- The Washington Times - Friday, September 14, 2018

For those panicked by climate change, there’s a bright side: Global warming could actually help eradicate racism by giving people more similar skin tones.

Scott Solomon, Rice University ecology, evolution and scientific communication professor, argued in a recent article that climate change is expected to cause mass migrations, which would increase the number of interracial couples and multiracial children.

“The bottom line? As people around the world become more physically similar to one another, it’s possible that racism might slowly fade,” Mr. Solomon said in a Sept. 7 article for MACH.

That scenario was predicated upon forecasts of mass migrations sending millions of “climate refugees” away from the coasts and warmer climates.

In a March report, the World Bank warned that climate change could compel as many as 140 million people to migrate by 2050, primarily from sub-Saharan Africa, South Asia and Latin America, although the study predicted such migrations would take place primarily within their countries’ borders.

A Cornell University study released July 2017 issued a far more alarming forecast, warning that 18 percent of the world population could become climate refugees by 2100, thanks to “global mean sea rise” from “human induced climate change.”

The result could be an increase in “gene flow, a type of evolution caused by the blending of genes between populations,” Mr. Solomon said.

“Because skin color is controlled by many genes, parents whose skin color differs tend to have children with intermediate skin tones,” he said. “And so in five to 10 generations (125 to 250 years), we may see fewer people with dark skin or pale skin and more with a brown or olive complexion. Having both dark skin and light eyes may become more common.”

He pointed to a 2017 Pew report that found U.S. interracial births rose from 1 percent in 1970 to 10 percent in 2013, and that “the multiracial population is projected to grow by 174 percent over the next four decades.”

• Valerie Richardson can be reached at vrichardson@washingtontimes.com.

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