This Week's Herman Trend Alert

Abundant Computing

  The Herman Trend Alert

October 13, 2021

Climate Migration has Begun

Sometimes when I set out to write about a topic, I discover a much more important area to cover. That discovery is just what happened when I started researching the background for writing "World Migration into Cities." I found the more important topic of Climate Migration. Maybe at some time in the future, I will cover the lesser topic?

Natural Disasters Abound
Just in case you thought that wildfires only appeared in the United States, think again. To date this year alone, in the United States, Canada, Greece, and Turkey tens of thousands of people were displaced by wildfires. Thousands more in the US, India, and Bangladesh. As if all of that were not enough, massive floods in Germany, China, and Myanmar have displaced over a million people. There was one week this summer in which over 40 countries suffered with extreme weather events. Countries on every continent were affected. What few people are talking about is the consequence of these natural disasters: climate migration.

Sometimes called Climate Refugees, these Climate Migrants are the victims of the chronic conditions of flooding or wildfires or once-in a century hurricane, heat waves, or snowstorm. But whichever category they fall into, the consequence is the same. People are displaced from their homes---many permanently. According the United Nations' International Organization for Migration, their displacement may be forced or voluntary, planned, or unplanned, collective, or individual and the cause of their displacement may be sudden or slow.

Why Is This Happening?
As I have explained on other occasions in the past, as temperatures go up including that of seawater, we are giving Mother Nature more and more building blocks to create increasingly severe weather like Category 5 hurricanes, giant snowstorms, and stronger monsoons. And with changing weather patterns, we are seeing more droughts and wildfires. On top of all of that, because of shifting temperature zones, crops and other vegetation that use to thrive are now producing lower yields. And the attendant moving animal migration models are causing different species that never met to share infections that can cause what we call "spillover"*---the believed cause of the Ebola outbreak in Guinea in 2013. Finally, there is the fact that the increasing temperatures are causing the melting of the ice at both poles, creating sea level rise.

Climate Migration Varies
From the software developer who chooses to migrate from the San Francisco Metro Area to the new tech-hub in Austin, Texas to escape the wildfire smoke (and enjoy a larger living space and lower taxes). After repeated crop failures, a family in Guatemala moves to the capital city to find work. And an entire Dutch community is planning to leave the Netherlands due to rising sea levels. All of these folks are climate migrants.

No End in Sight
Although I wish I saw a major rise in consciousness to respond by reducing Greenhouse Gases, I do not. All of these natural disasters that we used to call "wildcards"** have become prevalent and are happening with disturbing regularity. But I have two pieces of good news: first, humans adapt, so we will develop new systems and processes to help us mitigate the effects on us; and second, we still have the ability to innovate, so that we may discover that there are concrete actions we can take to prevent rising emissions and slow or reverse the effects of climate change.

To read the entire article, go visit this site.

* Spillover is the cross-species transmission resulting from a foreign virus that jumps from one species to a new host species, and spreads within the population of that new host species.

** Wildcards (or Black Swans) are natural or man-made low-probability, high-impact events.

Next Week's Herman Trend Alert: The Global Labor Crisis
Last August, 3 percent of the US labor force resigned. In the US, there are 9 million people looking for work and 11 million jobs being offered by employers. Using the latest research from workforce futurist Edward Gordon, I will detail how we got here and how we could possibly get out of it.

© Copyright 1998- by The Herman Group, Inc. -- reproduction for publication is encouraged, with the following attribution: From "The Herman Trend Alert," by Joyce Gioia, Strategic Business Futurist. 1.336.210.3548 or To sign up, visit The Herman Trend Alert is a trademark of The Herman Group, Inc."

With the workforce crisis detailed in this Herman Trend Alert, you could really use a leg up in competing for top talent. Winning the Employer of Choice® Award could be your competitive edge in this very tight labor market. Celebrate your employee-centered corporate culture! This coveted award is well worth the effort, yet is not easy to achieve. Download the extensive application at; or for a Word® version, drop a note to or call Joyce at 1.336.210.3548.

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