[Climate] War, what is it good for?

Climate Change Not Linked To African Wars

Excerpts from: Quirin Schiermeier, Nature News, 6 September 2010

In his popular 2008 book Climate Wars, the US journalist and military historian Gwynne Dyer laid out a daunting scenario. Climate change would put growing pressure on fresh water and food over the coming century, he wrote, triggering social disorder, mass migration and violent conflict.

But is there real proof of a link between climate change and civil war — particularly in crisis-ridden parts of Africa — as many have claimed?

No, says Halvard Buhaug, a political scientist with the Peace Research Institute Oslo in Norway. In research published today [this week] in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, he finds virtually no correlation between climate-change indicators such as temperature and rainfall variability and the frequency of civil wars over the past 50 years in sub-Saharan Africa — arguably the part of the world that is socially and environmentally most vulnerable to climate change. “The primary causes of civil war are political, not environmental,” says Buhaug.

The analysis challenges a study published last year that claimed to have found a causal connection between climate warming and civil violence in Africa. Marshall Burke, an economist at the University of California, Berkeley, and colleagues, reported a strong historical relationship between temperature and the incidence of civil war. They found that the likelihood of armed conflict across the continent rose by around 50% in unusually warm years during 1981-20022. Projected future warming threatens to offset the positive effects of democratization and eradicating poverty in Africa, they warned.

Burke maintains that his findings are robust, and counters that Buhaug has cherry-picked his data sets to support his hypothesis. “Although we have enjoyed discussing it with him, we definitely do not agree with Halvard on this,” says Burke. “There are legitimate disagreements about which data to use, [but] basically we think he’s made some serious econometric mistakes that undermine his results. He does not do a credible job of controlling for other things beyond climate that might be going on.”

Buhaug disagrees vigorously. “If they accuse me of highlighting data sets in favour of my hypothesis, then this applies tenfold more to their own paper.”

Read the entire story at:

Nature News, 6 September 2010

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88 thoughts on “[Climate] War, what is it good for?

  1. I am embarrassed to say Gwynne is of the Great White North citizenry . . . [.] snip . it looks insulting and irrelevant .mod.
    And to add to our embarrassment, he’s a Newfie and people there are well known for pragmatic realism not sensational fear mongering hysteria baiting “journalism”.

  2. The notion that a single 21 year period can give a meaningful correlation between war and climate is beyond ludicrous.

  3. Has Halvard Buhaug ever read about the history of Africa? In my opinion, linking historical civil violence with climate change is irresponsible to the people living in these regions. It would do nothing to address the real issues and, in fact, should this argument be used to enact policy for climate change aid it would only provide corrupt governments and militia with more funding.

  4. “The primary causes of civil war are political, not environmental,” says Buhaug.

    How strange, then, that the environment (and climate) has become so political.

  5. Anything to avoid the fact that the WUWT guesses at the Arctic Ice this year are way, way on the high side of the reality of vanishing cyrosphere.
    But of interest all the same……

  6. Solving the problem with Africa:
    1.Hang all UN supported kleptocrats.
    2. develop modern farming methods-(i.e. Borlaug’s way)
    3. Allow the development of Atomic Power-as in pebble bed
    or the new Toshiba 4S reactors.
    4. Pursue the idea that healthy, happy, prosperous, dark-skinned people
    is a good thing.
    sorry about the rant-I have some deep issues with the way things have been done.
    mainly due to my own mixed race heritage (all three)..

  7. It is silly to say that climate has no impact on wars/political action. The whole fall of the Western Roman empire is attributed to nomadic tribes coming out of the north (northern Russia, etc) and into the Empire. These nomadic tribes were driven by a need to find food that was scarce to to global cooling. Hm. Maybe Cooling then is still more of a threat – I don’t remember off the top of my head if Europe was more at peace or more at war prior to 1300 (somewhere between 1300 and 1350, the MWP ended and the Black death also showed up). Again, global cooling.
    Any how for someone to say ‘this war was political only’ misses that war is a way of getting all the resources, and even religions wars are fought of a scarce resource – people. Of course climate changes can cause resource limitations, although the two periods I can think of in western civ are more associated with cold coming than with warm.

  8. Sounds like Burke has taken a temperature dataset, found a correlation between wars and hot days, and concluded that, obviously, warming causes wars.
    But what would you expect when you put an economist in charge of an anthropological subject? I would rather listen to a political scientist – at least they would have the common sense to look at the history books, do a bit of research and find out what the wars were really about.
    It shouldn’t be that hard.

  9. The reasons for war, civil or otherwise, are many and varied. Too many to list here. Trying to point to any single cause such as “climate change” is ridiculous. In fact, I’d say the most common cause throughout history is religious/political (same thing, both are about power ). The ages old game of King of the Hill.

  10. “Its the weaver wot made me do it!” Now that would be an intersting defence plea for those African dictators mired in corruption and with genocidal tendencies.

  11. Shocked? Not really. This story was always the most tenuous.
    If wars were linked to increasing temperature, then what the hell was going on in the Little Ice Age when wars were just as frequent in Europe and elsewhere?

