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.