Sunday, November 16, 2008

Global climate changes could lead to violence

Houston Chronicle: A warmer planet could find itself more often at war. The Earth's fast-changing climate has a range of serious thinkers — from military brass to geographers to diplomats — predicting a spate of armed conflicts driven by the weather.

Shifting temperatures lead to shifting populations, they say, and that throws together groups with long-standing rivalries and thrusts them into competition for food and water. "It's not hard to imagine violent outbursts," said Julianne Smith of the Center for Strategic and International Studies.

Smith helped write one of four major studies put out in a little more than a year by centrist organizations in Europe and the United States that warn climate change threatens to spark wars in a variety of ways. Each report predicted starkly similar problems: gunfire over land and natural resources as once-bountiful soil turns to desert and coastlines slip below the sea. They also expect violent storms to unsettle weak governments.

Security analysts say profound dangers are just years, not decades, away. They already see evidence of societies at odds. Ethnic groups clash in Sudan's Darfur region, trading gunfire in a conflict with climatological overtones. The armed thugs who rule Myanmar were exposed, and their regime knocked back on its heels, when Cyclone Nargis killed tens of thousands of people in May and the leadership responded so poorly. Likewise, Hurricanes Katrina and Rita in 2005 began the fall of President George W. Bush's approval ratings.

…"Governments that are already weak will be destabilized much more often and much more easily," said Jay Gulledge, a senior scientist at the Pew Center on Global Climate Change. "And if cooperation isn't enough to stretch resources, then what happens?"….

Belchite, a town in Aragon, Spain, was destroyed during the Spanish Civil War (1937). The ruins have been left unrestored as a monument. Shot by "ecelan," Wikimedia Commons, under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2

1 comment:

grandpa up said...

The scientific reasons why “global warming” is not a global crisis

Conclusion of Lord Monckton’s address to the Cambridge Union Society
8 October 2007

AL GORE says, “I believe this is a moral issue.” So it is. To “announce disasters” or “scary scenarios” or “over-represent factual presentations” in place of adherence to the scientific truth – that is a moral issue.

To let politicians insert data into official scientific documents; to alter those documents so as to contradict scientific findings; to manipulate decimal points so as to engender false headlines by exaggerating tenfold – those are moral issues.

To exaggerate by 2000% not only the atmospheric lifetime of a trace gas but also the effect of that gas on temperature; to reduce the magnitude of its predicted influence on temperature without reducing the predicted temperature itself – those are moral issues.

To claim scientific unanimity where none exists; to assert that catastrophe is likely when most scientists do not; to exalt theoretical computer models over real-world observations; to misstate the conclusions of scientific papers or the meaning of observed data; to overstate the likely future course of climatic phenomena by several orders of magnitude – those are moral issues.

To reverse the sequence of events in the early climate; to repeat that reversal in a propaganda book intended to infect the minds of children; to persist in false denial that past temperatures exceeded today’s; to state that climate events that have not occurred have occurred; to ascribe these non-events as well as specific extreme-weather events unjustifiably to humankind – those are moral issues.

To propose solutions to the non-problem of climate change that would cost many times more than the problem itself, if there were one; to advocate measures to mitigate fancifully-imagined future climatic changes when adaptation would cost far less and achieve far more; to ignore the real problems of resource depletion, energy security, bad Third World government and fatal diseases that kill millions – those are moral issues.

To advance policies congenial to the narrow, short-term political or financial vested interest of some mere corporation or faction at the expense of the wider, long-term general interest of us all – those are moral issues.

Above all, to inflict upon the nations of the world a policy of ever-grimmer energy starvation calculated not merely to inconvenience the prosperous but to condemn the very poorest to remain imprisoned in poverty forever, and to die in their tens of millions for want of the light and heat and power which we have long been fortunate enough to take for granted – that is a moral issue.

Sir, this House is the House of youth. Here high ideals are shaped and sharpened. Here of all places, it is surely understood that in each of us, however far apart in mere distance or origin or wealth or achievement, there is the image and likeness of our Creator; that by this intimate communion with our Maker each of us, however poor, is of unique and precious value; that therefore there is only one race, the human race; that the suffering children of Africa, of Asia and of south America, imploring us with their hopeless, hopeful eyes, are our people. They cannot look to their own. They look to us. We must get the science right or we shall get the policy wrong. We have failed them and failed them before.

We must not fail them again!