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Episode2ClimateFinal.mp3

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Filiz Garip 

Human lives are not as simple as that. We're all kind of trying to make decisions under many, many constraints, and moving is a huge decision that none of us make lightly – leaving your community, leaving the place that you've known and lived in.

Eleanor Paynter

Welcome to Migrations: A World on the Move, a series brought to you by Cornell University's Migrations initiative. I'm Eleanor Paynter, postdoctoral associate in Migrations and your host for this podcast that seeks to understand our world through the interconnected movements that shape it. 

Today: climate. Climate change is now part of the regular news cycle, but it still often appears in coverage not of everyday life, but of major disasters, a hurricane that displaces entire cities, flooding that destroys communities, or the combination of extreme weather and failures of infrastructure and governance, like what we've seen recently in the state of Texas with power outages amid freezing temperatures. So too with climate migration. More coverage is important, but these representations can feed narratives of mass migration that stoke fear, especially when such stories portray climate migration as a likely invasion of "others" who move great distances to escape drought or flooding.

There's good reason to ask, of course, what happens when people have to relocate following a hurricane or drought. But limiting conversations of climate migration to the examples of disaster leaves critical and long standing instances of environmentally induced migration out of the picture: people who move temporarily then return, for example, people who move repeatedly or who move very short distances. It also suggests that climate change concerns primarily these major disasters, leaving out the many ways in which environmental change over time affects people's ways of life and wellbeing.

How we label and talk about the relationship between environmental change and human mobilities is critical. And these discourses are being shaped right now, as we continue to study these relationships. In this episode, to reflect on approaches to studying climate related migration and how we talk about it. We turn first to sociologist and migration scholar Filiz Garip who shares from an ongoing study that's focusing not on sudden onset events, but on gradual change. Then Filiz and I are joined by Ingrid Boas, who studies what she terms "climate mobilities," in terms of both disasters and gradually change. Together, we reflect on why how we talk about climate mobilities matters, and what narratives are emerging as especially important now. First, we hear from Dr. Filiz Garip.

Filiz

I'm Filiz Garip. I'm a professor of Sociology and Public and International Affairs at Princeton University. I'm a scholar of migration. And recently, I started thinking about how environmental factors affect migration flows and migration decisions. And Cornell's Migrations Grand Challenge effort actually gave a bunch of us a reason to come together and to ask this question from a multidisciplinary lens. So we established a team of scholars that include agricultural economists, theoretical economists, and I'm a sociologist. We also have members in our team from the Department of Natural Resources. So this project allowed us to really kind of think big, and ask what is missing in the debate around climate change and migration. And what we realized was, a lot of people were studying the effect of sudden onset events, like what happens if there's a sudden disaster and people are displaced, and they need to migrate. But we wanted to think about migration more as a gradual process. And what happens if, you know, weather changes are being felt slowly over time, and, and many more people are experiencing this change than sudden onset events like a hurricane. And, you know, we wanted to look at an established setting with a large migration flow, and with a lot of data for us to go through. And the Mexican setting actually gave us all of these things because Mexico - US migration flow has been going on for over a century, the most prolonged movement of people in American history. And we've collected a lot of information on this movement already. The only missing thing is we've until now we haven't considered environment as a potential factor in people's migration decisions.

Eleanor

And I would imagine that one of the things that that resonates a lot of that comes up in this kind of work is that what you were looking at before in terms of economic factors or socioeconomic factors are still present, but really now become visible as entangled with what's going on environmentally and ecologically.

