« The Growing Drumbeat for Impeachment | Main | No Iraq Benchmarks Have Been Met »

Study Suggests Global Warming Could Spark Conflicts

This should make the right wing Iraq War apologists happy... they'd have new reasons to keep on wearing their camouflage pajamas...

Changes in climate, such as temperature and rainfall, can significantly alter the availability of crops, livestock and drinking water. Resource shortages could, in turn, prompt people to turn to war to get what they need to survive, several experts have warned.

There is a historical perspective that supports this view.

A new study, detailed in the August 2007 issue of the journal Human Ecology, suggests this was the case in the past. The authors reviewed 899 wars fought in China between 1000 and 1911 and found a correlation between the frequency of warfare and records of temperature changes.

"It was the oscillations of agricultural production brought by long-term climate change that drove China's historical war-peace cycles," wrote lead author David Zhang of the University of Hong Kong.

Similarly, several top retired American military leaders released a report in April warning of the national security threat posed by global warming, predicting wars over water, refugees displaced by rising sea levels and higher rates of famine and disease.

Climate change could possibly improve growing conditions in some areas (particularly higher latitudes), while hurting them in others (especially the tropics), explained William Easterling of Pennsylvania State University.

"What that sets up is a sort of winners and losers situation," said Easterling, who was not affiliated with the new study.[...]

Easterling also said that the correlation cited by the authors of the new study did not necessarily prove that temperature changes caused increased warfare, but that there could certainly be a relationship between the two.

Separately, other scientists have argued that a looming peak in oil production could potentially generate conflict on a global scale as industrialized nations fight over dwindling petroleum supplies in an era of soaring demand.


Note: Wizbang Blue is now closed and our authors have moved on. Paul Hooson can now be found at Wizbang Pop!. Please come see him there!

  • Currently 3/5
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Rating: 3/5 (4 votes cast)


Comments (17)

ke_future:

lee, you have a point in that climate changes can and will affect crop yields. however, i'm not sure what that has to do with "right wing iraq war apologists".

you do relize that nothing has been proven about climate change other than it happens? and has been happening for millions of years as the various sources cause the climate to heat up and cool down.

or are you just trying to say that "right wingers" are just war happy killers?

you throw around that term right winger a lot. just what, exactly, is a right winger? what are the things that define them? oh, and what are the things that would define a left winger? or do those not exist?

J.R.:

How ironic, there is a historical perspective about wars being fought as temperatures change, but that same historical perspective is cast aside when considering the current Global Warming trend!!! I wonder why that is? It couldn't be that the alarmist AGW viewpoint is all about politics now could it?

Lee Ward:

There are only a few left (on the right) who still deny Global Warming is a serious problem with potentially very serious consequences.

There is still debate over whether the causes or man-made, or whether it's part of a naturally-occurring heating and cooling cycle, and there is still debate over whether we can make a big difference in changing the outcome, and whether whatever remedies we can apply are cost-effective, but only the most foolish of the fools continues to deny the problem is real.

J.R.:
There are only a few left (on the right) who still deny Global Warming is a serious problem with potentially very serious consequences.
Lee, who are you talking to? And what are you talking about? I don't deny that temps have been rising. I do however doubt some of the techniques used to determine how much the Earth has actually been warming.

And how do you go from potentially serious consequences in one paragraph to the potential of this just being part of a natural pattern? Kind of deflates your rhetoric a little doesn't it? Of course you know nothing about AGW, you're just using the notion to blast right-wingers as war-mongering knuckle draggers anyway.

But still, maybe you can actually address my point about historical perspective that you raised?

Lee Ward:
And how do you go from potentially serious consequences in one paragraph to the potential of this just being part of a natural pattern? Kind of deflates your rhetoric a little doesn't it?

Potentially serious consequences can't occur from natural patterns? Or a combination of natural patterns and man-made causes? Really? Should we all just sit back and pray?

The people who in years past were denying it was happening at all -- are now admitting that global warming is real, but denying it had man-made causes that can or should be mitigated by man-made changes.

