How does climate change cause migration?

Climate change, whether anthropogenic (man made), natural or both can accelerate processes such as desertification, coastal erosion and flooding. Here are some pictoral examples of where this is happening around the world:

Plastiki sets sail: will it help change our approach to waste?

Named in honour of Thor Heyerdahl’s Kon-Tiki raft, which sailed across the Pacific in 1947 (, Plastiki is made mostly from recycled plastic bottles and aims to highlight the damage that non-recycled plastic waste does to the marine environment. In the USa ~38 billion plastic bottles are thrown away each year. The expedition seeks to encourage us to recycle more. You can find out more about their expedition here: & here:

Plastics in the Pacific Ocean end up as tiny pellets which are floating in a huge mat about 5 times the size of the UK. You can find out more about the dangers of plastic pollution here:

Local Actions Global Effects: do you owe compensation to these Bolivians?

Most people recognise that actions in one part of the world can have unintended consequences much further away. Now a group of Andean Bolivians want an international court of environmental justice to be established, in the hope that it will recognise that their livelihoods are being damaged by climate change and compensate them. You can read more about their plight here:

What social problems are associated with mining developments in LEDCs?

Mining is often a useful way for LEDCs to gain finanancially from their natural resources. However, large global mining companies and governments in developing countries often do not enforce the same planning, social and environmental standards as they would in MEDCs. Here are a couple of examples of the allegations that have been made:

A Canadian mining firm operating in Guatemala:

A British firm operating in Peru:

How will climate change affect fish stocks?

It’s thought that predicted changes in climate will have a fundamental affect on the size, type and distribution of global fish stocks, a vital source of protein in many parts of the world

Will better planning help protect Sumatra’s forests?

The Indonesian authorities have agreed to protect the forests of Sumatra, which have been ravaged by logging (some of it illegal) in past decades. Half has already disappeared and it will interesting to see whether the Indonesian governement’s new comittment will provide the protection that the forests so desperately need:

What is the future for Portugal’s cork forests?

Corks have been familiar in wine bottles for centuries. The forests that supply them are a rich ecosystem in their own right, but they are under threat as vintners move to using cheaper, more reliable plastic corks. The consequenses for the special ecosystems of the cork forests are serious: