Who are the Climate Refugees?
As per Wikipedia: Climate refugees can be described as a subset of environmental migrants who were forced to flee “due to sudden or gradual alterations in the natural environment related to at least one of three impacts of climate change: sea-level rise, extreme weather events, and drought and water scarcity.”
These people are made homeless by natural disasters due to climate change. They end up losing almost everything, including their loved ones.
As natural disasters change from time to time, kinda gives a pattern to their movements. From floods, drought, shrinking/expanding of water-bodies, etc. People will move as weather directs, and sadly always find them off guard. The reason as to why we continue to lose lives and property.
Samples for these natural disasters
Floods: We continue to witness floods around the world, that end up displacing people. As the years go by, the floods continue to be ruthless and experienced over a long period.
This has also contributed to expanding of water bodies, that fail to go back to their original size. This ends up displacing any settlements that may have to be built near the affected waterbodies. Which makes it necessary to always investigate the history of these water bodies.
Wildfires: They have been more frequent and severe. Burning down the forests and their neighborhood. We have lost indigenous and endemic species for both flora and fauna. Due to various reasons, these fires have managed to ravage the forest for a couple of days/weeks/months, before being conquered. Sadly, in most cases, we seem to all lack of full political will and readiness for such. Neither are we learning from other nation mistakes? The fires still pull us down.
Sadly, these fires are not all caused by climate change. But humans are setting some of them. Wildlife lost their habitat, hence promoting human-wildlife conflicts. Which continues to claim wildlife lives.
Not forgetting the earthquakes, volcano eruptions, tsunami, landslides, etc.
What do climate change refugees go through?
Although climate refugees are yet to be legally correct, as these refugees may not necessarily leave their countries. They do go through almost the same distress as the other refugees of war, political unrest, tribalism, etc.
Their lives are forced into a different direction, where surviving is the goal. They end up not getting access to:
Basic needs like food, clothing, shelter, medication, etc.
Conducive environment for good mental health, education, social life, economic empowerment.
Luxury to opportunities that can help them make the leaders hear them. Some leaders end up using their condition to steal funds meant for them.
Their lives are completely changed by these situations, and this has effects on them and everyone else.
Climate refugees deserve a decent life, making climate action our number one goal.
We should ensure take climate change seriously, and avoid denying this fact. Our leaders should take an interest in understanding the climate change crisis being educated by the youths. The strikes, protests, appeals, petitions should not go to waste. As we will be robbing them of their future.