The Birkenhead Protocol

If the image of three-year-old Aylan Kurdi, washed lifeless upon the Turkish shore, personifies the humanitarian crisis in the Middle East, we might also consider the last images Aylan himself ever saw as symbolic of humanity’s greater moment of peril. The biblical proportions of climate change—the storms and rising seas, the mass migrations of dispossessed—distill to Aylan’s lone wooden boat,...