When people talk about the consequences of climate change, often they will bring up the environmental and economic costs, both of which are very real. However, the political and human consequences often get overlooked.
As a student at Temple University, I study global security and intern with the nonpartisan climate action group Defend Our Future. Both international security and the environment are issues I care deeply about, and these two concepts overlap more than you might think. The reason I vote is because I care about climate refugees.
What are climate refugees, you may ask? Climate refugees, while not recognized under international law, are refugees who have been displaced from their homes by the impacts of climate change, such as intense storms, flooding or persistent drought. The World Bank has estimated that by 2050, 143 million people across sub-Saharan Africa, South Asia and Latin America will be climate refugees.
This is an issue that is hitting close to home, as well. Last year Hurricane Maria caused the displacement of thousands of Puerto Rican families across the territory, and the consequences of Hurricane Florence in the Carolinas are still playing out.
This is why I vote. Millions are losing their homes and their lives to the effects of climate change now and the problem is only growing worse. It’s time to make our voices heard on this issue. Vote with climate in mind in this year’s midterm elections on Nov. 6.