Do we need to learn to be more welcoming of nature’s migrants?

Posted in: Comment, New Publications

I made a contribution to NAEE's blog the other day exploring whether we need to learn to be more welcoming of nature’s migrants if we are to combat climate change.  This was a column I'd written a while back for the NAEE journal, Environmental Education.  It begins ...

"The current migration of people into Europe from North Africa, the Middle East, and farther afield because of war and other social turmoil has already been linked to climate change – not only because this has been seen as a contributor to the conflicts within Syria, but also in the sense that what we are seeing now is likely to be a harbinger of things to come as the world warms further and greater numbers of people will seek more hospitable (in every sense) places to live.  Migration applies not just to people, but to nature more generally, and a new report from the RSPB: ‘The Nature of Climate Change – Europe’s wildlife at risk’ explores the issues.  This is part of Mike Clarke’s introduction which lays out the issue clearly:

“We are at a point in recent geological history where the rate of human-induced climate change will far outstrip the ability of species to adapt successfully, especially when the resilience of nature has been reduced by habitat loss, non-native species introductions and over-exploitation.  The disruption to the web of life is a threat not just to wildlife, but to the lives of people around the world.”

And ends ...

"As I hinted at the outset, there are some parallels in all this with the current debate about the migration of peoples, although there are clearly important differences as well.  For example, some of the language regularly used in relation to plants and animals cannot be used about people.  But it’s possible that a discussion of the migration of plants and animals, and how tolerant we should be of the benefits and problems they bring, might ease a consideration of the much more difficult topic of the immigration of people."


You will find the whole blog here.


Posted in: Comment, New Publications


  • (we won't publish this)

Write a response