  12. Another example of overly simplistic pseudo-answers to highly complex problems. We know that natural systems, especially chaotic and dynamic ones such as climate are poorly understood. My experience and the historical record suggests, to make things really complicated it takes the human touch. Then, I tend to be a misanthrope anyway.

  13. It might be a wording issue, but climate is not related to any war/warfare – however, bad and good weather has been a big player in war history.
    All (i mean really all) attempts to conquer Russia failed during harsh winter seasons. Look at Bonaparte, or even Hitler’s wars/attacks against Russia. Same goes for the Brit’s trying to takeover France in Canada – they were only able to achieve it during summer. Just look at how bomb raids were delayed during the second war, or were bombing the wrong areas because of heavy or low cloud cover.
    Even with modern warfare, winters can be very hard on the troops and all operations on the field (ground). Look how action slows down during winter in Afganhistan… Same can be said at sea with fog – when battleship were allowed to escape from a deadly situations (before the radar era). We’ve also heard all sort of stories from aviators able to get back to the right flight path on a clear night under a full moon.
    So, weather does affect warfare – not climate.

  14. I was in Nigeria in the 1960s just after a wave of newly independent states across Africa occurred. In the period I was there, there were military coups in a dozen states (there were four in Nigeria in three years and civil war also erupted in Nigeria killing over 3 million people (many from starvation). The continent hasn’t ceased to have serious conflict at more than one place in the half century since. Also, please note that the wars aren’t with their neighbours. They are almost invariably between tribal groups within a country’s borders (although guerillas do cross into adjacent border areas where they are given sanctuary or where they are strong enough to impose themselves so that they have a quiet place to plan and amass weapons to attack their own countrymen. Also, the CAGW has pointed out that the warming would be moderate in the lower lattitudes and I agree with them there – Lagos has been around the same temp for over 50 years.

  15. AC says:
    September 10, 2010 at 9:31 am
    “It is silly to say that climate has no impact on wars/political action. The whole fall of the Western Roman empire is attributed to nomadic tribes coming out of the north (northern Russia, etc) and into the Empire. These nomadic tribes were driven by a need to find food that was scarce [due] to global cooling.”
    Not really. The nomadic tribes were opportunists who took advantage of a Roman Empire that was weakened–for the most part–by political inefficiency. Regardless of climate change, they wouldn’t have been able to defeat the average Roman legion that existed when the empire ejoyed its greatest political strength (late B.C to early A.D.)
    But to Gwynne Dyer: I’ve read his column over the years, and I’ve always found him to be an alarmist on most issues. Recently, when the H1N1 flu scare developed in Mexico last year, Dyer called for the United States to immediately shut off all traffic between the borders to prevent the spread of the disease and thus millions of deaths. Well, we all know just how dangerous THAT little epidemic turned out to be. He always seems to see Armigeddon around every corner, as well as with the climate debate.

  16. It’s ok to argue about which country has to take responsibility for Dyer, but not to speculate about what he would do to the average IQ of each country if he moved.

  17. I have a lot of respect for Gwynne as he has done some amazing commentary over the years. Between him and Eric Margolis they completely dismantled the sales job the Bush administration did for the War in Iraq BEFORE they went in. But when Gwynne wades into environmental matters which he does more and more, it is painfully obvious that he is in way over his head. Stick to the war, politics and history Gwynne.

  18. Here’s the Abstract of Borlaug’s paper. This is important.

    Vocal actors within policy and practice contend that environmental variability and shocks, such as drought and prolonged heat waves, drive civil wars in Africa. Recently, a widely publicized scientific article appears to substantiate this claim. This paper investigates the empirical foundation for the claimed relationship in detail. Using a host of different model specifications and alternative measures of drought, heat, and civil war, the paper concludes that climate variability is a poor predictor of armed conflict. Instead, African civil wars can be explained by generic structural and contextual conditions: prevalent ethno-political exclusion, poor national economy, and the collapse of the Cold War system.

    Borlaug set out to challenge Burke.
    Elizabeth says: September 10, 2010 at 9:04 am

    Has Halvard Buhaug ever read about the history of Africa? In my opinion, linking historical civil violence with climate change is irresponsible to the people living in these regions.

    Elizabeth, it is Burke who has made connections that are false to Buhaug and irresponsible to you. Buhaug almost certainly agrees with you.

  19. africa is already saturated in war… not because of AGW, but because of CIA
    death is our national security policy
    see nscm 200, ca 1974

  20. “4. Allow the development of Atomic Power-as in pebble bed
    or the new Toshiba 4S reactors.

    From the wiki page on Pebble bed reactor.
    “Pebble bed reactors need fire-prevention features to keep the graphite of the pebbles from burning in the presence of air although the flammability of the pebbles is disputed.”
    Really? Disputed? I read the IAA report on Chernobyl. It was the graphite damping core which exploded when the people managing the reactor thought it would be a good idea to cut the coolant flow back and see how it reacted to power ramp up.
    There are many other options to Nuclear but it always gets touted first as “viable” and “safe”…..

