Predicting Vancouver’s population in a warmer world

Vancouver in the anthropocene:

Bill Rees, a retired UBC professor of community and regional planning, calls Metro’s projection that another million people will live here by 2041 “a comedy” given the growing uncertainties and risks facing the world.

“Almost all population projections are meaningless,” says Rees, an ecological economist. “One of the most important things to keep in mind is that they are often very wrong.

“When they talk about adding another million people to this area … it’s not going to be that easy. It’s going to be a very different world than the one we’re in today.” […]

[Vancouver] could also get far more would-be migrants as the Earth’s climate changes, he says.

Geological records show that in the past the world’s sea levels have risen several metres in a matter of decades, he says.

“Because of changes that cause an environmental disaster elsewhere, we could be asked to take not a million people but tens of millions of climate refugees,” Rees says. “This is not a prediction but it is a plausible scenario.”

 

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