Filiz

Absolutely, absolutely. A lot of economic changes that were happening in the Mexico in the 1970s, 1980s. I mean, some of it had environmental precursor to it. As droughts are becoming more commonplace, for example, it's it's becoming harder for people to continue their, you know, agricultural farming activities. But at the same time, there are also other factors like, you know, changing trade policies with the United States that are perhaps disconnected from weather but still exacerbating the pressures created by, you know, long run climate change. So I think that the hard thing is, how do we disentangle these different factors if we really wanted to understand the true impact of climate change and wanted to think about future projections? How will people adapt? How will people respond to these changes? We really need to think about this in complex ways. We wanted to start from a very basic point: does weather really have an impact – if we look at 50 years of data, and our data actually included information from about nearly 160,000 individuals observed over many, many, many years? So we wanted to first ask this question: what happens if we account for all the things that we've been accounting for until now? Consider, you know, whether someone lives in a poor community or rich community, rural community? All of these things. If we consider economic changes in Mexico in the United States, can we still detect an impact of slight weather changes? Like it doesn't rain as much this year, as it did last year? Does this really create an impact, or is it really negligible? And the surprising thing was how robust the weather impact was and how the weather actually had a long-term effect. So lack of rain, let's say two, three years ago, can still have an impact on whether a family decides to send a migrant this year. And the reason for that is, you know, people incur debts. So if you cannot grow corn one year, it doesn't just mean that you haven't made money, it means that you haven't been able to pay back your debt, because you have to get fertilizers, you have to hire workers. So then that means next year, you have to recover from that. And this way, if that year, the weather is not favorable, then the debt accumulates, and so the pressure is mounting. So it's not just that you have one bad year, and then the next year, everything is going to be okay. But as these things become more common, as you have more people experiencing consecutive years of, you know, bad, you know, unfavorable weather, then there's a mounting pressure on people.

So to see that was actually really interesting to me, because you can keep everything else equal, right? You know, nothing else is changing in the community, but it's just like lack of rain in one year. And then you see, kind of, in a few years, the repercussions of that with people migrating. And you see a little bit more about the different kinds of data that you're putting together in the project? So you mentioned individual data, I assume about people who have crossed the border. And then you have all of this, I guess, 50 years of data about the the weather in pretty local terms. Yes. So, the individual level surveys are part of the so called Mexican migration project. So, as Mexican migration was becoming more and more common in the United States in the 1980s, a team of scholars from Mexico and the United States basically started collecting individual surveys in communities that were sending migrants to the north. And it started out as a small effort. In its first year, they went to three communities, and they canvassed the entire community, and then they kept repeating this effort until today. And right now we have information from 170 communities spread across 20-plus states in Mexico, and information about the whole life histories of, you know, 160,000 individuals. And some of these individuals, about 20,000, I believe, have made at least one trip to the United States. But, you know, we didn't have specific weather information in that data set. So we actually went to the NASA Earth Observing System Data Archives, and we collected daily information on, you know, gridded on one-kilometer squared grids on Earth's surface. And this has been recorded since 1980. And we know daily how much it rained, what the temperature was, what the maximum temperature, what the minimum temperature, all of that. But it's a massive dataset. So we had to think really hard about how to combine that data with this annual information on individuals in these small communities. And we decided to use some of the newer methods from computer science that allow us to automate the discovery of which weather variables are most important.

Eleanor

Can you give an example of one of the aspects of weather change that you discovered through this new method that you might not have noticed, by looking through the data with with other methods, for example?

Filiz

Right, so so one of the things that we discovered was, the more contextual a weather measure is, the better it captures people's various decisions related to their economic activities or migration behaviors. For example, we see a lot of people using precipitation patterns. But we discovered that not every community is affected by the rainfall in the same way, because some communities are growing crops that are sensitive to rain, some communities are growing crops where rain does not matter as much. So our, our analysis basically revealed that the more you can match the weather measure to the economic activity of that community – for example, if you're measuring, you know, temperature, if you use the temperature thresholds that are relevant for the crop that community's growing, then you really understand, you really capture the mechanism through which weather impacts the decisions. Otherwise, if you use the same measure for every community, then you know, it doesn't work as well.

Eleanor

Do migrants themselves talk about their movements in terms of environmental changes, or weather changes, or is that something that you're really bringing to that, that data set through this work that you're doing?

