Global Conflict Not Linked to Global Climate Change

Monday, 29 Aug 2011 04:10 AM

By Amy Woods

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A recent Scientific American story links global wars to climate change. But columnist John Ransom has a different take on the published research by economist Solomon Hsiang, of Columbia University.
“Wars in Burundi, Chad, the Dominican Republic, Indonesia, Peru, the Comoros, Congo, Eritrea, Niger, and Rwanda are so numerous that I could probably make a statistical argument that one in five wars are due to the AFC winning the Super Bowl,” Ransom wrote. “Plus, civil wars as defined in the survey by organized patterns of violence are where 25 or more people die. That could happen at a Niners-Raiders game.

“But at least we are agreed that four out of five wars at a minimum have nothing at all to do with anything other than the political climate,” he continued. “Or the Super Bowl.”

The Scientific American story, which Ransom said has the media “climbing aboard the bandwagon like a high-speed rail car powered by solar energy,” stated the conflicts in the tropics, dating back to the 1950s, occurred when the “global climate was enduring El Nino.”

“Enduring El Nino. Got it. A new buzz phrase,” Ransom quipped. “Kind of like ‘Enduring Obama,’ another predictable burst of hot, moist gas.
“Hsiang will probably get a government grant on the strength of the paper, if he didn’t already have one,” wrote Ransom, a former reporter for Nature Biotechnology, a sister publication to Scientific American. “Or maybe a Nobel prize.”

He cited a Google News statistic of almost 300 news items detected online with some form of the headline “Global Warming Responsible for Civil War.”
“You want to stop wars?” he asked. “You care about global combat change? Come on. Give peace a chance. Let North America develop its own energy resources.”

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