The Spark

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.” — Karl Marx

Refugees from the Climate

Sep 16, 2019

Hurricane Dorian is just the latest example of climate disasters driving refugee crises around the world. According to the Internal Displacement Monitoring Center, seven million people were driven from their homes in just the first six months of 2019 – that is, before Dorian. This is twice as many as were displaced by war.

These kinds of disasters are accelerating, driven by climate change. No one storm can be proven to be caused by climate change, but the warmer weather we are already seeing makes hurricanes, cyclones, droughts, and floods more likely, each in different parts of the world.

The rich countries produce the vast majority of the greenhouse gases driving climate change. Yet the hardest hit people mostly live in the poor countries, like the millions displaced by cyclones that hit Mozambique, India, and Bangladesh in the first half of this year.

When people driven from their homes in these poor countries try to reach safety in the rich countries – which, after all, are responsible for the problem – they are confronted by barbed wire, walls, military forces, and visa requirements.

The consequences of climate change are not limited to the underdeveloped countries. This time, the hurricane hit the Bahamas. Last year, hurricanes hit Texas and Florida, and drought-accelerated fire drove people from their homes in California.

We are one human species, living on the same planet. Some may try to hide beyond walls or be able to rebuild after the disasters. But for the majority, the working class and poor of the world, this is not an option. This capitalist system has proven time and again that it will not take the precautions needed to protect us. If we hope to survive this growing ecological crisis, we have no choice but to take on this system that drives climate change, and fight to build a new society run in the interests of the population.