A new threat is looming: it’s about conflicts caused by weather. Climate change might not just kill us, but there is growing concern that it will drive us to kill each other. About 25 percent of wars in ethnically divided countries happen in the wake of climate disasters.
This would be the most important finding of a new study released recently. It brings new data to a debate that’s been growing for some years now: Is there any link between war or civil unrest and climate change?
Over the last three decades, 9 percent of wars happened right after heat waves or droughts. This has to do not just with the weather, but with water and food as well. These are scarce resources in Africa and the Middle East.
Let’s take a look at some of the wars in these areas and what seems to have generated them. The civil war in Syria took place in the middle of the country’s worst drought in the past 900 years. Coincidence or not, the generally accepted explanation is the onset of the Arab Spring.
If we look at Venezuela’s collapsed economy, a warming climate will worsen the whole situation. However, the main reasons are the political chaos and the oil crisis.
However, in 2007, Ban Ki Moon, the UN Secretary-General evoked a connection between climate change and the Darfur conflict that led to the death of hundreds of thousands.
The new German-led study takes climate into consideration as an aggravating factor for wars and social conflicts. This leads to greater instability, where things are already explosive.
The authors also came up with the idea that conflicts in Afghanistan, Somalia, Syria and other parts of Africa could be worsened by the effects of global warming. Climate change has a potential to give rise to tensions and further create chaos in these regions that are already conflict inclined.
Warmer climates generally lead to more aggressive behavioral patterns, as heat lowers the thermic comfort index, making it unbearable for anyone to be out in the scorching wave.
Armed wars are one of the biggest threats to humankind. These not only generate deaths but also lead to uncontrolled migration. Even the effect on the economy is negative.
Image Source – Wikipedia