Filiz

So this is a really interesting question. So part of our work, a large part of our work involved using quantitative survey data overlaid with fine-grained weather information. So that took 90% of our efforts. But the remaining 10%, we actually did fieldwork in Mexico. And we went to areas of Mexico with a team of students, we went to areas of Mexico, where, you know, there's specific vulnerabilities to weather changes. So we went to the southernmost tip of Mexico, where coffee production is the main activity and coffee plant is very sensitive to weather changes. And, honestly, we weren't expecting to hear the story from the farmers. We weren't expecting them to tell us, "Oh, yes, there's climate change and we are being impacted." We were expecting, I was personally expecting to hear a more general story about, you know, there's, you know, it's hard to grow coffee, and there's a lot of fluctuation and the price is changing. But as soon as we started talking to, to growers there, everybody without an exception mentioned climate change. They said, you know, there's a lot more variation now. It's a lot more unpredictable. And this unpredictability is the biggest obstacle. It's not bad weather, it's your inability to anticipate when it's going to come. Because if it's, if it's just about having bad weather, then you can prepare for that. But it's just the growing volatility around weather. So you don't know when the summer is going to come. You don't know when it's going to rain, and you can't prepare for it. So this was the hardest thing. And everybody without an exception, mentioned that. But it is a fact of life for people whose livelihood depends on on weather and predictability of weather. So seeing that was really, really interesting. So people realize this, and people even make connections between these changes and migration. So in the same sentence, a farmer would say, yes, you know, we expect it to rain in this month, it didn't, so we couldn't grow, and then a lot of young people migrated because we couldn't pay them wages immediately. So these linkages are very, very clear to people who are living that reality.

Eleanor

Your comment also makes me think that the threshold for migrating – so the moment when someone decides, now's the time I need to leave – is of course different for people who occupy different roles in the community. At what point does someone say, I have to go? So for someone it might be because they weren't able to earn wages at all –

Filiz 

Yeah, it's, it's interesting. So so the coffee growers saw this as a family heritage. So they had this emotional connection to the work that they were doing. So for the people that we talked to there, you know, they would never leave, you know, their workers left. If they couldn't hire any other people, their workers left, but they felt like they had to do this line of work. But they were very skeptical that their children would continue. And what we see is that it depends a lot on your own resources as a family. So if you're a relatively well-off family in a rural village, then let's say that one year, there's really bad weather, there's a drought. Then you can immediately and you almost always immediately send a migrant. You can send a younger son to migrate, and you can finance that trip. And we need to remember that migration is a costly endeavor nowadays – especially if you're crossing without documents – nowadays, it costs three to $5,000, to hire a smuggler. So family really needs to save. And the cost of crossing also means that migrant needs to stay in the US longer to recover those costs and to save some money. And so the well-off families can make that decision pretty quickly. And in the data, what we see is that if there is kind of lack of rain, and excessive heat in one year in rural communities, well-off families, families that own land, they have property, they can immediately send a migrant. And that migrant stays for a year or two and then returns.

But then poor families, what happens to them, they can't immediately respond to weather changes. The only way they can respond is, let's say two years ago, there was a drought. The next year – last year – you need to be able to recover from that drought and save some money for migration, and only then can you finance a migrant. So we see this very specific pattern for poor families, that there has to be a sequence of weather events. So there has to be bad weather, followed by relatively good weather to be able to save and only then you can send the migrant. And this actually raises the question of who can use migration as this adaptation strategy to deal with challenges, environmental challenges, right? And rich families can do that. But poor families, it's not available. It's not readily available to them as a strategy. So that also raises the question of inequality, right? So, in this case, we can see migration as a way for people to recover from the losses that they're incurring. But then if the strategy is only available to already well off people, then what happens to the poor?

Eleanor

Filiz and colleagues' findings from their work in Mexico underscore the need for contextually specific study about the relationship between environmental change and mobilities. At the same time, this work also resonates with research and experiences around the globe, especially as it raises questions about when migration is possible, and what different factors prompt, enable, or inhibit movement. Filiz's work also points to the need for a more expansive vocabulary for talking about this relationship between climate change and migration, or a need for narratives that encompass the complexities of that relationship. To take up these questions, Filiz and I are now joined by Ingrid Boas.

