Climate migration is about people, not numbers

Durand-Delacre, D, Bettini, G, Nash, S.L, Sterly, H, Gioli, G, Hut, E, Boas, I, Farbotko, C, Sakdapolrak, P, de Bruijn, M, Tripathy Furlong, B, van der Geest, K, Lietaer, S and Hulme, M (2021) 'Climate migration is about people, not numbers.' In: Böhm, S and Sullivan, S, eds. Negotiating climate change in crisis. Open Book Publishers, Cambridge, pp. 63-81. ISBN 9781800642621

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Official URL: https://doi.org/10.11647/OBP.0265

Abstract

It has become increasingly common to argue that climate change will lead to mass migrations. In this chapter, we examine the large numbers often invoked to underline alarming climate migration narratives. We outline the methodological limitations to their production. We argue for a greater diversity of knowledges about climate migration, rooted in qualitative and mixed methods. We also question the usefulness of numbers to progressive agendas for climate action. Large numbers are used for rhetorical effect to create fear of climate migration, but this approach backfires when they are used to justify security-oriented, anti-migrant agendas. In addition, quantification helps present migration as a management problem with decisions based on meeting quantitative targets, instead of prioritising peoples’ needs, rights, and freedoms.

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Divisions: School of Sciences
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Date Deposited: 01 Oct 2021 12:16
Last Modified: 01 Oct 2021 12:19
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