From the Center for Strategic and International Studies The Washington Quarterly, a total takedown of the myth that wars and climate change are linked as claimed by this ridiculous study from Columbia University we covered last week titled: That darned warm-mongering El Niño. Then there’s a book written about the issue as well shown at left.
The Climate Wars Myth, by Dr. Bruno Tertrais
The first decade of the 21st century was the hottest since the beginning of the Industrial Revolution. Global warming is real and, if present trends continue, its possible effects worry publics and governments around the world. Could it foster armed conflict for resources such as food and water? Will Western armies be increasingly called upon to mitigate the effects of natural catastrophes, humanitarian disasters, and floods of refugees?
Think tanks have enthusiastically embraced this new field of research, and militaries around the world are now actively studying the possible impact of a warming planet on global security. Books with titles such as Climate Wars predict a bleak future.1 A well-known French consultant claims that a five degree Celsius increase in average global temperature would generate no less than a ‘‘bloodbath.’’ Former World Bank economist Lord Nicholas Stern the author of the 2006 ‘‘Stern Report’’ on the possible economic impact of climate change even declares that failing to deal with climate change decisively would lead to ‘‘an extended world war.’’
However, there is every reason to be more than circumspect regarding such dire predictions. History shows that ‘‘warm’’ periods are more peaceful than ‘‘cold’’ ones.
In the modern era, the evolution of the climate is not an essential factor to explain collective violence. Nothing indicates that ‘‘water wars’’ or floods of ‘‘climate refugees’’ are on the horizon. And to claim that climate change may have an impact on security is to state the obvious but it does not make it meaningful for defense planning.
What History Teaches Us
Since the dawn of civilization, warmer eras have meant fewer wars. The reason is simple: all things being equal, a colder climate meant reduced crops, more famine and instability. Research by climate historians shows a clear correlation between increased warfare and cold periods. They are particularly clear in Asia and Europe, as well as in Africa.
Interestingly, the correlation has been diminishing since the beginning of the Industrial Revolution: as societies modernize, they become less dependent on local agricultural output.
Read the entire paper here