swell the ranks???


south korea, korean
people whose livelihoods and survival depend on drylands are swelling the ranks of environmental and economic refugees who are testing the already streched resources of towns and cities across the developing world.

is this saying that people in drylands are increasingly turning to refugees due to climate changes and they pressure resources of cities which are not enough for people in cities?
  • foxfirebrand

    Senior Member
    Southern AE greatly modified by a 1st-generation Scottish-American mother, and growing up abroad.
    A group of people may or may not be growing.

    "Swell the ranks" is the language of exaggeration.

    If this group (refugees) is large, referring to their "ranks" makes it sound enormous-- the term refers to armies, not just medium-sized, unorganized or casually-related groups of people.

    To even imply that this group of people has "ranks" is to inflate the group into something resembling an army-- or maybe a swarm of ants?

    Once a propagandist frames language in such overstated terms, it's pointless to inquire what the writer means. S/he means to distort the subject matter s/he is writing/talking about.

    People have moved from country to city environments since time began. But it only seems to happen during economic booms. Without the upward pressure of an economic upturn, such demographic movement makes no sense. Yet writers in "journalist" careers always seem to depict these movements as the result of downcast forces on the economic level. Are any of these "refugees" doing the writing about this trend? I didn't think so.



    Firefox's analysis of the situation is one view.
    But yes, kangminxi, the author is saying that the changes which climate change is bringing is forcing people off the land and into cities, and that the cities are finding it harder to cope.

    Whether this is true is open to debate, but that is what the author is saying, and we're not here to debate enviromental change.

    The use of the phrase "environmental and economic refugees" indicates that the author is saying that there is an overall horde of refugees and that these dryland people are adding to their numbers - across the globe. (I would argue that the worldwide number of environmental and economic refugees exceeds the numbers of soldiers in any one country's army).
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