As the great big ginormous huge climate march gets underway in NYC today, there is an underlying anxiety about what to call those millions of migrants who marchers claim will be displaced as the ice caps melt and oceans rise and gobble up all the land and homes and send the people running for their lives.
We have followed the controversy on and off over the years (see our climate refugees category), but the gist of it is: will these new migrant hordes (the Left is predicting) be refugees in the full sense of the word and thus be eligible to be treated on par with refugees fleeing marauding Muslims like ISIS and be “welcomed” into the West (to be taken care of by taxpayers)?
The word “refugee” is a powerful word in the PR world:
To put it bluntly, those who are helping the “humanitarian” refugees (as originally defined by the UN Refugee Convention) are reluctant to let the “climate refugee” agitators dilute the PR message and horn in on their lucrative territory.
And, the climate justice people are loath to get into a battle with their fellow Leftists, thus the wrangling continues.
Here is the National Network for Immigrant and Refugee Rights expounding on the topic:
As you know, NNIRR has been striving to make the connections between climate change, migration and human rights. It is an intersection that is finally beginning to emerge in more popular discussions in the broad climate change movement, although understandings are still uneven and often uninformed. There is even an important question of “definition”, as we note in the attached fact sheet:
There is a growing, unresolved debate on defining “climate migrant” or “climate/environmental refugee“:
~Some argue that there is a need to define a new class of climate refugees who have been forcibly displaced by the effects of climate change and that they be given special protections and status (such as refugee status under the Refugee Convention) and even redress for this injustice.
~Others suggest that defining a special class of climate refugees would create a hierarchy of immigrants, and would split and differentiate climate refugees from economic refugees, who are all affected by the same global economic and political system.
The issue has been emerging for a number of years on the international level, and has become part of the global program of advocacy work that NNIRR and partners are involved in under the broad umbrella of “migrants in crisis.”
Learn more about “climate justice” if you feel like it, here.