That darned warm-mongering El Niño

From the warm-mongers at The Earth Institute at Columbia University, a study that says El Niño drives civil war. Perhaps we can get Bob Tisdale to plot temperature anomalies along the Mason-Dixon line. It seems however that these warm-mongers at Columbia have only climate on their minds and didn’t examine the underlying socioeconomic triggers for these wars. Like having Bob Tisdale plot temperature anomalies along the Mason-Dixon line, we might find a correlation of some sorts with a war, but that doesn’t mean the American Civil War was started by and ENSO cycle. As we’ve heard so often from the warmist side of the aisle, correlation is not causation. But hey, stuff like that doesn’t matter when you are trying to freak people out into thinking climate change will start WWIII or something.

Climate cycles are driving wars, says study

When El Nino warmth hits, tropical conflicts double

Caption: El Nino drought cycles heavily affecting some 90 countries (red) appear to be helping drive modern civil wars. Credit: Courtesy Hsiang et al./Nature

In the first study of its kind, researchers have linked a natural global climate cycle to periodic increases in warfare. The arrival of El Niño, which every three to seven years boosts temperatures and cuts rainfall, doubles the risk of civil wars across 90 affected tropical countries, and may help account for a fifth of worldwide conflicts during the past half-century, say the authors. The paper, written by an interdisciplinary team at Columbia University’s Earth Institute, appears in the current issue of the leading scientific journal Nature.

In recent years, historians and climatologists have built evidence that past societies suffered and fell due in connection with heat or droughts that damaged agriculture and shook governments. This is the first study to make the case for such destabilization in the present day, using statistics to link global weather observations and well-documented outbreaks of violence. The study does not blame specific wars on El Niño, nor does it directly address the issue of long-term climate change. However, it raises potent questions, as many scientists think natural weather cycles will become more extreme with warming climate, and some suggest ongoing chaos in places like Somalia are already being stoked by warming climate.

“The most important thing is that this looks at modern times, and it’s done on a global scale,” said Solomon M. Hsiang, the study’s lead author, a graduate of the Earth Institute’s Ph.D. in sustainable development. “We can speculate that a long-ago Egyptian dynasty was overthrown during a drought. That’s a specific time and place, that may be very different from today, so people might say, ‘OK, we’re immune to that now.’ This study shows a systematic pattern of global climate affecting conflict, and shows it right now.”

The cycle known as the El Niño-Southern Oscillation, or ENSO, is a periodic warming and cooling of the tropical Pacific Ocean. This affects weather patterns across much of Africa, the Mideast, India, southeast Asia, Australia, and the Americas, where half the world’s people live. During the cool, or La Niña, phase, rain may be relatively plentiful in tropical areas; during the warmer El Niño, land temperatures rise, and rainfall declines in most affected places. Interacting with other factors including wind and temperature cycles over the other oceans, El Niño can vary dramatically in power and length. At its most intense, it brings scorching heat and multi-year droughts. (In higher latitudes, effects weaken, disappear or reverse; La Niña conditions earlier this year helped dry the U.S. Southwest and parts of east Africa.)

The scientists tracked ENSO from 1950 to 2004 and correlated it with onsets of civil conflicts that killed more than 25 people in a given year. The data included 175 countries and 234 conflicts, over half of which each caused more than 1,000 battle-related deaths. For nations whose weather is controlled by ENSO, they found that during La Niña, the chance of civil war breaking out was about 3 percent; during El Niño, the chance doubled, to 6 percent. Countries not affected by the cycle remained at 2 percent no matter what. Overall, the team calculated that El Niño may have played a role in 21 percent of civil wars worldwide—and nearly 30 percent in those countries affected by El Niño.

IMAGE:The long war leading to South Sudan’s recent independence kicked off during the powerful El Nino drought of 1983. In continuing hostilities, southern fighters display a grenade launcher captured from…Click here for more information.

Coauthor Mark Cane, a climate scientist at Columbia’s Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, said that the study does not show that weather alone starts wars. “No one should take this to say that climate is our fate. Rather, this is compelling evidence that it has a measurable influence on how much people fight overall,” he said. “It is not the only factor–you have to consider politics, economics, all kinds of other things.” Cane, a climate modeler, was among the first to elucidate the mechanisms of El Niño, showing in the 1980s that its larger swings can be predicted—knowledge now used by organizations around the world to plan agriculture and relief services.

