February 28, 2007
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FROM VOLUME 10, NUMBER 3, MARCH 1997
"Can Large-Scale Environmental Migrations be Predicted?" B.R. Döös
(Global Environ. Mgmt., Jordangasse 7/13, A-1010 Wien, Austria), Global
Environ. Change, 7(1), 41-61, Apr. 1997.
The increasing degradation of the global environment can be expected to lead
to increasing numbers of environmental refugees during the next few decades.
Emphasizes two particular problems, the declining availability of food per
capita in the developing world, and migration from low lying coastal areas
driven by rising sea level. For these problems there are compelling reasons to
believe migrations can be predicted with sufficient reliability to motivate
implementation of mitigation measures. So far, the more developed countries have
demonstrated little interest and imagination in the possible occurrences and
consequences of migrations, appearing to believe the problem can be solved
simply by sharpening their immigration policies.
"The 1996 World Food Summit," L.O. Fresco (Plant Production
Systems, Univ. Wageningen, 6706 KN Wageningen, Neth.), ibid., 1-3.
This commentary states that, from the point of view of global change, a
number of issues were missing or underplayed at the summit. Climate change was
mentioned in some background papers, but did not appear to be a major topic
despite the potential loss of fertile agricultural land in coastal zones, and
the potential impact of elevated CO2 on future food production.
"Water Resources: Agriculture, the Environment and Society-An
Assessment of the Status of Water Resources," D. Pimentel (College of
Agriculture & Life Sci., Cornell Univ., Ithaca NY 14853), J. Houser et al.,
BioScience, 47(2), 97-106, Feb. 1997.
This comprehensive analysis examines the consumption of water by
individuals, agriculture and energy production, and the relationship of water
availability to biodiversity. Suggests strategies for improving future water use
in the face of conflicting demands from population growth, climate change, and
changing water use patterns. New water supplies likely will result from
conservation, recycling, reuse, and improved efficiency, rather than from large
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