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National Geographic: Changing climate forces desperate Guatemalans to migrate
National Geographic: Climate Change Helped Spark Syrian War, Study Says
While much of the political and media focus cites crime and conflicts for the mass migrations from Guatemalan, El Salvador and Nicaragua, very little has been said about the underlying cause: drought caused by climate change. It was drought that drove the Syrian farmers out of rural Syria into the cities where conflicts arose because of their sheer numbers. Likewise, it is drought that is causing many of the farmers in these Latin American countries to flee their respective countries, as their cities are now deemed to be unsafe.
Drought, of course, is not one of the criteria for seeking asylum in the USA, so the refugees have to claim the threats of violence against their families. Those threats are real as most cities and towns do not have the ability to absorb a large number of migrants from the rural country side -- conflicts are inevitable.
These are just a couple of examples of how climate change is affecting society and leading to wars. A report published in Scientific American lists 12 epicenters globally where climate change could spark conflict and upend any stability in the regions. We have already seen how Europe and Brazil have given rise to a nationalist movements, and in the USA, likewise, Trump is the poster boy for the nationalists. Without the mass migrations from wars and violence, many of them driven by a drought, the world might seem less fearful.
Climate change should be the number 1 issue facing our elected leaders, but for many it is lower on the priority list.