The authors say they do not know exactly why climate feeds conflict. “But if you have social inequality, people are poor, and there are underlying tensions, it seems possible that climate can deliver the knockout punch,” said Hsiang. When crops fail, people may take up a gun simply to make a living, he said. Kyle C. Meng, a sustainable-development Ph.D. candidate and the study’s other author, pointed out that social scientists have shown that individuals often become more aggressive when temperatures rise, but he said that whether that applies to whole societies is only speculative.

Bad weather does appear to tip poorer countries into chaos more easily; rich Australia, for instance, is controlled by ENSO, but has never seen a civil war. On the other side, Hsiang said at least two countries “jump out of the data.” In 1982, a powerful El Niño struck impoverished highland Peru, destroying crops; that year, simmering guerrilla attacks by the revolutionary Shining Path movement turned into a full-scale 20-year civil war that still sputters today. Separately, forces in southern Sudan were already facing off with the domineering north, when intense warfare broke out in the El Niño year of 1963. The insurrection abated, but flared again in 1976, another El Niño year. Then, 1983 saw a major El Niño–and the cataclysmic outbreak of more than 20 years of fighting that killed 2 million people, arguably the world’s bloodiest conflict since World War II. It culminated only this summer, when South Sudan became a separate nation; fighting continues in border areas. Hsiang said some other countries where festering conflicts have tended to blow up during El Niños include El Salvador, the Philippines and Uganda (1972); Angola, Haiti and Myanmar (1991); and Congo, Eritrea, Indonesia and Rwanda (1997).

The idea that environment fuels violence has gained currency in the past decade, with popular books by authors like Jared Diamond, Brian Fagan and Mike Davis. Academic studies have drawn links between droughts and social collapses, including the end of the Persian Gulf’s Akkadian empire (the world’s first superpower), 6,000 years ago; the AD 800-900 fall of Mexico’s Maya civilization; centuries-long cycles of warfare within Chinese dynasties; and recent insurgencies in sub-Saharan Africa. Last year, tree-ring specialists at Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory published a 1,000-year atlas of El Niño-related droughts; data from this pinpoints droughts coinciding with the downfall of the Angkor civilization of Cambodia around AD 1400, and the later dissolution of kingdoms in China, Vietnam, Myanmar and Thailand.

Some scientists and historians remain unconvinced of connections between climate and violence. “The study fails to improve on our understanding of the causes of armed conflicts, as it makes no attempt to explain the reported association between ENSO cycles and conflict risk,” said Halvard Buhaug, a political scientist with the Peace Research Institute Oslo in Norway who studies the issue. “Correlation without explanation can only lead to speculation.” Another expert, economist Marshall Burke of the University of California, Berkeley, said the authors gave “very convincing evidence” of a connection. But, he said, the question of how overall climate change might play out remains. “People may respond differently to short-run shocks than they do to longer-run changes in average temperature and precipitation,” he said. He called the study “a useful and illuminating basis for future work.”

###

Scientist contacts:
Solomon Hsiang smh2137@columbia.edu 315-256-8176
Kyle Meng km2455@columbia.edu 914-629-6274
Mark Cane mcane@ldeo.columbia.edu 845-365-8344

More information: Kevin Krajick, Senior Science Writer, The Earth Institute
kkrajick@ei.columbia.edu 212-854-9729

The Earth Institute, Columbia University mobilizes the sciences, education and public policy to achieve a sustainable earth. Through interdisciplinary research among more than 500 scientists in diverse fields, the Institute is adding to the knowledge necessary for addressing the challenges of the 21st century and beyond. With over two dozen associated degree curricula and a vibrant fellowship program, the Earth Institute is educating new leaders to become professionals and scholars in the growing field of sustainable development. We work alongside governments, businesses, nonprofit organizations and individuals to devise innovative strategies to protect the future of our planet. www.earth.columbia.edu

Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, a member of The Earth Institute, is one of the world’s leading research centers seeking fundamental knowledge about the origin, evolution and future of the natural world. More than 300 research scientists study the planet from its deepest interior to the outer reaches of its atmosphere, on every continent and in every ocean. From global climate change to earthquakes, volcanoes, nonrenewable resources, environmental hazards and beyond, Observatory scientists provide a rational basis for the difficult choices facing humankind in the planet’s stewardship. www.ldeo.columbia.edu

