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Sonia Shah: Migration Is Not A Crisis, But A Biological Imperative For Both Humans And Animals

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Central American migrants traveling in the Migrant Via Crucis caravan walk to their legal counselling meeting in Tijuana, Baja California state, Mexico, in April.
Central American migrants traveling in the Migrant Via Crucis caravan walk to their legal counselling meeting in Tijuana, Baja California state, Mexico, in April.

The images from the Texas-Mexico border are startling — thousands of people from Haiti and Central America crammed under a bridge, and this is just one piece of it.

Sixty million people have recently fled wars, persecution and the effects of climate change, a figure that could rise to 1 billion by 2050.

In her latest book, Sonia Shah posits that the migration in animals, plants, and humans is not disruptive behavior to be quelled or feared, but a biological imperative that ecosystems and societies depend upon for the creation and dissemination of biological, cultural, and social diversity.

Are the planet's migration patterns scientifically or historically unprecedented? How is migration connected to changes in the environment?

Why is there such deep-seated fear of dislocated people on the move? What can we learn from Shah's recounting of migration misinformation, from the 18th century up to today's anti-immigration policies?

Guest: Sonia Shah, science journalist and author. Her latest release is "The Next Great Migration: The Beauty and Terror of Life on the Move"

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*This interview was recorded on Monday, September 20.