Climate Brief – Dedicated to those I love

Selfie created by my granddaughter

With news about floods in Pakistan, Jackson, lack of water in MS, fires everywhere and heat waves, the issue of global warming cannot be denied. In thirty years, the life of a traditional mortgage, the world will be very different with a smaller population, food deserts and geographic changes. In thirty years, I could be 106, if still alive, toothless, blind and deaf, among other ailments. What about my children and grandchildren?

The older ones will be in their 50s, perhaps hoping to soon retire from teaching, software development, research and filmmaking. The younger ones will be in their 40s, creating art, music, dance and conducting the Toronto Symphony Orchestra. And the great-grandchildren will be in their thirties, one dabbling in politics and the other making a good life despite Down syndrome. It is my vision, a middle class dream that the changes in our world can be managed and the future of my great-grandchildren is guaranteed.

What options can the majority of people living in the tropics expect to achieve their dreams? They will perish or migrate to more livable areas and if we combine our efforts, will be welcomed by the people who already live there and who have built the infrastructure to welcome them in a healthy, tolerant and progressive way. As for me, today I will be investigating the county planning board’s progress in instituting the changes needed to facilitate these migrations linked to global warming.

What got me thinking about my family in the future was an article I read in Time Wednesday, summarizing a new book, Nomad Century – How climate migration will reshape our world by award-winning science journalist Gaia Vince. The summary quotes Vince as saying that migration from the tropics up or down the 45th parallel will cause the world to create new cities, expand existing cities, develop agricultural land, and provide housing and infrastructure for millions. of people. The potential for making positive adjustments to our infrastructure and welcoming new migrants is enormous, IF we do it well.

Here are some highlights:

  • Due to their large volume of fresh water, the Great Lakes in the United States and Canada will be destinations for migrants.

Buffalo in New York State, as well as Toronto and Ottawa in Canada seem to be safer choices for migrants from the coasts.

  • Some cities like Boston due to its location, or New York due to its importance, could survive with modifications, which are already being built.

Boston, for example, is far enough north to escape much of the predicted extreme heat, and planners have drawn up a detailed strategy that includes raising roads, building coastal defenses and introducing swamps to absorb flood waters. New York City, which faces extreme threats but could be too big to fail, is also planning extensive defenses, though it’s unclear how effective they will prove. His Big U project, a vast seawall to protect lower Manhattan’s financial district, would leave anyone living north of West 57th Street exposed to waves.


Coastal cities far enough north and with steep enough coastlines to protect against storm surges as sea levels rise will be safer.

  • Shipping routes through the Northwest Passage will reduce shipping times by 40%.
  • Frozen countries such as Canada, Greenland, Alaska, the United States, Patagonia, Chile, Siberia and Antarctica in the northern and southern hemispheres will see their populations increase as they thaw and agricultural and mining jobs will become available. Higher elevations such as the Alps, Rocky Mountains, and Slovenian Mountains will also see their population increase.

Nordic countries score relatively low on vulnerability to climate change and high on adaptive preparedness.


With a stable, uncorrupted democracy, one-fifth of the world’s freshwater reserves, and no less than 4.2 million square kilometers of newly arable farmland, Canada could be the world’s new breadbasket later this century.


Russia will be another clear winner – its National Action Plan 2020 explicitly outlines ways to “use the benefits” of global warming. According to the US National Intelligence Council, Russia “has the potential to make the most of an increasingly temperate climate.” The country is already the world’s largest wheat exporter, and its agricultural dominance is expected to increase as its climate improves.

  • Fishing will become more productive as warming oceans cause fish to grow larger and more abundant near shore, reducing transportation costs.
  • Global warming has harmed the countries that emit the least CO2 and benefited those that emit the most CO2, making it imperative that the highest emitting countries making efforts to welcome immigrants of those countries that have the most to lose.

Global heating has already boosted Sweden’s GDP per capita by 25%, a A Stanford study foundThe highest emitters of greenhouse gases “enjoy on average a GDP per capita higher by about 10% today than they would have in a world without warming, while the lowest emitters have been dragged down about 25%,” the researchers found. The moral argument for including tropical migrants in northern economies is clear. Researchers estimate that India’s GDP per capita has lagged by 31% due to global warming; Nigeria’s is 29% behind; that of Indonesia by 27%; and that of Brazil by 25%. Together, these four countries are home to about a quarter of the world’s population.

The good news that more temperate regions of the world can adapt to global warming brings hope for millions of migrants who must move to survive. The question of how these areas will adapt to new places, cultures, religions and ethnicities tempers this news. As Vince says,

People will be on the move in the millions in this century, and now we have a chance to make this upheaval work through a planned and managed peaceful transition to a safer and fairer world. We have to try.

Here is your September climate calendar.



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