Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Future mass migration of Mexicans to U.S. because of global climate change?

From a story in the Seattle Times:

Climbing temperatures are expected to raise sea levels and increase droughts, floods, heat waves and wildfires.
Now, scientists are predicting another consequence of climate change — mass migration to the United States.

Between 1.4 million and 6.7 million Mexicans could migrate by 2080 as climate change reduces crop yields and agricultural production in Mexico, according to a study published online this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The number could amount to 10 percent of the current population of Mexicans ages 15 to 65.

"Assuming that the climate projections are correct, gradually over the next several decades heading toward the end of the century, it becomes one of the more important factors in driving Mexicans across the border, all other things being equal," said study author Michael Oppenheimer, professor of geosciences and international affairs at Princeton University.

Of course, Oppenheimer acknowledged, changes could occur in U.S. immigration and border policy or in Mexico's economy and its reliance on agriculture. But he said this was a simplified first step in studying the effect of global warming on migration.

Boy, I cannot wait to see what conservatives do with this one. On one hand, this feeds into their paranoia about Mexicans coming to “take over the U.S.” That’s what they are always warning us about. And this one actually might be based in some sort of fact and logic-based analysis! That certainly isn't the case for most of the other BS that they routinely become hysterical about. But, on the other hand, in order to use this as any sort of credible threat, those same conservatives must admit that global climate change is not some sort of liberal plot and will indeed have real and lasting effects across the world. Climate change will eventually lead to mass migrations of entire populations.

What’s a poor conservative to do?

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