==============================================================

Here’s  the study,  and the study supplementary material (PDF)

h/t to Junkscience.com

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59 thoughts on “That darned warm-mongering El Niño

  1. A time-series graph of the Mason-Dixon Line (38N-40N, 80W-75W) Land Surface Temperature anomalies follows. Note the gap in the data during the mid to late 1860s:
    Mason Dixon Line Temperature

    REPLY: Ah HA! er…thanks Anthony

  2. “but that doesn’t mean the American Civil War was started by and ENSO cycle”

    Of course, the paper never says that it was. The American Civil War was not fought in a tropical country.

  3. So the likelihood of dying in armed conflict has dropped over the past hundred years….
    And over that time global temperatures have risen by as much as 1 degree if not more.
    …..

    GLOBAL WARMING STOPS DEATH BY WAR!!!!

  4. The article is full of caveats, but Earth Institute’s pro-”sustainability” underlying message is quite clear: we can’t control ENSO, but our CO2 output will also lead to droughts and therefore wars.

    Funny that deserts like the Sahara etc. expand during cooling periods and shrink during warming (Roman Optimum, etc.)

  5. Well, of course, the communists, the new communists a.k.a. the greens, and socialists in general, want to find something else for civil unrest, civil wars and general mayhem that has killed over hundred million people in less than a hundred years then to own up and blame themselves. How else would they be able to sell their ideology.

  6. Australia is red – but we have never had a civil war??? Maybe lattitude is a better correlation to civil war… – never had a civil war in antarctica or canada or siberia. But then again the Vikings fought the inuit in Greenland – must have been an el-nino when greenland cooled and they fought for dwindling resources…

  7. If drought caused by La Nina is a catalyst for conflict in the southern hemisphere, does El Nino cause the same problems in the northern hemisphere???

    Or is the whole thing a load of rubbish!

  8. During the cool, or La Niña, phase, rain may be relatively plentiful in tropical areas;
    ============
    what?? La nina means WET for aus, and NOT just the tropical bits. almost everyone got well and truly wet in aus this year, even WA!

  9. > James of the West says:
    > August 25, 2011 at 3:27 am
    > Australia is red – but we have never had a civil war???

    But Queensland has won the last six State of Origin series, surely that is not natural. I blame global warmening.

  10. The paper, written by an interdisciplinary team at Columbia Universitys Earth Institute, appears in the current issue of the leading scientific journal Nature.

    [sigh] Need anyone say more? Who funds this s?<*&^^t ???

    Here we go – from the Acknowledgements…

    Acknowledgements

    S.M.H. was supported by Environmental Protection Agency Science to Achieve Results grant FP-916932 and a postdoctoral fellowship in Applied Econometrics at the National Bureau of Economic Research; K.C.M. was supported by the Paul and Daisy Soros Fellowship for New Americans. We thank W. B. MacLeod, B. Salanie, A. Sobel, J. Sachs, W. Schlenker, E. Miguel, D. Almond, S. Barrett, G. Heal, M. Neidell, J. Mutter, N. Keohane, A. Cassella, J. Currie, W. Kopczuk, C. Pop-Eleches, R. Fisman, S. Naidu, M. Humphreys, D. Lobell, M. Roberts, M. Greenstone, M. Biasutti, G. Wagner, G. McCord, J. Anttila-Hughes, R. Fishman, A. Tompsett, A. Neal, B. R. Chen and seminar participants at Columbia, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Stanford, University of California Santa Barbara, Environmental Defense Fund, the National Bureau of Economic Research Summer Institute and the American Geophysical Union FallMeeting for suggestions. We also thank H.Buhaugand M.Burke
    for sharing replication materials.

    So it’s the EPA (taxpayers) which funds this stuff, along with Paul and Daisy Soros (and some coaching from our friends at the EDF).

