– Climate change and an unjust society made me a refugee, Kristina says.
Kristina från Duvemåla(“Kristina from Duvemåla”) is a Swedish musical written by former ABBA members Bjoern Ulvaeus (lyrics) and Benny Andersson(music). It’s based on a series of four novels by Swedish author Vilhelm Moberg detailing a family’s poverty-driven migration from Sweden to America in the mid-19th century: The Emigrants, Unto a good land, The Settlers, The last letter home.
From the mid 19th Century up to early 1920, it is estimated that 1 500 000 Swedish citizens left for “Amerika”. About 20 % later returned, either with or without means to support themselves.
They embarked vessels across a wast Ocean in search of something better than barren soil. Something better than an unjust society.
The lack of land to cultivate and an increase in population had long been a strain on the possibility to support a family.
A number of bad harvests had made conditions worse and in 1867 Sweden suffered extreme bad weather changes from the north to the south causing starvation and, often death for the youngest. Due to bad weather conditions, the whole year, the crop seeding was delayed and almost the entire harvest was destroyed during “The night of beheading”, September 2nd, 1867.
Europewide rescue actions were made to raise a supply of grain for the starving population. It became a race against time as the harbors normally were closed during autumn and winter, due to ice. They only received half of the grain gathered. You might say that the population became “climate refugees”.
In 1907 a committee was formed to prevent the emigration wave that drained entire counties of inhabitants. Social and economic reforms were initiated in order to attract people to stay. Reforms such as the right to vote, better housing and the right for education.
If climate will make land unable to support life, consequently it will cause waves of climate refugees regardless of the geographical point on the Earth!