|Extreme weather, extreme consequences|
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Only 15 years from now, permanent drought conditions triggered by global warming will have crippled food production throughout Central America. Once-fertile farmland will have turned to desert, forcing millions of campesinos to flee their villages in El Salvador, Guatemala and the southern Mexican states of Chiapas and Oaxaca.
Armed insurgents will take control of main cities, and by 2027, refugees will swell Mexico’s population to 155 million, leading the United States two years later to fortify its southern border – at a cost of $1.6 trillion – with minefields and automatic machine-gun robots that kill anyone desperate enough to try to cross it.
This dystopian vision, outlined in Gwynne Dyer’s 2007 bestselling book “Climate Wars,” is still fiction – but experts meeting in Washington warn of a grim future indeed for Central America unless the region quickly adapts to the realities of a warming planet.
A March 28 panel at the Brookings Institution brought together experts including El Salvador’s Juan José Daboub, CEO of the Global Adaptation Institute; Pascal Girot, senior climate change advisor for CARE International; Luís Alberto Ferraté, senior advisor to Guatemala’s Instituto Privado de Investigación del Cambio Climático, and Walter Wintzer of the Center for Natural Disaster Prevention in Central America.
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