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Reading Comprehension – Climate Change

“One example of climate change as a risk intensifier is the escalation of already present ethno-cultural tensions in the North of India due to increased inflows of migration from Bangladesh. A significant intensification of natural environmental hazards in Bangladesh including “flooding, cyclones, storm surges, water-logging, salinity intrusion, and riverbank erosion and land loss” is widely attributed to climate change, resulting in the migration of between twelve and seventeen million people to India to date. The corresponding ethnic redistribution in the North of India has demonstrated the exemplified by political mobilization and organized violence against migrants.

The extent of the tensions was revealed in 2012 when a riot in Kokrajhar on the 20th of July resulted in the deaths of almost eighty Bengali Muslim immigrants and destruction of approximately 500 villages through arson, with the Indian army deployed and instructed to ‘shoot on sight’. Approximately 400,000 people were displaced and forced to live in makeshift camps, and India maintains a physical wall in an attempt to prevent Bangladeshi immigration.

The threat associated with climate refugees is also intensified by the fact that people who are forced to move due to changes to local environment are not currently recognized under international law, freeing other nations from obligation to grant “climate refugees” the protections offered to those fleeing war or persecution. The link between climate change induced migration and conflict in this region is drawn by Barnett and Adger, who recognize that conflict can be stimulated by changes in social systems driven by climate impacts.” Source:

The primary purpose of the passage is to

A. show the extent of political mobilization against migrants
B. explain how climate change as a risk intensifier works in the North of India
C. explore the threat associated a climate refugee not being recognized as a refugee under international law
D. argue about the moral implications in local government
E. decry the organized violence against migrants


CORRECT ANSWER = (A) The physical wall to prevent Bangladeshi immigration is an example of pushback from the Indian government. It is an effect of the rising tensions caused by the migration from Bangladesh on top of political mobilization and organized violence.

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