  11. need i say a quick google search just showed up more than 300 results on this warmed-over fantasy. almost all reports are humourless. almost ALL MSM HAVE COVERED IT.
    will sample one, who has no problem linking it with the CAGW :

    24 Aug: BBC: Richard Black: Warm, wet – and warring?
    Does a changing climate mean an increase in conflict and civil unrest around the world?
    Some of the world’s military authorities believe it might – elements in the US armed forces hierarchy, for example, see climate change as a security issue for just that reason.
    And just last month the UN Security Council held its second major discussion on climate-driven conflicts, concluding that “the possible adverse effects of climate change could, in the long-run, aggravate certain existing threats to international peace and security”.
    But it’s a hugely difficult question to gauge…
    In principle this could tell us something about a climate-constrained future, for a number of reasons.
    Firstly, El Nino events can raise the global average temperature by a couple of tenths of a degree Celsius, and are therefore sometimes regarded as “test-beds” for what every year will look like soon.
    Secondly, some computer models indicate that El Nino conditions will become more common in future…
    As they make clear themselves, the researchers also haven’t any idea what the mechanism is behind the link they’ve found.
    This is something that troubles Halvard Buhaug, the Norwegian researcher behind the 2010 paper that found no link between high temperatures and African conflict.
    “This doesn’t provide any explanation of a mechanism for the connection between the ENSO cycles and conflicts, and I’m quite puzzled about what it could be,” he told me.
    “The effect is immediate, within a matter of months from the El Nino start until the conflict is observed. But it doesn’t work through local temperature or rainfall changes.”…
    COMMENT oglidewell: Now that you’re back from holiday Richard, when are we going to see you address the recent results that show that cloud cover IS affected by cosmic rays?

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-14619159

    perhaps Richard could explain what climate patterns cause rich, militarily powerful Nations to illegally attack small, virtually defenseless ones. plenty of recent examples ripe for study but, until Richard wrote the above, i hadn’t considered the possibillity that CAGW might be the cause.

  12. When climate scientists and sociologists are sitting around a table trying to decide what paper to write next, the conversation must go like this …

    … “we need to prove global warming is bad”
    … “war is bad”
    … “does global warming increase warfare”
    … “global warming has been constantly increasing but conflict has not”
    … “how about warmer years result in more conflict then”
    … “we could compare warm El Nino years to conflict”
    … “we’ll have to very selectively pick data and ignore most of it to make this work”
    … “we’ve done it before”
    … “its sure to be published”

    Doesn’t anyone put up their hand at this point and say “this is ridiculous and it is not science, let’s pick something else”.

  13. “In the first study of its kind, researchers have linked a natural global climate cycle to periodic increases in warfare. “

    Certainly not a new idea – [just funding-hook-speak].

    -
    ““The study fails to improve on our understanding of the causes of armed conflicts, as it makes no attempt to explain the reported association between ENSO cycles and conflict risk,” said Halvard Buhaug [...] “Correlation without explanation can only lead to speculation.””

    Translation:
    He wants to see a computer model based on untenable assumptions.

    -
    Weather, socioeconomics, etc. are interrelated, but the correlations are complex (not simple linear as too many appear to crave). Changes drive changes, but in a turbulent system, those changes can spin together, in opposite directions, etc.

    Sidorenkov’s (2005) concluding paragraph:

    “We believe that this methodology can also be used to predict natural and social phenomena, such as seismicity, volcano eruptions, economic crises, epidemics, population explosions, political coups and even wars. This necessitates the integrated space-time analysis of various events provided that scientists in various domains – medical doctors, psychologists, historians, astronomers and geophysicists – will simultaneously work towards this. In this case it will be feasible not only to identify in retrospect the coincidences and regularities of natural and social cataclysms but also to make probabilistic predictions of such events.”

    Sidorenkov, N.S. (2005). Physics of the Earth’s rotation instabilities. Astronomical and Astrophysical Transactions 24(5), 425-439.

    http://images.astronet.ru/pubd/2008/09/28/0001230882/425-439.pdf

  14. What was the climate doing at the time of the Hundred Years War (1337-1453) between England and France, I wonder? Presumably there was no climate change for a century after the war started. That supports the theory of AGW because human activities then would have had little effect on CO2 levels!

  15. J Storrs Hall (August 25, 2011 at 4:04 am) asked:
    “And guess who’s causing high food prices?”

    And this is not a problem to be taken lightly.

  16. “Bad weather does appear to tip poorer countries into chaos more easily” – quite. The nearer the edge you start, the less it takes to push you over it. Once you’re over, it’s every man for himself, and the rest, as they say, is history.

