by Elizah Leigh
Categories: Film/TV
Tags: .

climate refugees

Just utter the terms “global warming” and “climate change” out loud and you’ll stir up a heated debate with almost anyone you encounter — scientists, politicians, colleagues and family members included. As our global population continues to question whether man is truly responsible for the issues that Mother Nature is currently facing, real-life consequences continue to materialize before our very eyes in the form of environmental degradation that forces people to relocate en masse for their very survival. When very unusual seasonal weather patterns end up triggering environmental disasters such as severe drought-stricken regions, storm surges and rising sea levels to occur, we must be prepared to deal with a new eco-casualty called the “climate refugee”.

The New York Times recently stated that depending on the global region and specific eco-conditions, we should anticipate having to account for 200 million climate refugees in just 40 years time if we continue to operate with a “business as usual” attitude.   According to the Climate Change Vulnerability Index, the regions most likely to be affected first are Bangladesh, the Maldives (which is now struggling with how to relocate 300,000 people before their island becomes completely submerged), Somalia, Afghanistan, the Darfur region of Sudan and Haiti which sadly, has already proven to be true.

Filmmaker Michael Nash focuses on this increasingly escalating phenomenon in his Climate Refugees documentary through a combination of personal testimonials and jarring video footage. If viewers are not moved by the struggles of people who have had all of their worldly possessions swept away by the sea, then perhaps Nash’s judicious editing of 2 years worth of footage documenting the global warming views of authors, scientists and relief workers  will make more of an impact. Offering a comprehensive perspective of what happens to human beings when they are forced to evacuate their homes, Climate Refugees stirs profound questions and might even compel the most resistant naysayer to re-evaluate what really matters — saving lives and ensuring that future generations have a place that they can call home.

  • ddpalmer

    This would be horrible if it wer true, but it is more anecdotes with no science to back it up. In fact the science shows the opposite.

    Just look at the “Sinking” Maldives. They are not. In fact the sea level in the Maldives has DROPPED 20-30 cm since the 1970’s. So if anything the Maldives are growing and will have to worry about the tourist hotels being to far from the beach and not worry about the hotels being under water.

  • ghonadz

    Two things. First is the misinformation about the Maldives from ddpalmer in the previous comment. Your source is considered a quack in the science community and his talk was in 2003. Bad info and basically just more denier cult propaganda. Here some current info on the Maldives. See it with your own eyes. Hear the Vice President of the Maldives testify about it.
    How sea level rise has affected the Maldives
    BBC News – 17 March 2009
    Rising sea levels and coastal erosion are causing widespread damage in the Maldives.

    Second – what a crappy lead in paragraph on this article. The media may still try to portray the illusion that there is some big “heated debate” over “whether man is truly responsible” for global warming but in fact there is no debate in the scientific community on either the fact that the Earth is experiencing abrupt global warming or on the fact that it is mankind’s emissions of hundreds of gigatons of fossil carbon into our atmosphere that is the primary cause of the current global warming. The largest secondary cause being the massive deforestation caused by man. 97% of working climate scientists agree with those two points.
    The confusion among the public and the media on these points is the result of a deliberate propaganda campaign mounted by the fossil fuel interests who stand to lose their profit stream if carbon emissions are restricted.

    • Skye B.

      When I read “ghonadz” first paragraph, I was relieved to discover that there is some form of intelligent life in the universe. Sadly, he obliterated all traces of the brainwaves I mistakenly thought he had with his clueless commentary in the second paragraph. There is nothing crappy about the author’s lead in paragraph on this article, which clearly proves precisely the type of emotion and debate that they are referencing when “CLIMATE CHANGE” is mentioned. What is truly crappy is when people like you try desperately to validate your own sorry lives by making unfound, highly opinionated and clearly erroneous claims.

    • ddpalmer

      Oh I’m sorry I forgot that science is democratic and an internet poll of climate scientists proves global warming. I like how they dismiss the results from petroleum geologist because they work for “Big Oil” I guess. But the climatologists who rely on grants from governments, which believe in GW, have no reason to slew their results. How about the fact that they won’t get published if they don’t go with the flow as shown by Climategate. Have you looked at the news lately? The whole IPCC 4 report is falling apart; misquoting papers, using WWF press releases as source documents, using papers that weren’t even published and when they were published they didn’t support the IPCC. Yeah those are the guys I will unquestioningly believe.

      Pictures from the Maldives coast that plainly show the high tide level receding can be understood by anyone. Beach erosion is not caused by sea level rise; it is caused by development on the beach that promotes loss of sand. If sea levels since 1990 had actually risen as we are expected to believe they have then parts of the Maldives that were above water 20 years ago would be below water now. So let’s see some pictures of houses with foundations under water, or abandoned villages/atolls.

      They are pushing this hard now because they know the longer it goes without the islands being flooded the more people will realize there is no danger and the less likely they will get millions of dollars to fix a non-problem.

  • cbecht

    I having personally seen this film, I have personally heard Michael Nash publicly speak about his journey in making this film and why. There is a problem and it is OUR problem. This film is a learning tool, a wake up call. The fact is~~ HUMANKIND is suffering and dying because of climate change, who is to blame, we can only hope it is us, because if it is a cycle of Mother Nature, we have no control. Michael Nash and the film Climate Refugees puts a heart beat and the soulful face to a real life problem. No one should be on the defense, Michael Nash and the film Climate Refugees is only trying to waken the public and create an awareness….what can we do to strengthen the environment in order to keep a healthy thriving civilization…we are one world. ddpalmer, do you know anyone suffering right now in Haiti?

    • ddpalmer

      Yes I do. One of my shipmates is from Haiti and he left a week ago to try and get home to check on his parents. Last we heard he was still stuck and Miami with no idea when he could get home. I also know 20 or more people from when I was in the Navy who are there assisting right now. But what does this have to do with climate change?

      The Earths climate has been in a constant state of change since day one. There are numerous cycles that affect the worldwide climate. But the science behind humans affecting the world’s climate is all based on computer models that we know don’t have all the data necessary to make good predictions.

      Is the planet warming? Yes. And it has been since the 1800’s when the Little Ice Age ended. But the theoretical affect that humans are supposed to be responsible for is smaller than the uncertainty in the data.

      Also the surface temperatures on Mars have been increasing for years. What is the common factor between the earth and Mars? The Sun maybe?

      I have no problem with planning and doing things to minimize the affects of climate change, but the actual physical science, not computer models, saying that CO2 is the cause is seriously lacking. So destroying the world’s economy with cap & trade or a carbon tax will have little effect. The money would be better spent on projects that actually will directly help people who are being affected.

  • lauren

    The film does indeed show the human face of climate change and the possibilities that our next war may be over resources such as water. And asks, if “humankind” is causing this what can we as “humane-beings” do now to avoid and destabilize the effects of mass migration. Climate Refugees, not only offers scientific facts but also solutions from a wide range of experts, along with a great deal of hope for the viewer and a wake up call to action.

    As said in the film…this is not a red (republican) versus blue (democratic)topic but a very effective, nonpartisan approach to be a Worldly Red White and Blue approach. There are huge migratory effects to environmental change and this film creates awareness and puts a very real face to it all.

    I was lucky enough to view the sold out “Climate Refugees” at Sundance and feel it is monumental film and agree with the comment above, it should be used a learning tool for all. I hope to see it listed in Theaters soon and distributed far and wide, in its release.

    I agree with the director when he said something to the effect of, “we better hope that man is causing this because it’s our only hope to fix it.”