They were wrong about the fact that it was occurring in the first place, and they were singing the same "it's all just political" crap to deny it was happening in the first place.

They were wrong then, and they're probably wrong now as well.

J.R.:

Lee, do you ever get tired of running around a direct question?

Potentially serious consequences can't occur from natural patterns? Or a combination of natural patterns and man-made causes? Really? Should we all just sit back and pray?

Stop redefining the topic at hand. Your post was about the potential for war over diminishing resources due to Anthropogenic Global Warming and then you added your historical perspective bit. I brought up the selective use of that historical perspective, something you keep failing to address.

And to address your sit back and pray notion, I would suggest that there is plenty more historical perspective that suggests we create new solutions to solve problems (environmental and otherwise), we don't regress like say by just cutting emissions to the levels of 1970.

And who exactly is they? Do you have actual names or are you just making accusations to suit your own beliefs.

Lee Ward:

"Your post was about the potential for war over diminishing resources due to Anthropogenic Global Warming and then you added your historical perspective bit."

Where did my post say this was due to anthropogenic reasons?

If I made the claim that war would be sparked by anthropogenic global warming I might feel compelled to defend that position from your arguments. I didn't.

I cited a study which claims that wars may be sparked by Global Warming - period - and neither I nor the author of the article made a claim about the causes of Global Warming.

As I stated a few comments ago:

There is still debate over whether the causes or man-made, or whether it's part of a naturally-occurring heating and cooling cycle, and there is still debate over whether we can make a big difference in changing the outcome, and whether whatever remedies we can apply are cost-effective, but only the most foolish of the fools continues to deny the problem is real.

If you'd like to make the claim that Global Warming is 100% the result of natural causes, and that there is absolutely nothing we can do in response, fine... but please note, that would put you back into the small percentage of what I consider as right wing nutcakes that argue against the mere existence of a global warming trend purely for political reasons -- to discredit the Demon-Gore, and I might choose to ignore that argument as well.

Paul Hamilton:

KE said:
>>or are you just trying to say that "right wingers" are just war happy killers?

Not all RWers are militarists, but the NeoCons are and for the moment, they're setting the conservative agenda.

Lee, you're right about warming. The problem is that the debate has been redined into one of cause rather than effect. Warming IS happening and we all need to start making plans for how we'll deal with it, all the way from disease prevention as tropical diseases spread into the temperate zones, to rethinking how we'll manage crop production. And yes, on the chance that humans have a role in climate change, we need to start reducing our dependency on energy that poisons the planet as well. But first, we must prepare for the changes that are taking place.

JR said:
>>there is plenty more historical perspective that suggests we create new solutions to solve problems (environmental and otherwise)

I sure hope so. It's very unfortunate that the politicized debate (and Bush's incestuous relationship with the petroleum industry) caused the US to reject Kyoto. It was a very important symbolic first step toward both a global recognition to and a global reaction to climate change. Oil is finite and our energy needs are constantly accelerating, so even beyond the climate effects, we as a planet need to find clean, renewable sources of energy or the result will be climatic and economic disaster. That's just a fact, and it's only a matter of when it occurs if we fail to change our ways.

Lee Ward:

I remember thinking at the time... how in the world could the people of the United States elect an oil man and a defense industry czar to the office of President and Vice-President?

And just look at what it has cost this nation in return. It still amazes me that Americans were that gullible in 2000 and 2004 - and it may well end up literally destroying the GOP as a political force by the time the 2008 elections roll around.

Meanwhile the only reason for Bush's foot-dragging on global warming is that he's protecting the oil companies.

And in support the brave political foot-soldiers in Bush's war for oil (like J.R. above) can serve Bush and the oil companies while discrediting Gore and the left in the same breath.

A POTUS acting against the best interests of the American People, enabled by a conservative right wing army of sycophants who are rewarded with small legislative victories like stem cell vetos. What a mess.

