GLOBAL RESOURCES ANALYSIS
DANGERS | ECONOMIC REFUGES
Floods, temperately or permanent droughts, drying of rivers, long lasting water pollution, water contamination, sea level rise, ethnic conflicts and war can cause direct temperately or even permanent movement of large amounts of people. People that leave everything behind and start drifting to less worse places. This is one of the biggest dangers of Climate Change: complete nations on the run because life circumstances are getting below liveable levels due to some climate change. But PeakOil also has drifting nations potential. When energy, water and food become scarce and very expensive, the upper and middle class are the first that will considering moving, just because they will still have capital for moving to better places. This will be the orderly part of economic mass migration and they will be welcome in their new living location. But when the poor starts drifting, this certainly will give huge problems. Both for the economic refugees, as for the involuntary adapting areas. The world could help when this happens accidental, the world couldn't help when this is happen at large scale. Climate Change and PeakOil (seen widely as in high energy, high water and high food prices) are developments that can ruin complete economies. Energy deficits, water deficits and food deficits are not the right ambiance for a stable economy/society/household/life. Energy deficit nations face one huge challenge: solving their energy deficit. Otherwise the economy and society as they have right now is not sustainable within 10 years from now. Ireland is a good example: due to the implementation of a potato based monoculture based agricultural system its population could grow tremendously. Potato monoculture leads to a variety of different types potato sicknesses which cumulative leads in 1741 to the start of the Great Irish Hunger in 1741 that end that period of prosperity, reduces the population with 25% and hit the Irish economy so severe that it needs decades to recover. It causes such a societal unrest that even today still is actual in the IRA movement. It's the reason why almost every cop and fireman in the US has Irish roots. The exceptional good thing in that period of history was the availability of a huge continent with major opportunities and no restricting immigration authorities. Something that's no longer available for today's modern economic refugees. Just try to get a business visa for India and you know that orderly mass economic refugee waves are not any longer possible. One visit to the US/Mexican border will tell you the same. On the other side: The city counsel of Amsterdam advertised in the 18th age in the yet started newspapers in France and other countries that merchandisers and manufacturers (of religious minorities) were welcome in Amsterdam as city of freedom, trade and manufacturing. High quality (capital and/or knowledge) economic refugees are always welcome everywhere they want (it only takes some time). But the middle class and lower class parts of society just have only one option: drifting. The Mediterranean Sea as the natural African / European border it today one of such drifting areas, but this will change as more dark clouds cumulative gathers above the European Economy. Drifting refugees will be a huge problem between nations in the Emerging World. Both middle class orderly as lower class real drifting waves. Certainly the Emerging World will have its wealthy and its desperate area's and nations. As certainly floods have caused drifts, will water shortages cause drifts. And the same is applicable for energy or food shortages.
Author: Gijs Graafland
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