Migration is no longer a once-in-a-lifetime event
It will keep occurring until people find stability in this era of multiple global disequilibriums
The first modern humans began moving outside of Africa 70,000-100,000 years ago. Since then, mankind has been on the move for various reasons. On examining the recent trends, one can notice that migration has connections with climate change, technology, government policies and the state of the economy.
Climate change is evolving, and is is now one of the major reasons for people migrating —— from vulnerable to safer areas in the hope of having stable lives. The situation is worrisome because most of the world’s population, especially in Asia, live in coastal cities, and with temperatures rising these are going to be the first ones to get impacted by rising sea levels.
Parag Khanna, the author of best-selling book Move , claims that if global temperature rises above 3° Celsius, the land favourable for agriculture would shift northwards, closer to the Arctic Circle. The impact of the rise in sea level is already reflecting in terms of market prices of property in coastal cities of New York, Boston, Miami, etc., which are going at a discount of 10 per cent.
With jobs vanishing quickly because of rising applications of artificial intelligence and advanced tech, people are forced to move to places where they can find work to support their livelihoods. According to a report by Forbes , the number of jobs lost due to automation in the US alone stands at 60 million.
While technology might be the cause for people migrating in the first place, ironically, it is also the solution to some of the most pressing issues unfolding in critical fields like agriculture. For instance, Singapore, which imports almost all of its food requirements, is now seriously looking at techniques like hydroponics and aquaponics. Through this, the country, due to the paucity of land, can grow staple food on water and, thereby, tackle shocks and become self-reliant. Under its flagship ‘30 by 30’ initiative, the country aims to grow at least 30 per cent of its food requirements by 2030.
It is quite widely observed that people migrate not only because they are forced or due to the lack of options, but also to upgrade their lifestyles in countries which have better governance, infrastructure and migrant-friendly policies. The two major countries that offer these are Canada and Japan.
With one-tenth of the US’ population, Canada takes in nearly the same number of migrants as the US each year. But unlike in the US, the Canadian citizenship journey begins as soon as a student lands in the country.
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