Ingrid Boas 

So my name is Ingrid Boas. I'm an associate professor at the Environmental Policy Group at Wageningen University and indeed, at the moment, a visiting fellow at the Migration Policy Center at the European University Institute in Florence, and I've worked on this issue – so, the relationship between environmental change, climate change and human mobility – since 2007. I was working with Frank Biermann. We wrote this study on the climate refugees and we coined that term and made a proposal for better protection of climate refugees. We were sort of amongst the first to put it forward. So in that sense, it was quite an important study for to get sort of, yeah, the data discussions going and the debate going. But that also led to a lot of sort of, yeah, critical responses, which also made me reflect myself on some of the things that we had proposed in there, realizing how the language of climate refugees and warning for mass movements and all that, what the implications of those actually are. So I got more interested in that. And then on the securitization of climate migration, so more understanding what the consequences of framing are. And recently, I've taken more of some of more ethnographic approach or more going actually to the regions and places affected areas themselves and talk with people who are affected. And so I've been a lot in Bangladesh, and in Kenya, in the context of a research project on environmental migration in the digital age, with a big group of sort of other scholars in the field, we coined this term "climate mobilities," based on sort of empirical findings of how diverse and heterogeneous actually human mobility in the context of climate change actually is, as a way to open up the debate and to broaden our understandings and go beyond somewhat simplistic and alarmist conceptualizations of the issue.

Eleanor

So you're both working on different in different regions, but on interdisciplinary projects that offer insights into specific contexts, but also, I think, contribute to broader understandings of the relationship between environmental change and migration. So I'm really glad to have you here for this conversation. And really, I want to focus on how we talk about climate migration. How do we understand the relationship between climate change or environmental change and human mobility? And what are the narratives that we need to be really forwarding at this point, or what's, what's the best way to communicate what we're learning about this relationship?  So I wanted to frame our conversation by referring to two numbers that have been widely cited, and also widely disputed, just to sort of situate the problematics of the alarmist discourse. So in 2002, environmentalist Norman Myers argued that there could be as many as 200 million people "overtaken by disruptions of monsoon systems and other rainfall regimes, by droughts by sea level rise." Um, so he estimates that by 2050, there could be as many as 200 million climate refugees. This became a number that got taken up by a lot of researchers pretty quickly. And then more recently, a report from the Institute for Economics and Peace estimates of possible 1.2 billion climate refugees by 2050. Thinking about people who live in countries, I'm quoting from the report, "where societal resilience is unlikely to be sufficient to withstand the impact of their ecological threats between now and 2050."  So these predictions have on the one hand, garnered global awareness for the problem of climate change, and also drawing people's attention to the fact that environmental change does affect people's movements. But it's also led to this alarmist discourse about, and we can say stoked fears about, mass movements of people crossing borders. And maybe, and I think your work, both of your work speaks to this, maybe it also doesn't really account for the realities of that relationship between climate change and migration, or the the heterogeneous ways that environmental change can affect people's lives. And so I'll start by asking you to share how you define or measure climate change in your work. And have you adapted the way that you think about what climate changes is over time.

Filiz

You know, in our work, so a lot of this, these numbers are concerning extreme events, which we expect to increase in severity, in frequency in the next several decades. The kind of migration I study has to do more with gradual changes. So the way we measure these environmental changes, is by looking at weather fluctuations over a really long period. Given individual survey standards, a period of 50 years. And because we can measure these things quite well, you would think that there's a lot of consensus in the literature on how these changes impact mobility. But, you know, my reading of the literature, maybe Ingrid also can speak to this is, it's just full of mixed results and full of disagreement around what kind of weather changes create what kind of impact in what kind of communities, how social and economic, you know, institutions, you know, mediate this effect.