  21. Interesting that PNAS is standing behind Borlaug on this paper. This suggests some very welcome shifts:
    (1) climate debate may be ok again
    (2) supporting skeptism may be ok again
    (3) challenging a warmist view is ok here
    (4) a study with a lot more roundedness, human scale and commonsense, with a 50-year span, is preferable to a study with a 20-year span that declares a correlation relevant to policy-makers has been found.
    THUMBS UP FOLKS!!! (i hope)

  22. “jorgekafkazar says:
    September 10, 2010 at 8:54 am
    The notion that a single 21 year period can give a meaningful correlation between war and climate is beyond ludicrous.”
    Yes, as ludicrous as the notion that a single 30 year period can give a meaningful correlation between artic ice extents and climate.

  23. TonyB, I’d love to hear if you have some work showing historic correlation between (cooling) climate and unrest. In particular I’m interested if there is correlation between climate and persecution of witches. They used to get blamed for crop failure.
    Tony, you referenced Hubert Lamb’s great pre-Climageddon-times book that is a joy to look at, to see how in those days climate scientists paid attention to the evidence of history and archaeology. How he would be dismayed at what has happened to his beloved CRU.

  24. I wonder how much Dyer factored in the notion of unsustainable and environmentally damaging population growth as opposed to “climate change”. You need to give this guy a break though – he had to write this swill so he could afford to buy himself a new leather jacket!!! (Fellow Canucks will know what I’m referring to!!)

  25. Regarding the Burke paper from last year: “They found that the likelihood of armed conflict across the continent rose by around 50% in unusually warm years during 1981-20022. Projected future warming threatens to offset the positive effects of democratization and eradicating poverty in Africa, they warned.”
    Burke et al proposes a correlation between unusually high temperatures and war. The computer models predict higher temperatures. Do they predict unusually high temperatures occurring more frequently?
    If I have understood the paper correctly all they get from the models is that temperatures for 2020-2039 are expected to be higher than temperatures from 1980-1999. That alone isn’t enough to suggest wars will increase because the original hypothesis was that unusual high temperatures cause war to increase. According to the models what is unusual today will not be unusual in 2030. If variability stayed constant war should actually decrease! The models would have to be projecting more variable temperatures relative to the 2020-2039 average (rather than just higher temps. relative to the the 1980-1999 average) for Burke et al to be correct. Can anyone spot that in the paper?

  26. As a fellow exile from the Great White North, I wish to include my comment on the mis-attribution of Mr. Dyer’s country of origin. He is indeed a native of Newfoundland, and while many Newfies might bristle at being referred to as Canadians, the far off island did join Canada in 1949 (some say after a rigged referendum which gave the island’s citizens a choice between the US and Canada).

  27. About 30 decades ago, an animal ecologist, Paul Colinvaux, published a book called ‘Why Big Fierce Animals Are Rare.’ It might not seem by its title to have anything to do with this post, but it does.
    Colinvaux predicted that Africa would be the scene of many wars, and gave reasons, none of which were related to climate change. His predictions, and the reasons behind them, look pretty good today.

  28. “…a study published last year that claimed to have found a causal connection between climate warming and civil violence in Africa.”
    Two guys, sitting around in Africa:
    1st man: “Man, oh man! It’s HOT today! What do you say we start a civil war?”
    2nd man: “Sure. Why not?”
    (Okay. Research done. Can I get an “amen” from anybody reading this that’s about my age? I want to call it peer reviewed, ya know.)

  29. Having lived in Africa for 32 years and worked in 19 African countries I have notice a few things. One is that “climate change” (meaning a change in the climate, not annual weather patterns nor the 19 year Lunar-induced cycles) has nothing to do conflicts whether within or between countries. Prolonged droughts did not start or stop wars. The wetting of the regional climate after the Ethiopian drought 30 years ago saw more conflict. The cause was imported foreign ideolgies and cold warriors none of whom give a hoot about climate.
    The core claim of warmists is that the AGW will make Africa ‘dryer’, and this Burke dude says it will promote conflict and he has even detected a correlation showing it and accuses Buhaug of cherry picking…. Well I would say that too if my stupid claim was immediately contradicted by a better researched paper pointing out the obvious: it is about tribe, tithes and title, not climate. Duh.

  30. Richard Sharpe says:
    September 10, 2010 at 9:12 am
    “The primary causes of civil war are political, not environmental,” says Buhaug.
    How strange, then, that the environment (and climate) has become so political.”
    Not really strange at all. This has been a political issue from day one, with the old moneyed elite wanting an issue which would unite the world, and make the idea of world governance acceptable to the vast majority of the population. However, CAGW has become a divisive issue so will be quietly consigned to the history books, while work continues for the next try.

  31. Have always respected if not always agreed with Gwynne Dyers analysis of wars and warefare. He should have stuck to that rather than this foray into climatology.

  32. While I do not doubt that climate change can be relevant to human conflict, particularly as it appears to have affected mass migrations (and thus conflict) during past cooling periods, the premise in the current debate was that recent warming in central Africa was relevant to civil war in that region.
    The Borlaug paper refutes that premise, and does so quite well by analyzing the available data. His issue with Burke is that the latter is simply arm waving.

