Climate Change and Islands: Evacuation as Adaptation? Talk by Ilan Kelman

October 13, 2014

Location:  Gund Conference Room (Johnson House 1st Floor)

Climate change is stated as being likely to cause the forced movement of millions of people, especially from small island communities. In fact, in climate-induced migration discussions, islands are a populist icon, with the discourse tending to be that the blameless residents from those communities must flee the rising
seas. Such statements are not always placed in wider and deeper understandings of mobility and non-mobility. Focusing on island communities, this presentation examines and critiques island evacuation as climate change adaptation, especially in comparison to wider environment and migration contexts. Without denying the major challenges which climate change has previously brought to some islanders and brings to many islanders today, climate change is often overplayed–but that does not diminish the relevance of island experiences for our own climate change related decisions.

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