Ingrid

Yes, also on the last point, I think that's actually interesting, like in Bangladesh, I focused on both how people respond to fast onset events, so like big disasters, coming suddenly, but also on these gradual changes. And there I found actually that really these gradual changes have more impact on people actually moving away that it seemed that when there was sort of a cyclone, that people whenever possible, tried to go back home, also, because they were quite used to storms coming, and then they go back, and then they fix the houses, sometimes also with help of NGOs or the government. But then gradual changes, which in case of Bangladesh is a little bit complex to know to what extent that's related to climate change at the moment – maybe to a degree, but there are erosion processes going on in Bangladesh, which are inherent to the delta dynamics and have always been there. But these erosion processes sort of they weaken embankments in areas so when then a cyclone hits, then that could, yeah, then sort of the gradual dynamics and the fast onset dynamics come together. Then the situation could suddenly be the be much worse, because then a certain area of the land is really gone. So it's seemed to me that are often more related to sort of these gradual processes that really made areas really vulnerable, more on a structural sense that people are moving away. But also, when there was a sudden disaster, and areas that were less sort of vulnerable to these gradual events were also more resilient to disasters. And then when moving away, I didn't see people moving to very long distances or so; rather, people move a bit more inland, for instance, I met many people who had moved to a house already five times, some meters further inland, often finding and other sort of free space where government land, for instance, where it was free to move your house, or if they had some more money, they could buy a plot, or, or they would go to areas where they already had connections, for instance, fireworks, or, for instance, in Dhaka or other places. So in the areas where I was in Bangladesh, I didn't meet people going to another country. I guess, if I would have done research in the area very close to India, then I would have probably seen that because of the existing family bonds and connections that are already there.

But I think that's the point. I think we often see in the research that it's not like there's some new phenomenon of climate migration, but it's very much intersecting with increasing sort of social networks and connections that are already there. And I think that's something that's often missing in these these estimates, which sort of suggest that there will be this new type of mass migration and sort of not able to, to see how it's sort of integrating with existing dynamics and how that is actually maybe shaping responses of people. And I fully agree that, that there's a big debate still, in the scientific community, it seems to be even a bit of a divide between those wanting to make estimates and models of future climate migration and those arguing against that and trying to contextualize everything. And there have been some attempts, I think now there's a study done within, in UNEF, I think there's an attempt to bring these people together and do that. So attempts are being made in that direction, but still lots needs to be done.

Eleanor

It really highlights the need for these more collaborative, interdisciplinary investigations too.

Ingrid

I fully agree with that, but but it's more difficult than it seems. Often, when you come from a very different discipline, it's very often too difficult to make each other aware of some one's other assumptions that some have.

Filiz

That's a really interesting point, because one of the things that we talk a lot about is like how difficult it is to measure migration itself, to even count the migrants in a country and to know how many people are moving. And the other thing that we always talk about is how historically contingent migration flows is. For example, if you were to ask anyone, like, you know, where would Mexican migrants come from, to the United States? Maybe the easiest answer would be maybe the border region because it's so close, and you can just go there. But if you look, historically, actually, a lot of Mexican migrants come from a lot farther down from Central West, because that's where the railroads were established to connect the US to Mexico. That's where recruiters went to hire migrants in the 1800s. And that's how these kind of social and cultural linkages were being established. So and for a long time, you know, the border region was not a massive migrant sender; people were traveling much longer distances to migrate to the United States. So if you think about this dynamic that you can't even predict where migration is gonna happen in a country because there are all these random historical events that start the migration flow, and then it continues from there. If you add on top of that are uncertainties about how climate change events will unfold, it becomes really hard to make credible predictions about how many people will migrate. So in a way, it's I don't envy that task of coming up with estimates because it's, you're bound to be wrong, whatever number you throw out there, you're bound to be wrong. But I, you know, I'm happy to hear about this effort that Ingrid mentioned, of bringing people at least in the same room so that they can understand their language or where they're coming from at least.