  33. On the particular issue of ‘Water Wars’ that have been drummed about for some time now, history has tended to show the opposite i.e. water promoting co-operation, agreement and peace between countries. Conflict over water resources tends to be within a country’s borders.

    Southern African countries signed river basin agreements while the region was embroiled in a series of wars in the 1970s and 1980s, including the “people’s war” in South Africa and civil wars in Mozambique and Angola.
    here [and original pdf version]

    ——————-

    Do nations go to war over water?
    Wendy Barnaby was asked to write a book about water wars — then the facts got in the way of her story.
    Under the 1959 Nile Waters Agreement between Egypt and Sudan, Egypt has had rights to 87% of the Nile’s water, with Sudan having rights to the rest.
    NATURE Vol 458 – 19 March 2009 [pdf]
    html news summary

  34. Everyone knows that fossil fuel burning has produced more war. Why things in the olden days were much more civil, ah, like the Civil War.

  35. Barrie Harrop would gladly inform you that everything from hangnails to global warfare is due to lack of fresh water. Of course, he is selling windmill driven reverse osmosis purification plants. [Read the comments section in the WSJ for any article that mentions the word climate or water.] I think that there is a grab for money and power in this thing, rather than a realization of reality. Barrie’s plants would actually be good for where there is no electrical infrastructure and a lack of pure water along with the presence of some brine or polluted water. However, he is doing the usual AGW carpet bomb ad campaign for them.

  36. @ Lucy Skywalker says:
    September 10, 2010 at 11:06 am
    (4) a study with a lot more roundedness, human scale and commonsense, with a 50-year span, is preferable to a study with a 20-year span that declares a correlation relevant to policy-makers has been found.
    ———————————————————————————————
    Better go back at least 6000 years if the intent is to establish a cause/effect relationship re: warfare. 50 years won’t even get you back to the reasons for Vietnam, which began in the mid ’50’s btw as far as US involvement goes; although people in the USA think it didn’t start till the mid-’60’s. I was there before most people even knew there was such place.
    —————————————————————————————————–
    Through a Glass, Darkly
    Through the travail of the ages,
    Midst the pomp and toil of war,
    Have I fought and strove and perished
    Countless times upon this star.
    In the form of many people
    In all panoplies of time
    Have I seen the luring vision
    Of the Victory Maid, sublime.
    I have battled for fresh mammoth,
    I have warred for pastures new,
    I have listed to the whispers
    When the race trek instinct grew.
    I have known the call to battle
    In each changeless changing shape
    From the high souled voice of conscience
    To the beastly lust for rape.
    I have sinned and I have suffered,
    Played the hero and the knave;
    Fought for belly, shame, or country,
    And for each have found a grave.
    I cannot name my battles
    For the visions are not clear,
    Yet, I see the twisted faces
    And I feel the rending spear.
    Perhaps I stabbed our Savior
    In His sacred helpless side.
    Yet, I’ve called His name in blessing
    When after times I died.
    In the dimness of the shadows
    Where we hairy heathens warred,
    I can taste in thought the lifeblood;
    We used teeth before the sword.
    While in later clearer vision
    I can sense the coppery sweat,
    Feel the pikes grow wet and slippery
    When our Phalanx, Cyrus met.
    Hear the rattle of the harness
    Where the Persian darts bounced clear,
    See their chariots wheel in panic
    From the Hoplite’s leveled spear.
    See the goal grow monthly longer,
    Reaching for the walls of Tyre.
    Hear the crash of tons of granite,
    Smell the quenchless eastern fire.
    Still more clearly as a Roman,
    Can I see the Legion close,
    As our third rank moved in forward
    And the short sword found our foes.
    Once again I feel the anguish
    Of that blistering treeless plain
    When the Parthian showered death bolts,
    And our discipline was in vain.
    I remember all the suffering
    Of those arrows in my neck.
    Yet, I stabbed a grinning savage
    As I died upon my back.
    Once again I smell the heat sparks
    When my Flemish plate gave way
    And the lance ripped through my entrails
    As on Crecy’s field I lay.
    In the windless, blinding stillness
    Of the glittering tropic sea
    I can see the bubbles rising
    Where we set the captives free.
    Midst the spume of half a tempest
    I have heard the bulwarks go
    When the crashing, point blank round shot
    Sent destruction to our foe.
    I have fought with gun and cutlass
    On the red and slippery deck
    With all Hell aflame within me
    And a rope around my neck.
    And still later as a General
    Have I galloped with Murat
    When we laughed at death and numbers
    Trusting in the Emperor’s Star.
    Till at last our star faded,
    And we shouted to our doom
    Where the sunken road of Ohein
    Closed us in it’s quivering gloom.
    So but now with Tanks a’clatter
    Have I waddled on the foe
    Belching death at twenty paces,
    By the star shell’s ghastly glow.
    So as through a glass, and darkly
    The age long strife I see
    Where I fought in many guises,
    Many names, but always me.
    And I see not in my blindness
    What the objects were I wrought,
    But as God rules o’er our bickerings
    It was through His will I fought.
    So forever in the future,
    Shall I battle as of yore,
    Dying to be born a fighter,
    But to die again, once more.
    General George S. Patton

  37. If African coutries are not going to war with each other over water then are they going to war because of the rain, drought, heat? The rest of the scare is about the FUTURE POSSIBILITIES of war. A typical AGW tactic – speculation and cherry picked correlation.

