The Growing Problem of Environmental Displacement Essay

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The number of environmentally displaced people is growing and it’s important for individuals to be informed of the topic and what all it entails. A study published by Economic & Political Weekly, in 2009, approximates 24 million displaced people due to climate change and environmental situations. (Economic & Political Weekly, 2009) That number was estimated to grow to 50 million by 2010, and exceeding 150 million by 2050. (Economic & Political Weekly, 2009) The world has to be informed of what these numbers mean. Understanding what environmental displacement means is a step toward that direction. Along with understanding what environmental displacement means, it’s also important to know the difference between environmental…show more content…
King defines slow onset, “resulting from the gradual deterioration of the environment,” (2006, p 246) and acute onset, “resulting from sudden and immediate environmental damage.” (2006, p 246) The researcher continues to break these terms down even more. Slow onset movements can be broken into two groups, one being a movement with the possibility to return, the other being a movement with no possibility of return. King does the same with acute onset. King (2006) describes the possibility of returning are displaced by certain situations that could be re-established, whereas those who do not have the possibility are due to permanent situations. Through research, it’s been made clear how to differentiate environmental climate migrants. Overall, it’s important to consider migration due to environmental situations is not the same as a refugee. King says, “Environmentally displaced persons are refugee-like, in that they are rendered particularly vulnerable by the immediate and involuntary nature of their movement, but because they are not protected by the current refugee regime, they are in particular need of international assistance.” (King, 2006, p 551) Terms best used to describe those displaced due to environmental issues are environmental migrants, meaning they voluntarily migrated, or environmentally displaced persons, in cases where they are forced to migrate. (King,
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