American Exodus: Climate Change and the Coming Flight for by Giles Slade

By Giles Slade

Some scientists expect the ocean will upward push one and a part meters prior to 2100, yet speedily melting polar ice caps can make the genuine quantity a lot better. within the coming century, intensifying storms will batter our coasts, and droughts and warmth occasions can be annual threats. All it will happen as inhabitants grows, and declining water assets desiccate agriculture. what's going to ensue whilst the U.S. can't supply foodstuff or clean water for the overheated, overcrowded towns the place eighty percentage of american citizens at the moment live?

The excellent news is this total decline of habitability within the mid-latitudes could be matched by way of raises within the wearing skill of carefully populated lands above the forty ninth parallel. This phenomenon means that waves of environmental refugees will commute poleward as southern stipulations aggravate. Our northern lands are our Noah's ark—a important safe haven opposed to the instant of mankind's maximum need.

In this compelling cautionary paintings, Giles Slade argues that we're getting into a protracted interval of world desperation as a way to be characterised via human migration on an remarkable scale. American Exodus is a frighteningly plausible survey of our speedy destiny, however it ends on a observe of desire: we may possibly but live on the arrival century of climatic swap if we act now to defend our shield of final resort.

Giles Slade is the award-winning writer of Made to Break and The immense Disconnect. A recuperating educational with complicated levels in rhetoric and literature, he's usually released in quite a few print and on-line journals.


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If these figures are accurate, it is clear that the proportion of environmental refugees is increasing rapidly. Some expected the total number to double by 2010 and then to grow exponentially as increasing numbers of impoverished people press ever harder on over-loaded environments. Their numbers seem likely to grow still more rapidly if predictions of global warming are borne out . . 31 To my mind, the most significant thing about these figures is that they suggest future environmental refugees will not flee just Darfur or some other, distant location in the developing world.

The others stayed out of dogged determination, out of shell shock, and out of resentment for all attempts to shift them from their hard-won family homes — ​a position best expressed by a contemporary farmer in New Mexico: “They’ll have to take a shotgun to move us out of here. ” 20 As early as 1933, Paul Taylor, co-author of a very timely and admirable book called An American Exodus, observed the ­replacement 16 • American Exodus of Mexican field-hands in the Central Valley by poor, white workers living in the crudest conditions.

17 After widespread mechanization was made possible by government subsidies, the numbers of seasonal workers declined, so agricultural laborers began leaving the region in droves. 18 But the technological unemployment of Dust Bowl farm workers America’s First Refugees • 15 was not immediately obvious because the migrants took up similar work in other agricultural regions. In particular, they began to migrate to California where labor shortages had begun by 1931, when Mexican migrant workers were being coerced into volunteering for repatriation by rail.

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