Evridiki Bersi, Journalist:
“Science, Technology, Environment, Migration:
Climate change as a driver of migration”

In her lecture on Thursday, 19/12/2019, Eurydice Bersi presented the two main methods of human response to the climate crisis is a) mitigation and b) adaptation. The mass population displacements belong to the second category as people move in a process of adaptation to the new environmental conditions. This is what people did since they were living in nomadic state and this is what the animals do as well. At the same time, the climate change of the last decades escalate at a hectic pace, which does not leave any margin to the species to evolve in their local environment. They have either to migrate or to die; and they die. Approximately 200 species disappear every day, we are facing the sixth most massive extinction of species in the history of the planet. Moreover, the more the temperature rises, the more the foundations of human habitation are shaken: the hydrological cycle on which agriculture, livestock and human survival itself depends is changing. The deserts are expanding and rising sea levels are eroding the coastlines.

Population displacements in this case are not as massive and temporally localized as when a cyclone approaches, but are also triggered by climate change. In 2018 natural disasters caused 17m displacements, of which only 1m from earthquakes and volcanoes. Most of them were due to disasters related to extreme weather events. We are here today, with tenths of fever. In the future it is certain that the temperature will go up and the only question is how much. This question is crucial because we all know the difference between having a fever up to 41 and up to 43 degrees. Moderate global warming scenarios predict that by 2050, 300 million people will have to face a flood at least once a year and half of them will be permanently flooded. They will have to move again.

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