College of the Atlantic professor of global environmental politics Doreen Stabinsky will talk about the human consequences of a changing climate at COA on March 31. PHOTO COURTESY OF COLLEGE OF THE ATLANTIC

Lecture topic: Climate refugees

BAR HARBOR — Doreen Stabinsky, professor of global environmental politics at College of the Atlantic, will present a special Maine Fulbright lecture in the college’s Thomas S. Gates Jr. Community Center on Friday, March 31, at 6:30 p.m.

The lecture, which is free and open to the public, will explore the severe consequences for billions of people whose lives and livelihoods are likely to be affected by “slow-onset” climate events in the near future, such as an increase in the frequency and severity of droughts, desertification, ocean temperature rise and acidification, and salinization.

An unprecedented number of refugees and migrants are on the move across the world, according to Stabinsky. While many are fleeing their homes because of armed conflicts, large numbers also have been pushed away by the impacts of a changing climate – both from extreme weather events such as floods and droughts and from the steadily accumulating impacts of increasing global temperatures.

“When land and sea lose productivity and the ability to support families and communities, people will migrate,” Stabinsky said. “We are at a dangerous intersection of climate change, land, food and people, and many international institutions, and the global humanitarian architecture, are not ready to address the coming challenges.”

Stabinsky’s research focuses on the impacts of climate change on agriculture and food security, adaptation and adaptation institutions under the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), and on the emerging issue of loss and damage from slow onset impacts of climate change. She also is an independent consultant and serves as advisor to governments and international NGOs on issues related to agriculture, adaptation and loss and damage. In 2015-2016, she held the first Zennström visiting professorship in Climate Change Leadership at Uppsala University, Sweden. She was a Fulbright Fellow in the Philippines in 1999-2000.

“Doreen’s talk is especially timely,” says Robert Lively Jr., president of the Maine Fulbright Chapter. “Displaced people and refugees are at the center of conversations and debates around the world, and while many are fleeing from war-torn countries, Doreen, in ‘Dangerous Intersections: Climate Change, Land, Food and People,’ discusses how other factors are contributing to this movement, especially climate change and its impact on peoples and nations.”



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