  38. It does not take a great deal of average temperature cooling to move marginal growing belts, like in parts of Russia or Canada south by hundreds of miles. Growing seasons start later and end sooner. Lack of food will cause folks to beat their plowshares into swords, in my humble opinion. Starvation breeds violence as does oppression. Unless you oppress hard enough or starve too fast. Nothing like a starving child to make you pick up a gun and go get some food from someone. Warming? Not so much. Climate change, whatever that is, I have no idea. Seems that would cause local disruptions due to moisture issues etc. Global cooling, lack of food, weakened populations, disease, revolution, war are at least logical even without statistical proof.

  39. I read some of Gwynne Dyer’s book and believe he is in over his head on enviromental issues. It is sad to see no research was done on climatic issues . Makes me believe he just wanted to jump on the warmist gravy train.

  40. @ R. Shearer says:
    September 10, 2010 at 12:02 pm

    Everyone knows that fossil fuel burning has produced more war. Why things in the olden days were much more civil, ah, like the Civil War.

    I believe you are referring to the War of Northern Aggression ( re: what is now the United States ), correct?

  41. Water resources and co-operation.

    “Wolf, a professor at OSU’s department of geosciences, founded and directs a postgraduate program in which economists, engineers, and ecologists add water-conflict resolution to their skill sets. He developed and coordinates the Transboundary Freshwater Dispute Database, a compilation of more than 400 water-related treaties accompanied by maps, negotiating notes, background materials, and related news stories.
    The database demonstrates that while violent conflicts over water are rare, peaceful interactions abound. “We are finding that water, rather than being the driver of conflict, is the one resource that unites people. It is simply too important to fight over,” Turton says.”
    http://www.utne.com/Politics/Water-War-Peace-Conflict-Negotiations-Hope.aspx

  42. The book is a symptom. C.G.Jung said that when a subconscious content becomes “constellized” it creates something which represents it in the outside world. In this case it would reveal an urge or perhaps an expected self destruction; as such it only would relate to the country where the author was born or the culture he/she belongs to.
    Armageddon won’t be universal: It would involve either the US alone or the occidental culture as a whole, or both those worlds as he/she knew it. So a radical change is coming or it is already happening, which he/she unconsciously feels disturbing.

  43. Any salesmen of reverse osmosis around, just to enlighten those armageddonian nuts about the availability of water?

  44. An interesting take on climate change and war can be found here:
    Global climate change, war, and population decline in recent human history
    http://www.pnas.org/content/104/49/19214.abstract
    Abstract
    Although scientists have warned of possible social perils resulting from climate change, the impacts of long-term climate change on social unrest and population collapse have not been quantitatively investigated. In this study, high-resolution paleo-climatic data have been used to explore at a macroscale the effects of climate change on the outbreak of war and population decline in the preindustrial era. We show that long-term fluctuations of war frequency and population changes followed the cycles of temperature change. Further analyses show that cooling impeded agricultural production, which brought about a series of serious social problems, including price inflation, then successively war outbreak, famine, and population decline successively. The findings suggest that worldwide and synchronistic war–peace, population, and price cycles in recent centuries have been driven mainly by long-term climate change. The findings also imply that social mechanisms that might mitigate the impact of climate change were not significantly effective during the study period. Climate change may thus have played a more important role and imposed a wider ranging effect on human civilization than has so far been suggested. Findings of this research may lend an additional dimension to the classic concepts of Malthusianism and Darwinism.
    ********************************
    You can access the full paper at the link. Note that it was edited by that notorious denier, Paul Ehrlich…
    Fundamentally, these (mostly Chinese) scientists looked at over a thousand years of Chinese and European history (both climate and political) and did find a relationship between climate and war. But what they found was that the warm periods were relatively peaceful and propserous, and the cool periods were violent and poor. In particular, they found that the cold 14th and 17th centuries were absolutely catastrophic for both China and Europe, with each losing over a third of its population in each period.
    Their posited chain of causality: colder climate leads to crop failures, leads to famine, which leads to both pandemics from a weakened population and war in a scramble for reduced resources. Given the many other factors that go into political strife, I remain skeptical of these arguments, but they certainly make it hard to argue that there is any evidence that warming increases warfare in the temperate latitudes, at least.
    Now it is possible that tropical areas could be different, even opposite, but you would need a much longer period of data to even start to make a case.

  45. Gwynne has turned into an embarrassment…..when this book came out, i took the 3 books of his off my bookcase, took them out to the fire pit, poured some diesel on em and burned em up. He’s turned into a propagandist marketing shameful nonsense, embarrassing to Canada.

