Earlier this month, the Center for American Progress (CAP) moderated an interesting panel discussion on the relationship between migration and climate change. Based upon this CAP paper on the subject, issued in December, it would seem that the liberal think tank is not above overplaying the scary climate migrant card. So, via The New Security Beat, which has posted excerpts of the recent CAP event, I see that one migration expert who participated in the panel injected some scholarly rigor into the debate. Here's what Susan Martin, a professor of International Migration at Georgetown University, said at one point:
Environmentalists have tended to see the issue of migration as a way of getting attention to mitigation and have often talked about migration in very alarmist terms. Migration experts, on the other hand, have been very skeptical about the interconnection.
Unfortunately, the New Security Beat did not capture any response to that comment. Now I may be comparing apples & oranges here, but an observation like that from a migration expert strikes me as awfully similar to the kinds of things that a well known political scientist has been saying for some time about the dubious link between disasters and climate change.
Yet this disaster (and climate policy) expert, perhaps because he has the temerity to air his views on a blog (his credentials and published papers are not in question), is often denounced by some of the loudest climate advocates, one who happens to be a well known CAP blogger.
Since this particular blogger refuses to debate the disaster and climate policy expert one on one, perhaps they could instead participate in another CAP panel, which I would call, "Reconciling Climate Science, Politics, and Policy." In my dream panel, they would be joined by Gavin Schmidt, Judith Curry, Todd Stern, and Andy Revkin.
Given how polarized and rancorous the climate debate has become, and given how far we are from a global agreement on reducing greenhouse gases, maybe it's time for an institution to bring some representation of these varied and influential players together, on the same public stage, so they can hash out their disparate perspectives. Who knows, maybe in that dust up they could even find some common ground that would point to a new path forward.