Mono Lake as seen from California State Route 120 (Mono Mills Road) on south. Photo by Nandaro - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=30639988

Climate and Terrorism
by Roberto Savio *
leggi in [ita] [esp]

Media cover now basically events, and by and have by and large abandoned analysis and processes. Now is the moment to read about terrorism, and this will be for quite some time. We now know that terrorism has many causes, which go from religion to social exclusion, from desire of glory to mental problems. There is no way to fight against the unpredictable, and in mentally unstable minds emulation is an important factor. The danger is that we will probably fall in the Isis trap, and make of this confuse kaleidoscope a war of religion, which will further radicalize European Muslim. In fact, until now no act of terror has come from immigrants (except a mentally disturbed afghan). European did it. And still for every European killed, there are over 120 Arabs, who die because of ISIS…
Since the United Nations Conference on Climate Change concluded last December, climate has disappeared in media, and in the public debate. Everybody is mesmerized by the tide of refugees, and how they are changing the political landscape of Europe, with nationalism; populism and xenophobia are coming back, like in the fatal decade of the thirties…
But Baher Kamal remind us that, according to the Norwegian Refugee Council, “every second a person is displaced by disasters in 2015 alone, more than 19.2 million people fled disaster in 113 Countries. Disasters displace three to ten times more people from conflict and war worldwide”. And the International Organization fro Migration forecasts 200 million environmental migrants by 2050, moving either within their countries or across borders, on a permanent or temporary basis. Many of them would have costal population. If the world temperature will rise to 3.1 degrees, which is presently the final agreement of the Paris Conference, the mean sea level would increase by 0.73 meters, with large area flooded.
The New York Times carried a long story on the death on Lake Poopò, in Bolivia, which was 3.000 square kilometres, and gave a way of living to over 10.000 villagers, since immemorial time. Now only 636 have remained, while all the others has gone in coalmines 200 miles away, or to La Paz in search of a job. A millenarian culture has been lost.
Lake Poopò is one of several lakes worldwide that are disappearing, because of human causes, writes the NYT. California’s Mono Lake, and Salton Sea have dramatically shrunk because of water diversion. Rising temperatures jeopardize lakes in Canada and Mongolia.
Let us recall that in Paris all countries of the world agreed to fight climate change. But to be able to carry as many countries as possible on board, the Preparatory Conference of Lima, December 2014, agreed to an usual target system. Every country would decide its objectives, and every country will be responsible for checking their implementation. Let us just think what would happen if every citizen would be left to decide how much taxes to pay, and responsible to check if he does so…
The result is that the sum of the national targets adopted at Paris, means a rise in the world’s temperature by 3.4 centigrade. In fact, the original goal was to do not exceed 2 degree, and this is the base for the final declaration. At the same time, scientists have been saying all the way that if we go beyond 1.5 degree, the planet would suffer seriously. They consider the target of 2 centigrade a political gimmick, and of course the present level of agreement of 3.4 centigrade a threat to the survival of humanity.
At Paris, it was also agreed that controls on the implementation of the agreement would start only in 2.020: therefore we do not know what is happening in reality. From different reports, we know nobody is rushing. But now NASA, the respected American Space Agency, has published a worrying report: for three year in a row the world’s temperatures have been the hottest registered since 1880. This year, 2016, will be even hotter than 2015 and 2014. We are now at an increase of 1.3 centigrade over 1880. Gavin Schmidt, the director of NASA ’s Goddard Institute of Space Studies, declared: “I certainly would not say that we have gotten to that higher Paris number and we are going to stay there, but I think it’s fair to say that we are dancing with that lower target”.
This brings the problem of climate refugee much closer to us than we realize. With an additional problem: in legal terms, the category of climate refugee does not exist. The Human Rights Convention protects only those who escape war and violence, not climate change. Yet, Europe and the United States are entering in a serious political crisis, because of a lack of policy on the tide of refugee. And in the political agenda, there is not a word about climate refugees, which are several times more than political refugee. It is widely agreed, that was a long and severe drought in Syria that made peasant escape from their villages to towns, and their deplorable conditions fuelled the protests against the government, with the consequent repression, which brought to the civil war which has destroyed the country, killed over 400.000 civilians, created an exodus of 4.7 millions citizens, of whom over a million come to find refuge in Europe, and who has been used by populists like Le Pen and Farage to win elections… Trump has a lead  of 44 to 30 per cent, according to a CNN poll, over the issue of order and security, because of his strong talks about immigrants and refugees…
A UN Summit for refugees and migrants will be held in September in New York. It would be the moment to shape a global policy over refugees, incorporating also the category of climate refugees. It is too close to American elections… Let us hope it will not pass to history as a missed occasion…
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* Roberto Savio is founder and president emeritus of the Inter Press Service (IPS) news agency and publisher of Other News.

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Italian Media s.r.l. - via del Babuino 107, Roma, c.a.p. 00187, p.IVA 09099241003, edita il settimanale Italiani con registrazione al Tribunale di Roma n. 158/2013 del 25.06.2013 - email: info@italianmedia.eu

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