Ingrid

Yeah, but also on these numbers I sometimes also wonder in whose interest is that? Why do we per se want to know that – is that for the countries receiving the migrants, or also because like, for instance, this World Bank study that looked into number of internally displaced people in the context of climate change. They didn't include I think people who were displaced within 14 kilometers or something, whilst actually at least in the studies I've done, those seem to be amongst the most vulnerable groups, as they don't have a lot of means to move further away. So they have sort of no other choice than to stay somewhat closer to the area that's being affected. But they are not included in the numbers because we always want to talk about migration or longer flows. And sometimes I wonder, why are we doing that? And what are we looking for exactly? Maybe it's, indeed, just in the interest of getting funds or – all noble interests, but sometimes, not always, it's very clear to me how it helps those who are most affected.

Eleanor

This brings to mind this recent comment piece that you wrote, with many co-authors, Ingrid, that came out in Nature, about climate migration myths. And in that piece, you talk also about the relationship between climate change and migration and policy. And I wonder, maybe I can ask both of you to comment a little bit on what that relationship is or what it should be. So Ingrid, in that piece, you talked about how narratives of mass climate displacement affect the ways that people think about what policies are necessary, and therefore the ways then that research gets funded. And so these narratives have a lot of influence, not just on public understanding, but then on the production of knowledge, too.

Ingrid

Yeah, yeah, so we made a point that a lot of the policies have somewhat of a security-based focus, sort of a need sort of to prevent migration from happening, sort of in order to prevent world instability or things like that. So, for instance, in that context, the European Union and its funding was focused, for instance, to make sure that, that you're already prevent it in the source so so that people don't move to Europe in the first place. So therefore, a lot of the funding, yeah, our proposals should be focused on that. So how can we, for instance, add resilience to local communities so that they won't have to move in the first place? But then at some point, indeed, our research then also become somewhat politically motivated, and also driven by some assumptions as if migration is per se bad or per se the exception to the rule, and ignoring ways how also mobility is part of social life?

Filiz

Yeah, I completely agree with, you know, Ingrid's assessment, on the political undertones that guide the questions or the way we're asking those questions. Actually, coming into this field of, you know, climate-induced migration, I was quite surprised by the language of, you know, resilience, adaptation, vulnerabilities that seem to come mostly from policy-based communities, which is not necessarily a bad thing, but I think this field is very unique – as a migration scholar, I can see that it's using a very different language than the language that we're using to explain, you know, economically induced migration or even kind of forced migration, you know, related to political conflicts and so on. I just want to understand human mobility, you know, from a different context of, you know, my goal is not necessarily to prevent it, but to understand it, to understand how different factors entangle as people are making these really hard decisions to move. And it's not, and, the other kind of side of the coin is that sometimes, so we either give migrants no power, they're kind of victims that are being pushed by these large events, or we give them all the kind of calculative tools and say they're opportunists. And you know, human lives are not as simple as that. We're all kind of trying to make decisions under many, many constraints. And moving is a huge decision that none of us make lightly – leaving your community, leaving the place that you've known and lived in. And I understand the concern about, you know, giving people options to stay in their home communities, but migration is also a way that humans have moved, sought opportunities. So I think in a way, it's really good to have these discussions around like, where did this, where does this language come from? Why are we trying to come up with estimates? Why are we worrying about adaptation? Or adaptive capacity? Or why are we defining this debate in these terms? And yes, we want to kind of contribute to policy, but we also want to understand this process from the point of people who are living it.

Eleanor

What would you say now to people who are advocating for recognition of the climate refugee category? And also, what examples have you seen, or what suggestions do you have for interventions that really do have an effect on how we talk about climate migration? What might work to shift the narrative?

