Around the world, sea-level rise could lead to widespread migration, as people along vulnerable coastlines escape rising water levels. But coastal flooding isn’t the only extreme event that can impact migration patterns. As evidenced just this year in the United States by Hurricanes Maria and Harvey, and the widespread and devastating wildfires in Northern California, there are many types of extreme weather events that require relocation to safer ground.
This panel will discuss the issues of retreat and relocation as they relate to extreme weather events and climate change. The idea of retreating, whether temporary or permanent, is unpopular, controversial and brings a host of challenges. Yet in the United States, extreme weather has displaced people from their homes, causing disruption to communities and lives. This panel will provide an interdisciplinary exploration of the issues and challenges associated with climate-induced migration. What does climate science tell us about who may need to migrate? What are the legal issues surrounding managed retreat? Is relocation a feasible climate adaptation strategy? How can we ensure that people relocate to safe and secure places? Is ‘orderly’ retreat at a large scale even possible? Panelists will explore these questions and more.
Opening remarks: Lisa Goddard, Director, International Research Institute for Climate and Society, The Earth Institute
• Lisa Dale, Lecturer, Undergraduate Program in Sustainable Development
• Michael Gerrard, Director, Sabin Center for Climate Change Law, Columbia Law School
• Marc Levy, Deputy Director, Center for International Earth Science Information Network, The Earth Institute
Moderator: Radley Horton, Lamont Associate Research Professor, Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, The Earth Institute
This event is free and open to the public; RSVP required. The panel will be followed by a reception with wine, beer and hors d’oeuvres.