The draft for
the href="http://www.ipcc.ch/">IPCC report for this
year paints a distinctly disturbing picture of the near future.
As reported in href="http://www.usatoday.com/weather/climate/globalwarming/2007-03-11-climate-report_N.htm?POE=NEWISVA">USA
Today (among many others)…
of millions of Latin Americans who now
have water will be short of it in less than 20 years.
2080, between 200 million and 600 million
people could be hungry because of global warming’s effects.
100 million people each year could be
flooded by 2080 by rising seas. [Think Central America]
The biggest problems will be in Asia and Africa. Rich
countries will fare better, of course. But we are already
starting to see altered patterns of animal migration, as noted href="http://www.nytimes.com/2007/03/09/us/09polar.html?ex=1331096400&en=7706d486966fc1ab&ei=5090&partner=rssuserland&emc=rss">here:
increasing frequency, polar bears are
being found near the villages of the Chukchi in part because their
migrations have shifted as warming trends alter the sea ice.
What is going to happen next, is that we will see changes in the
pattern of human migration. Whatever your
stance is on immigration, we are going to have to be prepared for this.
If you don’t want more immigration, then you ought to support
efforts to minimize climate change.
Also, we can expect to see changes in microbial
“migration.” Granted, microbes do not exactly migrate, but
their hosts do. We are going to need a lot of epidemiologists
and public health workers. Whatever your views on evolution
are, we are going to have to be prepared. And guess what?
Those epidemiologists are going to have to understand
evolution. Because that is what is going to be happening —
those microbes are going to evolve — and
it is going to pose threats to all of us.