climate change current affairs environment

the first climate change war

Just wanted to post a quote from a recent article on Darfur. With its roots in a long running drought, the article suggests the conflict in Sudan will be called ‘the first climate change war’.

It has been previously believed that droughts in Africa were mainly caused by slash and burn farming methods, deforestation and erosion. However, the article goes on to say: “More recent computer modelling has suggested that rain patterns over Africa are influenced rather by ocean temperatures, and those in turn reflect global warming, and the rise of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. In other words, droughts in Africa may be caused less by its hapless inhabitants and more by oversize cars and cheap flights in Europe and the US.

The implications are far-reaching. On top of all the economic and ecological implications of global warming, there is the very real prospect it will lead to more conflicts like Darfur, as groups who have coexisted until now begin to feel a sense of urgency over the diminishing resources of water and land.”

I mention this not because I think we should blame ourselves for Darfur, but because the possibility of conflict isn’t a side of global warming that’s discussed very often. I’ve heard people joke that they’re looking forward to global warming making Britain tropical. But of course, if we’re going to be tropical, what are the tropics going to be like? Hellish, is the short answer. Global warming presents us with a potentially huge migration problems as large parts of the world become unlivable.


  1. I am all for Christian environmentalism, but we also need to be real about it.

    Darfur is NOT about the drought. It is about the Muslims trying to exterminate the Christians. It is obfuscation on the part of organizations like the UN which have no interest in dealing with systematic Muslim persecution of Christians worldwide that would allow anyone to think this genocide is about anything else.

  2. Darfur is not all about the drought, this is true. What this particular article pointed out was that the two people groups lived side by side without any trouble, until the drought. Once there wasn’t enough water to go round, people banded together and started claiming exclusive rights to things that they used to share.
    Yes, we need to be careful not to overplay the climate change factor, but it’s not all about religion either. It’s a complicated conflict. There is oil in southern Sudan, which complicates matters. There’s a post-colonial legacy too, and the hang-ups from the civil war in the 50s.

  3. Shane, everyone involved in the Darfur conflict is Muslim. Arab-speaking black Darfurians who are nomads are exterminating non-Arab black Darfurians who are settled farmers because of fights over lands. However, the conflict grew because of the formation of rebel groups from the non-Arab tribes which attacked the government, who now support the janjaweed Arabs.

  4. How can Canada help with all these problems, like in any matter whether it be financial aid, famine relief etc? I need to know the names of the organizations for a project I am working on. tThanks.

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