Local weather impacts might result in extra authoritarian governments • Do you agree?

Essay by Eric Worrall

According to climate scientist Joel Millward-Hopkins, the rise to power of Trump, Putin and Bolsonaro has been fueled by global warming.

Why the effects of climate change may make us less likely to reduce our emissions

Published: Jun 30, 2023 8:51pm AEST
Joel Millward Hopkins
Postdoc in Sustainability, University of Leeds

The wildfires raging in Canada’s southeastern province of Quebec are unprecedented. A warm, dry spring kept the tinder piling up, and thunderstorms in early June ignited the fire, dramatically exacerbating the 2023 fire season.

At the very least, one might hope that with these increasingly acute climate change impacts being felt by wealthy high-emission countries, people will be persuaded to act with the conviction needed to avert the climate crisis that threatens the lives of millions of livelihoods of billions.

However, as I argued in a recent article, the hope underlying this assumption may be misplaced. With the effects of warming being felt more clearly, we could instead vote for those in power who are committed to making the problem worse.

Right-wing politicians have successfully exploited the narrative surrounding the issues fueled by climate change: immigration, economic inequality, and global insecurity. Their promises to reverse the declining living standards of a certain segment of the population, relieve (underfunded) public services and protect the nation from outside threats always include appeals to close borders and scapegoat migrants.

These leaders are also anti-environmentalists. Donald Trump, Vladimir Putin and Jair Bolsanaro have fetishized traditional industries like coal mining, abandoned global challenges in favor of national aspirations, and are openly skeptical about or outright denying human influence on the climate.

The lack of global awareness and willingness to cooperate inherent in this policy would make maintaining a safe climate all but impossible.

Read more: https://theconversation.com/why-the-impacts-of-climate-change-may-make-us-less-likely-to-reduce-emissions-207385

There is no evidence that people are migrating due to global warming.

Wealthy, hot countries like Singapore, Brunei and the United Arab Emirates have some of the toughest citizenship processes in the world because so many people want to live there permanently. They’re taking in migrant workers in droves, people who are desperate to make some money, but you really have to get in touch with the right people or invest a lot of money to have any hope of settling permanently in places like this.

Brazil has a problem with emigration of skilled workers, but that largely started after the country elected a communist president. Nobody with other options wants to be trapped in the next Venezuela.

What about climate damage in cold countries? Like Canadians, most Russians live in a narrow strip near the southern border. Russia has a serious depopulation problem in the north, a resource-rich region it would like to develop. Even Russians mostly don’t like Siberian winters.

If global warming hit Russia or Canada directly, many people would migrate to the far north to escape global warming.

Surprisingly, there are a lot of immigrants in Russia, but I would argue that this is mainly economic. From the perspective of wealthy Westerners, the Russian economy may be a gangster case, but for immigrants from truly poor countries, Russia offers the opportunity to eat mostly regularly, which is more than many of them had in their home country. No matter what abuse they suffer from their Russian employers, many choose to stay, often overstaying their visas and paying bribes to the Russian police to avoid deportation.

Climate alarmists would appreciate it if we accepted their claim that climate change is driving migration. But given that hot countries like Singapore have failed to depopulate their populations, I think their claims are far from convincing.

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