"Climate Refugees" at the UK Embassy here in Washington. The film was an impressive travelogue to all of the 'hot spots' that are at the frontlines of climate change. They visited Bangladesh, Tuvalu, Northern Alaska, New Orleans, inland China, and Darfur. It provided stark visual evidence of the role that a changing climate is having on these places. As one person in Tuvalu said, "nature has turned against us". For those of us involved in climate policy every day, it doesn't present anything new, but it provides stunning visual confirmation of what we're working on. Also, its clear that the film started out to talk about environmental migration, but as the interviews progressed, they began to look at climate change as a driver of conflict, which we've wrote about many times over the past year.
Also, the interviews that the filmmaker, Michael Nach, was able to pull together impressive. He brought together political leaders like John Kerry, Nancy Pelosi, and Newt Gingrich to talk about it. He also was able to gather a litany of leaders from the climate & security field. Its nice to see people whom I've cited, worked with, emailed with, and admired involved in this work. These included Koko Warner, Paul Ehrlich, Lester Brown, Stephen Schneider, Rajendra Pachauri, Peter Schwartz, and others.
Though the film does tend towards the more alarmist view on how many climate refugees there will be, I think it does it in a measured way. As we've said on this blog before, no one is responsible for climate refugees, in the current international system. There are some proposals on how to bring them into the international system, but there seems to be little global appetite to apply the Geneva Conventions to environmental migrants.
Films like this play an important role in the political debate -- far greater than think tanks and blogs can -- and I hope that it gets as wide a viewing as possible. I've embedded the trailer below.
UPDATE: Appartently, the Natural Security Blog was there last night too.