How might we conceive a world where climate changes fast, and history moves slow? As it turns out, this has happened before, at least on a local scale. There have been minor blips in climate in particular geographical regions that have happened quickly, but the results are not good. The range of climate conditions under which historical forms of social organization can persist turns out to be fairly narrow. It’s likely that the kinds of social disorganization that we are already seeing in many parts of the world—along the aridity line, for example—will only spread and accelerate.
The contested category of “refugee” implies that there is a refuge, and soon there may be none.