  46. Typo alert:
    [Climate change] Economic chaos would put growing pressure on fresh water and food over the coming century, he wrote, triggering social disorder, mass migration and violent conflict.
    Fixed.

  47. Harry Eagar says:
    “About 30 decades ago, an animal ecologist, Paul Colinvaux, published a book …”
    30 x 10 = 300
    2010 – 300 = 1710
    Paul Colinvaux, n 22 Sep 1930

  48. I generally find Mr. Dyer’s writing on history, politics, war interesting and thoughtful and well researched but he’s completely off the rails once he gets on to climate change. I don’t know the motivation but its almost a Jekyll and Hyde thing.

  49. Water….boarding AGWrs. we’ĺl find out their war plans…Though, as they are VIP’s, it should be Champagne_boarding 🙂

  50. Mr. Dyer used to write about war.
    Then he started writing about climate change.
    At the height of the climate debate he writes a book about Climate Wars. Cha-Ching.
    His next book will be about how the media is working with government to push a liberal / conservative The hasn’t decided which angle) agenda on an unsuspecting population.
    At least he’s aging honestly.

  51. Who drew the short straw and is supposed to handle NeilT’s distractions this time? Come on, fess up and get it over with.
    😉

  52. Manitoba Ken
    Agree with your comments . Mr Dyer seems to be a “johnny come lately”occasional global warmist writer who does not seem to do sufficient homework to check and verify all the facts from other independent sources. Never replies to e-mails or communicates all issues of the global warming in a balanced way in his articles . When he writes about politics he gives the views of all sides . Yet when he comes to global warming he only gives the alarmist point of view mostly and the public catch on that he is writing only from the warmist point of view and that he is a biased journalist. He knows a lot more about history and writes good articles.

  53. Climate War. Hmmm.
    Oh, yes, the Pacific Ocean is preparing to clobber us over the rivers of plastic we launched at it.
    The Pacificans watched a couple of sci-fi movies, and decided that revenge was a dish best served cold.
    They’ve joined forces with the Articans, who are really ticked off after getting repeatedly attacked by icebreaker destroyers and submarine hole poppers. Their coalition further includes the Greenlander and Antartican IceCappers, who are outraged by the incessant holes being gored into thier backsides.
    It gets worse: The Precipitants are furious about the launching of rain & snow seeding causing the loss of billions of drops on thier migration routes. The Animilians are in a froth about the captives languishing in the Zoo prison camps.
    So what really broke the camels back here?
    It was the talk of popping the Vulcan Hill Dwellers with nukes.
    Enough is enough. To war. Unconditional Surrender or face annihilation.
    – Gulp –

  54. juanslayton says: Harry Eagar says: “About 30 decades ago, an animal ecologist, Paul Colinvaux, published a book …”
    30 x 10 = 300
    2010 – 300 = 1710
    Paul Colinvaux, n 22 Sep 1930
    And yet, somehow, I knew what Harry meant. Must be ESP.

  55. AC says:
    It is silly to say that climate has no impact on wars/political action. The whole fall of the Western Roman empire is attributed to nomadic tribes coming out of the north (northern Russia, etc) and into the Empire.

    Whereas Rome had spent its time at peace for the period before? And after the cooling Europe was again peaceful, and the Moslems didn’t explode out of Arabia? Sigh.
    At very best the climate change that brought down the Roman Empire altered the targets. It sure didn’t increase violence overall.
    Regg_upnorth says:
    It might be a wording issue, but climate is not related to any war/warfare – however, bad and good weather has been a big player in war history.
    All (i mean really all) attempts to conquer Russia failed during harsh winter seasons. Look at Bonaparte, or even Hitler’s wars/attacks against Russia.

    You might mean “all”, but you would be wrong.
    The Poles captured and held Moscow. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polish%E2%80%93Muscovite_War_(1605%E2%80%931618)
    The Mongols conquered all Russia, from the other side.
    The Germans attacked Russian in 1914 and by the start of 1917 had forced them out of the war, despite it being a secondary front. They could easily have captured the capital St Petersburg at the time – but chose not to. Instead they forced a humiliating treaty on Russia, which was forced to cede much of its best territory. Only the later victory of Allies in the west prevented this settlement being permanent.
    Stalin wrote up the harshness of the Russian winter because he was scared of the West. Not because it is too big an obstacle to properly prepared enemies.
    The lesson from this? Technology can overcome many of weather’s problems. Not all, sure, but it is stupid and defeatist to claim that bad weather spells the end of humanity.

  56. Regg_upnorth says:
    It might be a wording issue, but climate is not related to any war/warfare – however, bad and good weather has been a big player in war history.
    All (i mean really all) attempts to conquer Russia failed during harsh winter seasons.

