There has been much discussion recently about Britain’s vote in a referendum held June 23 to exit from the European Union.
There has been little talk, however, about what likely was one of the major contributors to the Brexit vote’s outcome – climate change.
Immigration was the major concern driving those who voted against remaining in the EU.
But where are those immigrants coming from?
Although most of the recent immigrants to Britain have come from India, Poland and Pakistan, the latest immigration crisis has been the result of the EU’s inadequate response to refugees fleeing the Syrian civil war.
And what caused the Syrian civil war? According to Scientific American, a study published last year points the finger at the worst drought on record as being a major factor.
Unusually hot and dry weather resulted in crop failures, forcing people off of the land and raising food prices across the Middle East.
People rebelled in the so-called “Arab Spring.” Most of the rebellions failed to achieve any positive results. In Syria, the rebellion resulted in a protracted and violent government backlash, as well as considerable foreign involvement.
The destruction has forced millions to flee to other Middle East countries and to Europe.
If a person accepts that climate change is happening, then the mass movement of people is only beginning.
United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has predicted that climate change will continue to make the Middle East hotter and drier.
That will mean that, instead of hundreds of thousands of refugees heading towards Europe, there could be tens of millions.
Similar mass migrations would happen elsewhere in the world.
The only sensible approach is to work together to find and implement a solution at the global level. Otherwise, there will be chaos.
The Brexit vote could be interpreted as ordinary people voting against the status quo without being fully informed about what the negative consequences of their votes might be.
To an outside observer, it appears to be a case of cutting off your nose to spite your face.
Pulling up drawbridges will not work in the long term, and probably not in the short term either.
Climate change and the other global challenges we face are solvable, but only if we work together. We need more international integration, not less.