Ingrid

Well, the thing is, I find I find it a bit difficult with the climate refugee concept, alsoyeah, because I coined it before also myself, and also knowing the reasons of those who are still doing it. I think often, they're fair reasons behind it, right? It seems that people want to really highlight that people are facing a clear injustice, and they they need, they are deserving of protection. So there's also very sort of noble reasoning behind it, yet, sort of the often unintended consequence of it is that before being affected by climate change get, yeah, sort of connotation of indeed being a victim, and oh, they're coming our way and we should brace, brace ourselves for new climate refugees, unfortunately, because of the discourse also that is present in many societies about immigrants and, and refugees as well.

But the strong part of the climate refugee concept is this justice connotation. So I think we need to find ways by using other other concepts that are more accurate to what we see in practice, like for instance, mobility – how can we still use that in a way, that still sort of upholds this, yeah, connotation of justice in a sense, because of course, it is related also to climate change. And but I find that always a little bit of a struggle, in that respect, and trying to work on that myself now in a in a book I'm writing, but it's a bit of a difficult, difficult balance. And in that sense, in the interventions that do help, I find that's a difficult one. I've done a lot of talks myself, or sometimes interventions in newspapers or something, but I don't often see very big effect, like, sort of the common tendency to talk about it in a sort of alarmist way seems to sort of come back over and over again. But maybe, like, what I find very powerful examples are people from the small island states in the Pacific, the Pacific Climate Warriors, I think they calll themselves, who are very actively appearing on social media or in other ways to protest against a framing of them being climate refugees, and then wanting to sort of fight back and take ownership of what's happening to them, and also to still place emphasis on the responsibility of, for instance, Australia and other polluting countries to act. So still putting forward this justice claim, while still, without them becoming the passive victims, but actually being the climate warriors. And I kind of like that. They've been quite powerful, I think in bringing that across. But yeah, more of that could happen. That maybe, yeah, I don't have the perfect solution yet.

Filiz

You know, I agree with, you know, Ingrid, in that having a label in a way helps mobilize us around, and kind of, helps us recognize that this is an issue. But it also very quickly politicizes it. It also brings all these connotations, both for the people engaging in it, and also people who may not perhaps fit the category but are still being impacted by environmental change. And I find the efforts to answer understand the different ways that people are being impacted, and the different responses that they're giving, as kind of more, more important at this point. So how do we communicate this to the public? And it's, I think we mistakenly think of it as a national issue, whereas it's an issue that no one nation can solve on its own. So it's, it's by definition a global issue, you know, involving at least two countries. The more we think about these issues, both climate change, and mobility or migration flows, as global issues, the more we realize that the reasons underlying them are affecting all of us, not just migrants. So one of the big issues with migration is how, if we look at refugee flows, for example, how the burden, quote unquote, of refugee flows is actually borne not by the Western world, but by developing countries. When we look at climate change, we see a similar disproportionate distribution, whereas, you know, the advanced economies are contributing more to what we see as causes of climate change, the burden of climate change is being experienced more by developing, poorer regions of the world. So this imbalance is reflected in within each country as well; within advanced nations we also see growing inequalities. And if we see the problems that migrants are facing as a reflection of our own problems, I feel like we recognize something really crucial. It's not just you know, and we see we saw this with the COVID pandemic in a way, like how connected all our well being is in this world. It's really small the world when it comes to experiencing issues all together.

Eleanor

Thanks for listening to Migrations: A World on the Move, a podcast by global Cornell's migrations global Grand Challenge, a cross-disciplinary multispecies initiative that studies how the movements of people, animals, microbes, resources, ideas, and more shape our world. You can learn more about the initiative at migrations.cornell.edu, where you can also find relevant links from this episode. Follow us @GlobalCornell and with the hashtag Cornell migrations.

This podcast is hosted by Eleanor Paynter, Migrations postdoctoral associate with the Mario Einaudi Center for International Studies, and produced by Megan DeMint. Much of the podcast was produced at Cornell University on the traditional homelands of the Cayuga nation, and we recognize the nation's sovereignty and the Indigenous peoples who have lived and continue to live on this land. Our music is "Basically really" by Steve Fossett. Migrations: A World on the Move is available on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, and Stitcher.