Nomad Century

Nomad Century

How to Survive the Climate Upheaval

Summary

Brought to you by Penguin.

A tremendous upheaval is coming this century: with every degree of temperature increase, roughly a billion people will be pushed outside the zone in which humans have lived for thousands of years. While we can and should do everything we can to mitigate the impact of climate change, the brutal truth is that huge swathes of the world are becoming uninhabitable. From Bangladesh to Sudan to the southern and western United States, and in cities from Cardiff to New Orleans to Shanghai, the quadruple threat of drought, heat, wildfires and flooding will uproot billions of people. Mass migration will remake the world in the 21st century, either by accident, or design - and as Royal Society Science Prize-winning science journalist Gaia Vince shows us, far better the latter.

In this galvanizing and persuasive call to arms, Vince demonstrates how we can manage the coming climate migration. But the vital, counter-intuitive message of this book is that migration is not the problem - it's the solution. Not only will billions of people have no choice but to relocate, but advanced countries are facing demographic crises due to shrinking, ageing populations and the resulting labour shortages. Drawing on a wealth of eye-opening data, Vince describes how migration demonstrably brings tremendous benefits not only to migrants themselves, but to host countries, who benefit economically as well as culturally. A borderless world is not something to fear: in fact a World Bank study suggested that it would triple global GDP. As Vince shows us, we will increasingly be moving north, into the Arctic circle, and to countries like Canada, Greenland and Russia that will only benefit from rising temperatures and increased populations.

While the planetary emergency of climate change is finally getting the attention it deserves, the inevitability of mass migration has been largely ignored. In Nomad Century, Vince provides, for the first time, an examination of the most pressing question facing humanity.

© Gaia Vince 2022 (P) Penguin Audio 2022

Reviews

  • Nomad Century is a landmark work - terrifying in its message and urgency, but ultimately empowering in its conviction about a path forward. Gaia Vince lays bare the scale of the challenge before us, and the grand ideas that will be needed to meet it. We must be ready; this book shows us how
    Ed Yong

About the author

Gaia Vince

Gaia Vince is an honorary senior research fellow at UCL and a science writer and broadcaster interested in the interplay between humans and the planetary environment. She has held senior editorial posts at Nature and New Scientist, and her writing has appeared in the Guardian, The Times and Scientific American. Her research takes her across the world: she has visited more than 60 countries, lived in three and is currently based in London. In 2015, she became the first woman to win the Royal Society Science Book of the Year Prize solo for her debut, Adventures in the Anthropocene.
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