Could there be a reason why the world is becoming a more dangerous and violent place? Think it’s the economy? Well, it might be something else altogether. There is some scientific evidence to show that global warming may be the cause.
The evidence shows that during times of intense drought or during heat waves, violence goes up. Scientists in the U.S. found that “even small changes in temperature or rainfall correlated with a rise in assaults, rapes and murders, as well as group conflicts and war.” Oh, and they predict it’s only going to get worse as climate change intensifies.
According to Marshall Burke, of the University of California, Berkeley, “This is a relationship we observe across time and across all major continents around the world. The relationship we find between these climate variables and conflict outcomes are often very large.”
The researchers involved in this study looked at 60 other studies from around the world. In fact, they looked at studies over the course of hundreds of years and found “substantial” correlation between violence and climate.
One such study they looked at indicated that domestic violence in India increased during droughts. “The report also suggests rising temperatures correlated with larger conflicts, including ethnic clashes in Europe and civil wars in Africa.”
However, not everybody found the study to be valid. Dr. Halvard Buhaug, from the Peace Research Institute in Oslo, Norway was one of them. He said the study failed to look at other possible sources of conflict such as high infant mortality, proximity to international borders and high local population density.
Bahaug said, “I disagree with the sweeping conclusion (the authors) draw and believe that their strong statement about a general causal link between climate and conflict is unwarranted by the empirical analysis that they provide. I was surprised to see not a single reference to a real-world conflict that plausibly would not have occurred in the absence of observed climatic extremes. If the authors wish to claim a strong causal link, providing some form of case validation is critical.”