    You might mean “all” but you would be wrong.
    The Poles captured Moscow in the early 1600’s. The Mongols did so, from the other side, in a few brief years.
    In 1914 the Germans and Austrians attacked Russia. Despite it being a secondary theatre, Russia was forced out of the war by 1917. The Germans could have taken St Petersburg – then the capital – but chose not to. They instead forced the humiliating treaty of Brest-Litovsk, which took much of Russia’s best land from them. Only the later victory of the Allies in the west prevented this being permanent.
    Russia’s winter is no barrier to properly prepared people. Climate rarely is.
    The Russians talk up the winter thing because they want to scare people. The reality is that it is spring that is the difficult season in Russia because of the mud. Historically winter was, in fact, a campaigning season (Mongols, Teutonic Knights, Swedes, Poles etc all fought by choice in winter).

  57. How objective is the term ‘civil war’?
    When does a ongoing tribal dispute (sometimes hundreds of years old) become a civil war?
    (After 1981 but before 2002 – but only if it is warming?)

  58. kadaka
    This whole thread and all the others around it are a distraction from the main show today. The near total collapse of the ice up in the Arctic.
    YET, now it doesn’t fit WUWT theories of “regrowth”, it is not to be mentioned.
    So handle me……
    But the point about “cheap and safe” Nuclear is a point worth making. One of the experimental reactors in South Africa was shut down on safety concerns.
    So how’s about it. A WUWT article on the state of the Arctic, the predictions on this site and how completely wrong they were.
    Then an honest “we got it totally wrong” to start the ball rolling.
    I won’t hold my breath.

  59. It was Hitler’s ill prepared assault that did the Whiermarcht in . He hadn’t realized that,
    Like Napoleon, you can’t fight in winter unless you are prepared. I had the privilege to hear a talk by an old Stuka driver that survived WW2 and Russian imprisonment.
    Had he not split his forces, south and north, the would’ve likely,taken Moscow-what was left of it after the Russians torched it-which was the plan. This guy fought all the way to the bitter end. Only to be captured-on the ground by the Russians in Germany. He felt had the Luftwaffe been prepared-and they got better as the war went on, they could’ve dealt with the cold..
    Oh he had one eye shot out and half of a right ear-from a Russian .50 -in 1943 as I recall…

  60. Its nice to see the climate changing and PNAS debunking a spurious linking of climate change as the issue behind wars. Bit of ho hum, though its about time!!
    It a sign of the times that journalists desperately try to link issues and when cold wet weather intervenes, global warming will, yes, become Climate Change.
    I watched our Australian Broadcasting Commission (ABC) Stateline report on the extensive flooding in areas of the State of Victoria. The young female reporter paddled around in her gumboots (Wellies for the UK and Rubber boots? for US?) and pratled on breathlessly about the strange? floods, and …It’s Climate Change !! completely ignoring that in Australia prolonged drought (and bushfire) periods are followed with ..yes extensive flooding, but these extremes of weather are now Climate Change!!. Then we have the edited clips of the BOM guy with the ominous “more extremes to come and the “scientist” clip on the same meme.
    Boy the gullible here lap that doom and gloom up, but it is distressing to see the ABC, our tax paper funded National broadcaster get away with this deception.
    We Australians usually fight other peoples wars for the freedom and liberty of all, perhaps our ABC are trying to incite a tribalistic war on Climate Change, the bias is so bad!!

  61. While good fiction plays off reality, it’s still fiction.
    The reality of Africa’s troubles (IMHO):
    1. Unenlightened tribalism.
    2. Worthless leadership.
    3. Repeated flirtation with socialism and marxism.
    4. The ‘weaponization’ of food distribution (and humanitarian food aid).
    5. [Add your point here.]
    If I were to write a fiction piece, a far more interesting scenario would set during the third decade of a 50-year cooling period.
    That would be one ugly, scary future; especially I added a nuclear-armed Islamic super-state into the mix.
    Mr. Dyer has no idea what dark and scary can be.
    Unfortunately, I can.

  62. NeilT says:
    September 10, 2010 at 6:09 pm
    This whole thread and all the others around it are a distraction from the main show today. The near total collapse of the ice up in the Arctic.
    YET, now it doesn’t fit WUWT theories of “regrowth”, it is not to be mentioned.
    So handle me……

    That Arctic is not the main show, never was. Maybe to you it is, that’s your choice.
    WUWT is a forum (blog) , not a theory machine.
    The man (Goddard) admitted he missed too high. That makes him better than his critics, because you won’t get that from warmists like Hansen or Gore, Mann etc.
    The Global Sea Ice is not going anywhere, irregardless of which hemisphere dominates.
    There never was any threat to it, and the last time the 31 year average Global Sea Ice Max Area attained & average Min Area were hit was 2008, barely 2 years ago, and 1 year after the much mislauded 2007 catastrophic melt.
    Non-crisis over in 1 year.

  63. NeilT says:
    September 10, 2010 at 6:09 pm
    This whole thread and all the others around it are a distraction from the main show today. The near total collapse of the ice up in the Arctic.
    So how’s about it. A WUWT article on the state of the Arctic, the predictions on this site and how completely wrong they were.
    Then an honest “we got it totally wrong” to start the ball rolling.

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/08/29/sea-ice-news-20/
    Two weeks late and you won’t hold your breath? How brave you must feel!

  64. From: NeilT on September 10, 2010 at 6:09 pm

    So handle me……
    But the point about “cheap and safe” Nuclear is a point worth making. One of the experimental reactors in South Africa was shut down on safety concerns.

