In response to my recent posts concerning how we in the Midwest might deal with the massive inland migration of climate refugees, I received the following interesting response from Jane Peers.
As a member of the coastal Quakers, I wonder how we Friends, after we find each other, will respond to the non-Quakers who will be fleeing to the same areas. Will we be building high walls? Offering classes in how to emulate our solutions? Something in between?
And, as a coastal dweller, I wonder how well we can adapt as well as how genuinely welcome we might be. We will lack almost all of the skills the new life will require.
This article is very welcome and could provide the basis of new acquaintances across the mountains – before the emergency. Could we share some of our visions – or nightmares – even if they are only small pieces of some larger as-yet-unseen vision? For example, how to keep warm in winter – skins were an early solution; Raising cotton or sheep and hand-spinning yarn and then learning to weave it and form garments – all this is just one other aspect of this vision.
Thank you for taking the trouble to write out this well-considered wake-up call.
In response I wrote: Thank you Jane. I think it would be a great step forward to begin to build connections with coastal Quakers, completing the circle in a way. Figuring out what those on the coast grapple with, and how they make preparations for the journey would be another part of the way we can all help those who will become climate refugees. We would be building an ‘overground’ railroad.
I think this is a fascinating possibility. I hadn’t considered that connecting with coastal Friends would be an important step in the migration process. As Jane implies, those Friends could be learning needed skills BEFORE they start their journey. And as importantly, they could be teaching those skills to hundreds or thousands of others who would soon become climate refugees.
Such connections between those living on the coast and those in the Midwest could allow time for planning and preparation of the new communities. This could make the massive migration somewhat manageable, instead of the alternative of unexpected arrivals. A new dimension to building a peaceable kingdom.