J.R.:

It's very unfortunate that the politicized debate (and Bush's incestuous relationship with the petroleum industry) caused the US to reject Kyoto.
What the hell are you talking about Paul? The US rejected Kyoto while Clinton was in office! Is this your BDS showing or just plain ignorance. Sheesh.

Oil is finite and our energy needs are constantly accelerating, so even beyond the climate effects, we as a planet need to find clean, renewable sources of energy or the result will be climatic and economic disaster. That's just a fact, and it's only a matter of when it occurs if we fail to change our ways.

Your first sentence is a fact, the rest is just hysteria. When it occurs will be centuries from now and we will have no doubt moved on to a different energy supply.

J.R.:

Meanwhile the only reason for Bush's foot-dragging on global warming is that he's protecting the oil companies.

Hey Lee, why would he be dragging his feet about something that may only be natural? You said so above, what's the matter don't remember that? If it might be natural, what do the oil companies have to do with global warming?

Stick to a theory already. That's right, I forgot, you have to have a spine in order to stand for something.

Paul Hamilton:

JR said:
>>The US rejected Kyoto while Clinton was in office!

Um, yeah. You're right.

But we still could have signed on later, and failed to do so. The primary opposition to Kyoto has come from the Republicans, so while I withdraw the comment about Bush (at least in the first place), I will not absolve his party.

>>When [we run out of oil] will be centuries from now

We may never actually run out completely but it will become more scarce and found in fewer places and much more expensive, so places like the mideast will become more and more politically volatile so long as the entire world needs their natural resources.

Lee Ward:

"Hey Lee, why would he be dragging his feet about something that may only be natural?"

Because it doesn't matter to what extent the the causes are man-made or natural. We need to come up with solutions to mitigate, and as I said we can argue about the cost-effectiveness of the solutions, but we shouldn't be arguing about the fact that solutions are needed.

To do so is to deny the problem exists in the first place, and only the fools are in that camp now. I see that camp is a happy-place for you, J.R. so I will leave you to your ad hominem attacks. Have fun.

J.R.:

But we still could have signed on later, and failed to do so. The primary opposition to Kyoto has come from the Republicans, so while I withdraw the comment about Bush (at least in the first place), I will not absolve his party.

Again you leave it so easy to correct your feeble knowledge of this subject. The Kyoto treaty was unanimously rejected 98-0 by the Senate. Hardly partisan lines wouldn't you say?

so places like the mideast will become more and more politically volatile so long as the entire world needs their natural resources.

Or until we realize that vast expanses of nothingness that environmentalists want to preserve are worth more to us as a nation than buying from the same resource from other countries.

J.R.:

I see that camp is a happy-place for you, J.R. so I will leave you to your ad hominem attacks. Have fun.

That's rich. Run and hide and claim ad hominen attacks are the reason. Please Lee. Give me a break. Problem is you've been speaking out of both sides of your mouth and you're now having trouble keeping track.

Also posted information about this at http://www.humanecologyforum.org with links to all resources mentioned and information about how to get your hands on the article from the journal Human Ecology.

kim:

Cllimates change and people war. These are phenomena. Cause and effect among them are problematic.
======================


Contact

Send e-mail tips to us:

[email protected]

Advertisments

Categories

Archives

Technorati



Add to Technorati Favorites

Credits

Publisher: Kevin Aylward

Editors: Lee Ward, Larkin, Paul S Hooson, and Steve Crickmore

All original content copyright © 2007 by Wizbang®, LLC. All rights reserved. Wizbang® is a registered service mark. Wizbang Blue™ is a trademark of Wizbang®, LLC.

Powered by Movable Type 3.35

Hosting by ServInt

Ratings on this site are powered by the Ajax Ratings Pro plugin for Movable Type.

Search on this site is powered by the FastSearch plugin for Movable Type.

Blogrolls on this site are powered by the MT-Blogroll.

Temporary site design is based on Cutline and Cutline for MT. Graphics by Apothegm Designs.