    From Wikipedia’s Pebble Bed Reactor entry:

    In June 2004, it was announced that a new PBMR would be built at Koeberg, South Africa by Eskom, the government-owned electrical utility.[4] There is opposition to the PBMR from groups such as Koeberg Alert and Earthlife Africa, the latter of which has sued Eskom to stop development of the project.[5] In September 2009 the demonstration power plant was postponed indefinitely.[6] In February 2010 the South African government stopped funding of the PBMR because of a lack of customers and investors. PBMR Ltd started retrenchment procedures and stated the company intends to reduce staff by 75%.[7]

    There is a longer PBMR entry.
    There was no experimental pebble bed reactor shut down for safety reasons, as the demonstration plant was never built. Anti-nuclear green groups harangued the company, drove off potential investors and customers, and now what is left of the company merely exists to simply exist as a corporation while preserving intellectual property such as patents and retaining key personnel, in the hope it will eventually get funding.
    Thus once again, nuclear power technology wasn’t even given a chance before anti-nuclear activists shut it down, then declared victory over an inherently unsuitable and dangerous energy source. Go Renewable, or else!
    Now you have been handled. Now I have to wash my hands. Next time I’ll wear gloves. Are you allergic to latex?

  65. The ultimate sticky issue that must be addressed in any peace between Palestinians and Israelis is that of “water” but nothing indicates that any environmental issue short of lack of land has anything to do with this conflict.

  66. DaveF
    Steve Goddard put in a “well it looks like it’s going to go just below my prediction”.
    Then goes on to waffle about how it’s getting colder dahdedahdedah.
    YET in the following two weeks not only did Steve submit a revised 5.1M SQkm estimate into search but the extent dropped to 4.7.
    How wrong do you have to be before you admit it????
    Oh and the global sea ice one won’t wash. It’s dark in the Antarctic, it’s sunny in the Arctic and the Antarctic sea ice almost completely disappears every single year.
    Kadaka
    Both the wiki article and this news clip dismiss the fundamental point that these PBMR reactors use graphite as the damping medium. It was the graphite damping medium in Chernobyl which exploded.
    Chernobyl was a cheap, quick and dirty reactor design created by the USSR to produce large quantities of weapons grade material. When Chernobyl blew up the west trumpeted the fact that they didn’t use this kind of Graphite core an so were not at risk of the same kind of accident.
    These groups may have had an agenda but they were absolutely right. Just because they are the 3rd world does not mean we can experiment on them with unknown and, potentially, dangerous designs.
    I wash my hands every time I leave this site. And the keyboard. But it has to be done…..

  67. There are numerous natural cycles, including war and climate cycles (Edward R. Dewey, Cycles – The Mysterious Forces That Trigger Events, Hawthorn, 1971). To assert a connection between climate and war is typical of the religious ramblings of the global warming faithful.
    This daily barrage of global warming nonsense will make interesting reading in the decades to come as we are dragged into the completely predictable Landscheidt Grand Solar Minimum dictated by planetary mechanics. Prepare to freeze your butts off for at least the next 60 years. Prepare for agricultural failure and the famines that will certainly follow. Little Ice Age II has begun. And CO2 is powerless to stop it.

  68. From: NeilT on September 11, 2010 at 11:07 am

    Both the wiki article and this news clip dismiss the fundamental point that these PBMR reactors use graphite as the damping medium. It was the graphite damping medium in Chernobyl which exploded.

    Nah, the fundamental point you were making is how unsafe pebble bed reactors are for which you highlighted a South African one getting shut down for safety reasons as an example. Now I could say you outright lied about that, but I realize how easy it is for the gullible to be misled by eco-propaganda misinformation so I’ll let it pass.
    Magnesium is a dangerous metal. Once heated until it ignites (autoignition temperature 630°C in air), it burns with an intense heat (3100°C) and is dang near impossible to put out. I saw the result at a local car dealership when a vehicle with a magnesium block engine caught fire. The fire crews really had no choice but to let the fire burn itself out, and the heat really did a number on the pavement underneath. Yet we still make car parts with magnesium, and many other things as well.
    You’re trying to blame a material, graphite, as somehow inherently dangerous solely because it is used in a reactor, without accounting for everything else in the system including the design and safety features.

    These groups may have had an agenda but they were absolutely right.

    This is how it goes with people with an agenda. Their facts are wrong, what they say has happened and will happen doesn’t match up with reality. They will even say and do things that outside observers can recognize as foolish, that in hindsight they may agree are foolish, that really only made a situation worse. Yet despite all that, they remain certain they are absolutely right!

    I wash my hands every time I leave this site. And the keyboard. But it has to be done…..

    Yeah well, when you throw mud and dribble slime you should expect you’ll have to clean up yourself and the things you touch.

  69. Curiousgeorge says: September 10, 2010 at 12:09 pm
    Why, yes, man!
    Did you know that General Patton knew the layout of places he entered as victor in WWII because he remembered them from a past life? This side of Patton is well-documented. And more.

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