THE BLOG
08/08/2013 03:29 pm ET Updated Oct 02, 2013

Global Warming Is Greatly Increasing Crime and Other Conflict

AP

A rigorously peer-reviewed study published in the latest issue of the world's leading science journal, Science, finds "remarkable consistency of available quantitative evidence linking climate and conflict." This article's summary says that, "we assemble and analyze the 60 most rigorous quantitative studies, and document, for the first time, a remarkable convergence of results. We find strong causal evidence linking climatic events to human conflict across a range of spatial and temporal scales and across all major regions of the world. The magnitude of climate's influence is substantial: for each 1 standard deviation (1σ) change in climate toward warmer temperatures or more extreme rainfall, median estimates indicate that the frequency of interpersonal violence rises 4% and the frequency of intergroup conflict rises 14%. Because locations throughout the inhabited world are expected to warm 2-4σ by 2050, amplified rates of human conflict [rising respectively 8% and 28% at the low end of the estimations, and 16% and 56% at the high end, by 2050] could represent a large and critical impact of anthropogenic [or 'Man-made'] climate change." To make that even simpler: "intergroup conflict," or wars, will increase somewhere in the range of 28% to 56% by 2050.

This historic study, titled "Quantifying the Influence of Climate on Human Conflict," reports that, because of global warming that's now set to occur no matter what we do, this planet will become a much more violent place.

Conservatives say that global warming is good, that it's not happening, and that it isn't caused by the burning of fossil fuels. However, overwhelming majorities of climatologists say that conservatives are deceived and/or are deceiving by asserting such things. The conservatives' accusations that scientists are lying in their reports about climate change are rejected by scientists.

Page 13 of this article presents graphs showing clearly that, as the temperature rises, there are proportional rises in: "Violent personal crime," "Rape," "Violent inter-group retaliation," "Inter-group riots," "Political and inter-group violence," "Redistributive inter-group conflict," "Civil war incidence," and "Political leader exit."

Page 17 of this article is a global map (shown below), showing the parts of this planet (the dark brown areas) that will experience the sharpest rises in temperature. Virtually all of them are located within 2,500 miles of the equator; in other words, they're south of the U.S., and north of New Zealand, of much of Australia, and of Argentina. In other words: they're "the tropics." These are the areas where "Projected temperature change by 2050 as a multiple of the local historical standard deviation (σ) of temperature" is greater than 4 standard deviations. As was noted by me in a previous article, these are also the areas of the world where extreme poverty is the norm. They're already the hottest and sometimes the wettest parts of the planet, but with global warming they are experiencing more droughts, and they will be the harbingers, the "canaries in the global warming mine," for what will be occurring elsewhere in the world, if and as global warming continues into future centuries.

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In other words: anything that we may do from now on to reduce the rise in global warming that will be due to the carbon that we've already put into the atmosphere will reduce the hell that is to come, but won't prevent it. There is already too much carbon in the atmosphere for hell on earth to be able to be prevented. People like the Koch brothers and other oil and coal barons and George W. Bush and the Heartland Institute, have already doomed future generations, by successfully propagandizing and deceiving millions of today's conservatives to think that either there is no global warming, or global warming is good, or global warming isn't affected by carbon in the atmosphere, or science on these matters hasn't yet reached sufficient consensus to take action on them, or other such lies.

So: any actions that can be taken at the present late stage can only limit the damages, not prevent them.

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Investigative historian Eric Zuesse is the author, most recently, of They're Not Even Close: The Democratic vs. Republican Economic Records, 1910-2010, and of CHRIST"S VENTRILOQUISTS: The Event that Created Christianity.