Chapter __: “Too Hot to Handle” – Human Migration on a Rapidly-Warming Planet

Concluding Remarks: The Role of Canada’s Settlement Sector?

This chapter has explored the emergence of two defining crises that have emerged as the most important challenges facing humanity during the Anthropocene. Although they might appear to be separate phenomena at first glance, the global refugee crisis and climate crisis are in fact dialectically-related. Both are the direct result of human activities, and each crisis exerts a major influence upon the other.

Through an understanding of the extent to which climate change can lead to weather extremes that disrupt food supplies and render entire territories inhospitable for human habitation, we can understand the similarities between the lived realities of persons displaced by environmental catastrophe and those currently afforded legal protections as “refugees” under international law.

In addition, through an understanding of the various international accords and protocols ratified by the government of Canada, we can understand that Canada has an obligation to discuss the plight of environmental/climate refugees on the international stage. And as demonstrated by its responses to recent waves in the global refugee crisis, the Government of Canada does have the capacity to enact significant changes to refugee policy in this country (and to do so quickly) when it has the will to do so.

As settlement workers, the need for us to have these discussions could not be more timely or urgent. As more individuals continue to be displaced by extreme weather events than by armed conflict, we must be cognizant of the need to sharpen our own analyses and adapt our own advocacy efforts to reflect the new reality of human migration on a world that has increasingly become “too hot to handle.”

Learning Activity 8: End of Chapter Quiz

INSTRUCTOR NOTE: This should be an online activity and can also serve as a marked assessment at the discretion of the instructor.

NOTE TO EDITOR: Robert Lawson is checking with the author re: the correct answer to this question. Once it has been confirmed, please change it in the Learning Activity 8 H5P and then delete this and the question and answers below.

  • Question #9: A major legal obstacle in securing widespread global recognition for climate or environmental refugees is the absence of overt _______ they experience in their home countries.
    • a) Persecution
    • b) Economic hardship
    • c) Support
    • d) Capacities to migrate
    • e) All of the above

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