Global warming refugees

A phrase that simply spells it like it is. People needing to flee their homes and perhaps their countries to escape the wrath of nature that is caused by global warming.

Unfortunately this phrase that never existed 10 years ago is now frequently finding its way into the news. The first assault is monster storms, with The Phillippines taking a huge hit with loss of life between 700 and 1000 people. Wind back a few years and Hurricane Katrina’s visit to New Orleans that is still being felt years later. This is just a few examples that stand out.

The usually early and severe wild fires in California followed by rainfall 3+ times the normal amount leading to mudslides. The list goes on and will only get worse as nature starts on reducing the human population.

The issue now is few countries have treaties that will allow border crossing because of natures wrath. Meaning the start of population shifts is about to begin, but the legal avenue to do this has not been established. It would seem the proper forum for this is the United Nations, and would make a nice addition to the next global warming summit. It most certainly would serve as a reminder to hesitant countries what is coming as we seem to be past the ounce of prevention and clearly heading for the pound of cure option.

The situation is very dire as shown by scientist revising their dates closer to today. The peek greenhouse gas emission date that was 2050 is now 2015, and looks to come closer to keep the temperature rise to 2C or 3.6F over pre industrial times. Some joke the actual tipping date may turn out to be December 21, 2012. At the rate things are going, that may actually turn out to be the real date. That seems to be the primary tipping point that scientist are seeing. Beyond that entire eco systems will be destroyed and it will be an unstoppable slide to hell on earth that may only be stopped with the next ice age.

So as for global warming refugees, the time is now and governments that have never experienced masses at the border, time to get use to guests for dinner.

Quoting The Christian Science Monitor;

Bangkok, Thailand – The floodwaters around the deluged Philippine capital Manila have yet to fully subside after the onslaught of two successive tropical storms. But the blame game over the response to the crisis, and the nation’s lack of preparedness, is rippling outward.

In total, more than 700 people have died and at least 6 million have been displaced, first by tropical storm Ketsana, which reached Manila on Sept. 26, and then by typhoon Parma, which circled for a week over northern Luzon island and inundated communities, roads, and fields in the country’s breadbasket. Losses to agriculture are estimated at $400 million.

On Wednesday, President Gloria Arroyo described the Philippines as a victim of climate change and said she would seek as much as $1 billion in foreign aid to pay for rehabilitation. A donor conference is expected by early December. The UN has launched a separate $74 million relief appeal.

But questions have been raised about the extent to which hillside deforestation, watershed urbanization, and the growth of riverside slums had undermined Manila’s disaster management. Critics say the politicians pleading for aid have ignored repeated warnings of the capital’s vulnerability to tropical storms.

The result may be less a parable of climate change – some experts say extreme weather events are increasing as a result of global warming – than the failings of successive elected governments to heed the advice of urban planners.

“A country that doesn’t protect its people before disasters has no business panhandling after,” wrote Juan Mercado, a columnist in the Philippine Inquirer.

The row may have political consequences as the Philippines prepares to elect a new president next May. Ms. Arroyo, who took office in 2001, isn’t eligible to run again. Her defense secretary, Gilbert Teodoro, who has declared his candidacy, chairs a disaster coordinating council that has been criticized over the sluggish flow of aid to storm victims, as well as the continued inundation of some communities.

In a national poll taken before the storms struck and released Wednesday, Mr. Teodoro trailed far behind Sen. Benigno Aquino, who was the choice of 60 percent of respondents. Only 4 percent of respondents named him as their preferred choice.

Mr. Aquino is the largely untested son of popular former President Corazon Aquino, who died in July and is credited for steering the nation to democracy after the fall of dictator Ferdinand Marcos in 1986. The second placed candidate, Sen. Manuel Villar, polled 37 percent in the survey. Former President Joseph Estrada, who was ousted in 2001 and put on trial for corruption, came third.

Teodoro’s prominence in the relief operations may boost his poll numbers if voters feel gratitude for what aid did come their way, says Steven Rood, the country director for the Asia Foundation, a US nonprofit. It could go the other way, though, if the cleanup effort falters and victims blame the administration.

What this means for mitigation efforts against future storms is uncertain. “As so often in the Philippines, it gets ground down in political machinations about who takes the credit and who takes the blame,” he says.

In the Philippine Congress, lawmakers have railed against government agencies in and around metro Manila, a conurbation of nearly 12 million people, around one-third of whom live in slums. An opposition senator said the 17 mayors of Manila’s component cities should be suspended for six months. Another vowed to sue upstream dam managers for releasing excess water into city waterways that burst their banks.

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