  17. Seem to remember a little clambake callled the 30 years war about the time of the Maunder
    Minimum and the Little Ice Age…..

  18. The year 2011 will be remembered in history as one of the final years of a period in which political activists were able to get published disreputable junk in a former bastion of scientific credibility.

  19. Bill Illis says:
    August 25, 2011 at 6:00 am

    Bill…you forgot the most important part of the conversation…

    …”So, who’s going to fund this study?”
    …”I know somebody at DOE and they have a friend at the EPA. They’ll go for this kind of stuff…”
    …”Plus, if we present this at the next IGWWPG (“International Global Warming and War Policy Group”) conference, we can present our paper at the Hyatt Hotel on Maui…I’ve always wanted to vacation there!”
    …”Yeah, Maui!! Surf’s up! Cool drinks on the beach. I’m there!”
    …”And the best part is…it’s paid for by the government! Is this a great country or what? [meeting participants laugh and cheer in agreement]”
    …”OK. It’s agreed! We’ll see who in the office wants to go to Maui and we’ll make them all second authors of the study.”
    …”But don’t they need to contribute something?”
    …”Hey – as long as they get a copy of the draft and add a comma or period somewhere, they’re good to go as second authors. That’s how it works these days!”
    …”Hooray for second authors!”

  20. “The authors say they do not know exactly why climate feeds conflict.”
    Send more money! This must be determined!

  21. “We believe that this methodology can also be used to predict natural and social phenomena, such as seismicity, volcano eruptions, economic crises, epidemics, population explosions, political coups and even wars.”

    So, is this what caused
    1. the sexual revolution that began in the 1960s?
    2. the dramatic drop in childbearing that began in 1964?
    3. the dramatic increase in abortions that began in 1973?
    4. no-fault divorce that began in 1973?

    n. Aids in 1982?

    n + m. the Crack epidemic of the late 1980s?

    n + n. the death of Rock ‘n Roll in the 1980s?

  22. As we’ve heard so often from the warmist side of the aisle, correlation is not causation. But hey, stuff like that doesn’t matter when you are trying to freak people out into thinking climate change will start WWIII or something.

    That’s an excellent point, Anthony.

    Well, as long as you ignore statements like the following:

    “No one should take this to say that climate is our fate. Rather, this is compelling evidence that it has a measurable influence on how much people fight overall,” he said. “It is not the only factor–you have to consider politics, economics, all kinds of other things.”

    Another truly outstanding post, Anthony. You’re really on a roll.

    REPLY: Another outstanding comment Joshua, you really are a troll, note the acknowledgements – Anthony

  23. or………………….

    Every time it warms a little, witch doctors, shamen, and scientists get hysterical….
    ….drive us all crazy

    and that leads to wars

  24. Bob Tisdale says:
    August 25, 2011 at 1:37 am
    “A time-series graph of the Mason-Dixon Line (38N-40N, 80W-75W) Land Surface Temperature anomalies follows. Note the gap in the data during the mid to late 1860s:”

    Wonderful! I notice that peace and love flood the 1960s. But wasn’t that in California?

  25. I’m tired of the Marxist view of the world permeating into everything. Poverty is not always the cause of conflict, perhaps not even usually or primarily the cause. Were the Japanese richer or poorer than the nations they invaded in the 1930′s and 1940′s? Were the Germans, or Italians? How about the 9/11 hijackers? Did they come from poor families, or relatively well-to-do families? Is the conflict between Pakistan and India based upon poverty?

    There are times when climate and weather led to conflicts. The History Channel regularly runs a documentary on the Little Ice Age. Crop failures and famines in Europe, caused by the cold, wet climate, led to the French Revolution and the Napoleonic Wars.

    Let me conclude this rant by adding that if poverty is the problem, then wealth-creation is the answer. There is no better solution to poverty than free markets, free trade, property rights and other individual liberties and inexpensive, reliable energy.

  26. So all of that snow in Russia in 1812 was caused by Global Warming? Someone should have informed Napoleon!

  27. Poverty is not always the cause of conflict,

    Nuke –

    Are you familiar with the term, “straw man?”

  28. Joshua says:
    August 25, 2011 at 10:10 am
    Poverty is not always the cause of conflict,

    Nuke –

    Are you familiar with the term, “straw man?”

