A sober warning that climate change will become impossible to deny or ignore in the coming decades as mass population centers are rendered uninhabitable and the relocation of millions of people becomes inevitable.
Relocation due to climate change is already a reality. Hirsch looks at the examples of Native Alaskan villages in Alaska, the Pacific island nation of Kiribati, and the Sahel region in central Africa. Droughts, desertification, rising sea levels, severe storms, and melting permafrost, all directly caused by climate change, are threatening communities of all sizes as well as entire nations. By 2050, at least 25 million people will be driven from their homes. Hirsch examines the immense logistical challenges and economic costs of relocating so many people, the consequences for communities whose cultural identities are geographically linked, and further environmental damage that will result from these mass migrations. She acknowledges that climate change cannot be stopped altogether but stresses that the consequences can be less catastrophic if nations take immediate steps to curb carbon dioxide emissions and initiate changes enabling communities to withstand climate-related damages and stresses.
An accessible, informative, and alarming look at imminent, likely inevitable environmental catastrophes on a global scale. (maps, photos, glossary, source notes, bibliography, further information) (Nonfiction. 12-16)