Blog Posts by Alice Thomas

June 10, 2013 Alice Thomas Africa, Burkina Faso, Climate Displacement, Congress, Mali, Niger, U.S. Administration, United Nations

Africa’s Sahel region is home to some of the world’s poorest and least developed countries. But in recent years, more erratic weather coupled with political unrest, has had grave impacts on Sahelian populations. Instability brought on by conflict and growing food insecurity has forced hundreds of thousands to flee their homes. And these impacts are only likely to increase in the decades to come as millions of vulnerable, agriculture-dependent families across the region face increased climate variability.

May 31, 2013 Alice Thomas Africa, Bangladesh, Burkina Faso, Climate Displacement, Colombia, Mali, Myanmar, Niger, Pakistan, Somalia, Thailand, Americas, Humanitarian Response, Asia, Middle East

Right now, the shell-shocked residents of Moore, Oklahoma, are grappling with the loss of 24 lives and the destruction of entire neighborhoods following a devastating tornado on May 20. Meanwhile, across the globe, tens of thousands of people in Bangladesh and Burma are returning to damaged homes and villages in the wake of Cyclone Mahasen, which thankfully proved more merciful than anticipated.

April 22, 2013 Alice Thomas Burkina Faso, Climate Displacement, Mali, Niger, Pakistan, Somalia

For most Americans, Earth Day symbolizes the need to protect the natural environment – specifically clean air, clean water, and pristine rivers and forests. In the years following the first Earth Day in 1970, some of our nation’s most important environmental laws were adopted, including the Clean Water Act, the Clean Air Act, and the Toxic Substances Control Act. Actors like Meryl Streep also caught the attention of America’s mothers by bringing attention to pesticides in the food that we feed our children every day.

March 12, 2013 Alice Thomas Africa, Burkina Faso, Climate Displacement, Mali, Niger

After a 20 year absence from Capitol Hill, former Secretary of State George Shultz returned last Friday to urge members of Congress to act on climate change.

Many might find this surprising since Shultz served under President Ronald Reagan and few of his fellow Republicans support action to combat climate change. But it is Shultz’s economic and national security expertise that spurred his case for U.S. leadership on this issue.

January 08, 2013 Alice Thomas Africa, Burkina Faso, Climate Displacement, Mali, Niger, Americas, Asia, Middle East

The day Hurricane Sandy slammed into the East Coast, I was in Mali, a country in West Africa’s Sahel region. As a native New Yorker, I was stunned and dismayed to see pictures of the flooded streets and tunnels of Manhattan, of destroyed homes and schools on Staten Island, and of thousands of my fellow New Yorkers displaced and in shelters. But I was even more struck by the indiscriminate nature of what I was witnessing both in Mali (one of the world’s poorest countries) and the United States (one of its richest): massive humanitarian emergencies resulting from more extreme weather.