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Re: Weather and war

  • To: gardenchat@hort.net
  • Subject: Re: Weather and war
  • From: "Pam Evans" <gardenqueen@gmail.com>
  • Date: Sat, 2 Jun 2007 23:28:18 -0500
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  • In-reply-to: <3813-22007662202229218@usit.net>
  • References: <3813-22007662202229218@usit.net>

Rome had already collapsed from w/in by the time the Huns got here.
Corruption did the trick.

On 6/2/07, Bonnie Holmes <holmesbm@usit.net> wrote:
> Makes me wonder. A recent article I read mentioned that global warming
> led to flooding of the now European coastline, driving huns towards Rome
> at a time when Rome was suffering from plagues, weakened government, and
> overextension and contributing to its downfall.
> Rainfall records could warn of war
> 30 May 2007 NewScientist.com news service Jim Giles
> EVERY month, the International Crisis Group makes predictions it hopes
> won't come true. The non-profit organisation, which has its base in
> Brussels, Belgium, monitors regions where conflict is brewing. By
> tracking precursors of armed struggle, such as political instability, it
> raises awareness about looming wars in the hope of stopping conflicts
> before they begin. And as of this month, it will start talking about
> whether to include another variable in its analyses: climate change.
> The discussions come after a wave of interest in the link between
> climate change and conflict. Last month, a group of retired US admirals
> and generals said global warming would act as a "threat multiplier",
> with events such as droughts toppling unstable governments and
> unleashing conflict. The UN Security Council has devoted time to the
> matter, and media reports have described the crisis in Darfur, Sudan, as
> the first "climate change war", due to the decades of droughts that
> preceded the conflict.
> "Global warming could act as a 'threat multiplier', with events such as
> droughts toppling unstable governments"
> Marc Levy at Columbia University in New York, who is working with the
> ICG, is one of the few researchers who have been able to support these
> speculations with data. In a forthcoming paper, he and colleagues
> combine databases on civil wars and water availability to show that when
> rainfall is significantly below normal, the risk of a low-level conflict
> escalating to a full-scale civil war approximately doubles in the
> following year.
> Parts of Nepal that witnessed fighting during the 2002 Maoist
> insurgency, for example, had suffered worse droughts in preceding years
> than regions that were conflict-free. Although Levy is not sure why the
> link should exist in this case, studies of other conflicts suggest
> explanations. Drought can cause food shortages, generating anger against
> governments, for example. "Semi-retired" armed groups may return to
> conflict in these situtations.
> Levy wants to see if a model based on the link between rainfall and
> climate can help aid agencies. For each of the 70 or so locations on the
> ICG's watch list, he will use rainfall measurements and forecasts to
> calculate the impact the weather is having on conflict risk. That
> analysis is likely to flag up the Ivory Coast among others, he says. A
> 2003 peace accord ended years of violence in the country, but many armed
> groups have not surrendered their weapons. Ongoing drought in the north
> might soon destabilise the country and trigger a return to violence,
> Levy says.
> Including rainfall would be a fairly basic addition to the analyses that
> the group performs, but it could be the start of a major change in
> thinking. If the rainfall data helps, information on floods and severe
> storms could be added, for example. "We're starting to see a real focus
> on this," says Dan Esty of Yale University. "Suddenly people are making
> the link."
> Not everyone is as confident of the link as Levy, however. Over a decade
> ago, the CIA set up the Political Instability Task Force to produce
> models that can flag up vulnerable governments. It relies on variables
> such as infant mortality, which measures the strength of a country's
> health system. Although events such as droughts cause tension, the
> models showed it is other factors that determine whether tension becomes
> conflict.
> "Research has not succeeded in establishing robust, systematic
> connections between climate and conflict," says Halvard Buhaug of the
> International Peace Research Institute in Oslo, Norway. With the
> connection still under debate, it may be too early to talk about climate
> change wars. "So far, climate change has not been powerful enough to be
> the main driver of conflict," says Jack Goldstone at George Mason
> University in Fairfax, Virginia. "Drought was a contributory factor in
> Darfur, not the main cause."
> Yet many researchers say that this uncertainty should not stop Levy from
> working with aid groups. They say droughts and floods add to the
> pressure on governments and need to be monitored. A simple link may not
> exist, says Esty, but climate change will exacerbate issues known to be
> linked to conflict.
> From issue 2606 of New Scientist magazine, 30 May 2007, page 12
> Bonnie Zone 7/7 ETN
> Remember: The River Raisin, The Alamo, The Maine, Pearl Harbor, 9/11
> ---------------------------------------------------------------------
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Pam Evans
Kemp TX
zone 8A

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