    This nonsense would have to be elevated to reach the level of “straw man.”

  29. The authors [of the article in "Nature"] say they do not know exactly why climate feeds conflict. “But if you have social inequality, people are poor, and there are underlying tensions, it seems possible that climate can deliver the knockout punch,” said Hsiang.

    “But, fortunately”, Nature the Obama Adm. Official continued, “We’re going to show how Communism can deliver a ‘knockout punch’ of its own against ‘climate’ which renders the indigenous population unable to fight back, regardless, thus ending Civil Wars! That is, by in fact now re-creating the very conditions of social inequality where people are poor, and there are underlying tensions which ‘climate’ would otherwise feed on – in a place so far objectively defying these same conditions the best!”

    “In other words, since Communism hasn’t worked anywhere else, where conditions are even worse, we decided to try it in America! We know it will work here because ‘We are the people we’ve been waiting for!’”

    Right, Joshua, August 25, 2011 at 8:47 am?

  30. If you’re an arm dealer, dictator, hawkish politician, inept president or any other species of low life you’ve got to love this sort of research. It’s all natures fault. I see Gadafi using this in his defense (if it gets to court and isn’t settled earlier).

  31. Joshua says:
    August 25, 2011 at 10:10 am

    “Poverty is not always the cause of conflict,

    Nuke –”

    Are you familiar with the term, “straw man?”

    Right, Joshua, poverty almost can’t be the cause of conflict: all its done here in America via the Demokkkrats’ creation and nurturing of the Inner City Ghettos is to arouse Maxine Waters to try to beg for permission from the blacks in Detroit – that’s where she asked for it – to just barely raise an official objection about that demographic’s plight to the latte’ commie-in-chief himself, Obama! So it seems rather impotent according to the results of this particular KKK-inspired experiment!

    The Teaparty doesn’t seem to like the specter of equal impoverishment and slavery offered by Communism too much, but they, of course, haven’t done anything more than proceed according to the rules of the Constitution allowing for that kind of “conflict”, themselves.

  32. For Joshua’s sake, let’s look at the headline of the press release

    “Climate cycles are driving wars, says study.”

    I don’t think it can be any clearer than that – no provisos, no hedging. They could have said “Climate cycles are influencing wars…” or “Climate cycles may be one of many factors in wars…” – but they didn’t. They wanted splashy MSM headlines for their tripe. And their going to get those headlines, so Joshua can rest assured that the hysterical, irratoinal global warming mania will continue unabated…

  33. Excuse me if someone’s commented on this already:

    The increase in wars coincides with the vast increase in cheap ($25 or so) automatic assault rifles (Kalishnakovs) (sp?) in the region, mostly surplus from the second world (the old soviet bloc plus China). There was an article in Wired a couple of years ago that mentioned this connection as though it was something well-known among experts in the topic.

  34. Roger Knights says:
    August 25, 2011 at 1:08 pm
    Excuse me if someone’s commented on this already:

    The increase in wars coincides with the vast increase in cheap ($25 or so) automatic assault rifles (Kalishnakovs) (sp?) in the region, mostly surplus from the second world (the old soviet bloc plus China). There was an article in Wired a couple of years ago that mentioned this connection as though it was something well-known among experts in the topic.

    This is just one of many reasons this study is wrong. Did anybody take the time to check with an historian on recent world history? Maybe the countries in question had famines because they were in a civil war, and not the other way around? Maybe the weather wasn’t as much of a factor as say, food shipments (foreign aid) being cut off by political rivals?

  35. The Wired article was “How the AK-47 Rewrote the Rules of Modern Warfare,” By C. J. Chivers in the November 2010 issue. Here’s the link:

    http://www.wired.com/magazine/2010/11/ff_ak47/

    “Insurgencies. Rebellions. Massacres. The AK-47 is the most deadly–and disruptive–technology of the past century”
    ………….
    “The AK-47’s rise was enabled by a government-led manufacturing push. Throughout the 1950s, the Kremlin shared its new rifles with like-minded states and ordered its Warsaw Pact vassals to produce them. By the 1960s, factories were churning out AK-47s in the planned economies of the Eastern bloc, where the communist governments distributed and stockpiled the rifles by the tens of millions—whether anyone wanted them or not. That oversupply, combined with poor security and rampant corruption, meant that by the 1970s and ’80s, the guns were available to fighters for almost any cause. After the Warsaw Pact unraveled and the Soviet Union collapsed, many successor governments lost custody of their surplus arsenals, providing an almost boundless new supply.

