Rising Tides

Rising Tides

Climate Refugees in the Twenty-First Century
John R. Wennersten and Denise Robbins
Distribution: Global
Publication date: 06/12/2017
ISBN: 978-0-253-02592-0
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Global climate change and global refugee crises will soon become inextricably interlinked. A new tsunami of climate refugees flows across the earth. We are now at the moment of truth."

Climate change is with us and we need to think about the next big disturbing idea – the potentially disastrous consequences of massive numbers of environmental refugees at large on the planet. In 2020 the United Nations projects that we will have 50 million environmental refugees mostly from Africa, Asia, and Latin America. How will people be relocated and settled? Is it possible to offer environmental refugees temporary or permanent asylum? Will these refugees have any collective rights in the new areas they inhabit? And lastly, who will pay the costs of all the affected countries during the process of resettlement? Environmental refugees are a problem beyond the scope of a single country or agency."John R. Wennersten and Denise Robbins, from the book

Author Bio

John R. Wennersten is an environmental affairs writer and author of Global Thirst: Water and Society in the 21st Century.

Denise Robbins is a writer and communications expert on climate change issues in Washington, DC. A graduate of Cornell University, she regularly publishes articles dealing with all aspects of global and national environmental change, with a focus on regional politics.


“This urgent wakeup call to the growing crisis of climate refugees offers an essential, continent-by-continent look at its dangers and solutions, arguing that the crisis of climate refugees requires global, concerted solutions beyond the strategic, fiscal, and legal capability of a single country or agency.”

“A must read for anyone who cares about the present and the future of civilization, and not just in the abstract.”
 — Eugene L. Meyer, journalist

“A passionately argued, well-documented wake-up call on the dire, current and undeniable human fallout from climate change. Looking behind the headlines, it connects the dots in a way that will inform and should alarm us all.”
 — Eugene L. Meyer, author of Chesapeake Country

“Rising Tides deals masterfully with a neglected crisis, how climate change is driving migration. The discussion of the interrelationship between conflict-driven migration and climate-driven migration is fascinating. The crisis is upon us: Many of the Mediterranean displaced people are climate refugees, not conflict refugees. Some are both. The work is easily grasped by the general reader, and its source material is a gold mine for interested experts. Wennersten and Robbins don’t shy away from grim conclusions: The climate refugees aren’t going home, and the global community needs to accommodate them. The work broaches solutions both practical, like reforestation, and political, like the need for a new international charter for handling non-conflict refugees.”
 — Christopher E. Goldthwait, US Ambassador retired

“A must read for policymakers and those in positions of power, especially the ones who remain in a state of denial about climate change and refuse to do enough to address the crisis.”
 — The Hindu

“"In Rising Tides, the authors sound the alarm, not only on behalf of millions of displaced souls, but also because, as they note, ‘Every one of us is or could be a migrant.’" - ”
 — Hill Rag Magazine

“This chilling and urgent call to action spares no detail in its mission to present the facts on a looming humanitarian disaster. Climate-change warning messages too often focus on the environment without going into specifics of how humans will be hurt by global warming. Rising Tides singlehandedly rectifies this issue. . . . Thanks to an equal reliance on current events and models, as well as the authors’ thorough understanding of geopolitics, the case is beyond convincing.”
 — Foreword Reviews

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Table of Contents


Part 1
Climate Refugees in the 21st Century
Introduction – Rising Tide: Climate Refugees in the 21st Century
Chapter 1: Seeking Shelter From the Storm
Chapter 2: Refugeedom

Part 2
Pressure Points and Regional Analysis
Chapter 3: What Happens When Your Country Drowns?
Chapter 4: The Crisis Hits Home: Climate Refugees In The United States
Chapter 5: Latin America: Land Of Rain, Land Of Thirst
Chapter 6: Africa: Environmental Conflicts In A War-Torn Land
Chapter 7: Middle East: The Boiling Point Of Climate Change And National Security
Chapter 8: Asia: The Looming Crisis

Part 3
Policy Implications and Conclusions
Chapter 9: Current Affairs and Climate Refugees
Chapter 10: The Shape Of Things To Come