sprectum, and what they have to say about CO2?

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Julie M. Rodriguez Julie M. Rodriguez is an arts, green living, and political writer based in San Mateo, CA. Her work... more
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