    “Today, the AK is almost everywhere, and it has fundamentally rewritten the rules of modern warfare, giving bands of moderately skilled fighters with few other resources the power to take on, and defeat, some of the best-resourced armies in the world. Stalin’s rifle became, and remains, the everyman gun, a success—and scourge—that is sure to last well into the 21st century.”

  36. This is so incredibly stupid, these people should be tarred and feathered, given a whipping, driven out of town on a rail, and back-charged for every nickel of taxpayer’s money they ever got, and then we’ll get serious.

    Let’s examine: Western Hemisphere: everywhere you look there is either a drug-involved communist uprising, or a drug-involved insurrection against a corrupt communist state (Mexico being the prime example).

    Move to Africa: On the north side of that red band, we have Muslim terrorists or terrorist states moving against animist or Christian black populaces. At the southern end, it becomes communist blacks versus Christian blacks.

    Move to the Mid East: What more to say? One kind of Muslim extremest versus other Muslims.

    India? Muslims in the west (Punjab) and from Pakistan attacking Hindus and others.

    Southeast Asia: More Muslims and Communists taking on whatever.

    Australia: Good ockers fighting against the stupidest set of communists yet discovered, lead by the estimable Julia G.

    This has absolutely ZERO to do with El Nino, or any other facet of climate. These people need to be run out of science, and never, EVER let near a public grant again.

  37. The only absolutely confirmed example of warming effecting murderous rampages is chronicled in the (really good) Arnie Schwarzenegger movie, “Predator”. The female captive, Anna, states: “…Only in the hottest years this happens. And this year it grows hot. We began founding our man, sometimes without their skin, and sometimes much much worst….”

    That was from one of those aliens that might decide to take us out as bad examples for the rest of the Universe. However, they decided just to have some sport. Unfortunately, they chose the wrong rec room to break into, in this particular incident.

  38. Im not a scientist and I try to have an open mind but “this is compelling evidence that it has a measurable influence on how much people fight overall” suggests to me that the only journal this paper should have appeared in is/was National Lampoon.

  39. The essence of the “climate causing war” hypothesis has long been around, and the strain of this idea this paper appears to subscribe to, but fails to demonstrate the causal link to, is the “water wars” idea. Namely that droughts will cause people to go to war over scarcity of that resource. One problem:

    In the entire history of human civilization no such thing has ever actually occurred. There are simply no examples to speak of. So the idea that people will go to war because water is scarce is just wrong.

  40. The Winter in Russia didn’t stop Napoleon or Hitler from continuing with war, and the bad winter didn’t stop Washington from fighting the British either. The cold & ice didn’t stop Hannibal from crossing the Alps, needless to say.

  41. You know, these guys might just be on to something….
    When we were promised an El Nino, I was giving serious though to brewing up a little civil war action. Yup – civil war action…..

    But, now that it’s almost certain another La Nina is inbound, I’m leaning more towards just brewing up some plum wine…. and enjoying the whole bunch more ‘tipping points’ that would create. };>)

  42. My wife and I were in a bar the other night. When we got there the temperature was 72.3F. As the crowd increased the temperature went up to 73.2F. I warned the barkeep to lower the temp but he wouldn’t listen. Shortly thereafter a fight broke out. I warned them to lower the temp but they wouldn’t listen.

    My warning has now been “scientifically” confirmed. From now on I’ll have to carry a copy of the paper to “prove” my point.

    The police didn’t buy my story either. I hit the guy because it was too hot but nobody believes me.

    Need bail money. Help!

  43. I take it then that the riots that took place here wouldn’t have happened had it not been summer?
    “I am very sorry your honour, but it was AGW that caused me to kill and loot. It will not happen again if CO2 emissions are reduced”
    “Case dismissed”

  44. Climate most certainly does drive warfare in Tropical countries. Only a fool would try and fight any sort of war in the tropics during the rainy season. You quickly end up fighting the weather, neck deep in mud and the war ends until the next dry season.

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