back to article Climate change EVEN WORSE than you thought: It causes WAR and MURDER

Having conducted what they characterize as "the first comprehensive synthesis" of quantitative analyses linking violence to climatic changes, a trio of researchers has come to the conclusion that as the world continues to heat up, humankind will be more prone to violence. "If future populations respond similarly to past …

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> "If future populations respond similarly to past populations, then anthropogenic climate change has the potential to substantially increase conflict around the world, relative to a world without climate change,"

It is an interesting idea, but they lose credibility by using that "anthropogenic" word.

What has this got to do with what they are studying?

Is the cause of climate change a factor that they have considered? It seems to me that they are just studying a possible consequence of climate change regardless of its cause.

Is using that word a prerequisite these days for getting funding?

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Is using that word a prerequisite these days for getting funding?

Often, yes. In this case, however, it's being used as a signal to fellow travellers. As Steven Roper points out, below, the study is a pretext for further curtailing individual freedoms. The reference to "anthropogenic" tells another bunch of fascists that the authors are "on-side" and should be supported.

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anthropogenic climate change

Easy to explain: they got the causal relationship backwards. Violence causes global warming! Just look at all the violence in Africa and central America, and compare it Greenland and Antarctica. If the pornofilter gets expanded to block violence and any reference to increasing temperatures then we will never have to worry about global warming again.

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What a twat

10000 BC. Really

Driving many cars then, were they? How anthropogenic. Maybe all that sweat from building the Pyramids around 3000BC caused a hockey Pharoah Stick effect.

More likely in 'recent times' it's all the fecking Wind Turbines, ad-hoc taxation and general political gerrymandering pissing people off every time they hear the C word.

And I don't mean See-You-Next-Tuesday.

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"It is an interesting idea, but they lose credibility by using that "anthropogenic" word. What has this got to do with what they are studying?"

Oh come on, are you serious? Papers don't exist in a vacuum. Scientists often discuss the implications of their results in context of present knowledge.

Global temperature stands to warm several degrees C due to human activity over coming centuries. That's the overwhelming evidence based view in the field. So of course their paper has relevance to that.

Come on climate skeptics, lets have some better arguments please.

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Anonymous Coward

NomNomNom, climate obsessive with lots of spare time:

http://forums.theregister.co.uk/user/50106/

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That's rich coming from you AC. I see you making comments on EVERY topic!

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Re: What a twat

They didn't make any claim that all climate change was linked to human behaviour, in fact the cause of climate change isn't relevant to their study at all.

The result they have published just shows that when climate change occurs, human conflict increases.

They might have gone on to postulate that violence is often the result of conflict for scarce resources and that scarcity increases when the climate is disrupted in any way. But they didn't.

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Re: What a twat

So,

It's widely accepted, based on evidence, in the scientific field that A causes B

A paper finds that B causes C

Authors are not allowed to point out that this suggests A causes C, because their study wasn't specifically about A causing B.

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I put as much credence into his demented ramblings about us killing all the polar bears as I did into his assertion toking on a joint will turn you into a deranged physchopath.

i.e Naff all.

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Don't see what the problem is with using "anthropogenic".

Their basic finding is that climate change causes war / violence*. The particular sentence referenced says that if there is man-made warming it is likely to cause more war / violence. It doesn't actually comment on whether man-made warming exists, just that if, as is likely given current knowledge, this does exist, then the possible consequences need to be taken to account.

*The basic finding, by the way, makes a lot of sense and I would say is quite obvious. The vast majority of war and violence is about resources and "acquisition" / theft thereof. "isms" and "us vs thems" are mostly tagged on by the elites to con the general population into accepting the idea of going to war.

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Simple: There is a lot of ACC coming up, so it's interesting now. Other climate change events are going to happen too, but they're much harder to predict.

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Perhaps it's you who should have some better arguments:

"Global temperature stands to warm several degrees C due to human activity over coming centuries. That's the overwhelming evidence based view in the field"

Global temperature has been at a standstill since 1998, in spite of human activity, just as it declined from the 40's to the 70's, again in spite of human activity. There is no "evidence", such as you speak of, there are only computer models and much uncertain guesswork. They only achieve their "several degrees C" by using positive feedback relating to clouds and water vapour, where it has been shown that negative feedback is the more likely. There is plenty of real evidence from archaeological and paleological sources, that the climate has been warmer in the past, without the levels of CO2 we currently have.

The "view in the field" is the view of the same people who produce those constant computer outputs, desperate to try and deliver ever more scary scenarios and blame every weather event on the trace gas carbon dioxide, much beloved by the biosphere.

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Even with negative feedback we will hit several degrees c warming in coming centuries. Look how fast Co2 levels are rising. Even with the lowest credible estimates of warming man not nature now dominates global temperature change.

Your argument that is been warmer in the past with the same level of Co2 so Co2 can't cause warming is not only illogical but defies your claim about negative feedback. If negative feedback dominates in climate then what do you propose could push the earth warmer in the past? There's no credible answer to that one. Only with positive feedback do paleontology and archaeological observations make sense.

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So what we're to gather from this is only anthropogenic warming will cause violence? We're safe with good old regular climate changing, then?

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Stop

> Don't see what the problem is with using "anthropogenic".

My point was that the use of the word implies implicit bias in what they are trying to do.

> The particular sentence referenced says that if there is man-made warming it is likely to cause more war / violence.

But that is not what they are actually studying. They are studying climate change and its relationship to violence and make no attempt to determine if it being man-made makes any difference. It is irrelevant.

Imagine they were studying the difference between violence in men and women and at the end of the study made some statement about the "difference between violence in black men and women", they betray an underlying bias that has nothing to do with the subject in hand.

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Stop

> Oh come on, are you serious? Papers don't exist in a vacuum. Scientists often discuss the implications of their results in context of present knowledge.

Yes, and I wish that they would bloody well stop it.

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"But that is not what they are actually studying. They are studying climate change and its relationship to violence and make no attempt to determine if it being man-made makes any difference. It is irrelevant."

Let me try to understand your logic.

There is a situation where it is accepted by all institutes of science in the world that X is causing Y.

A study finds that Y causes Z. Quite obviously that implies that X is causing Z. But you are saying the study authors cannot mention that implication in their paper? Because if they do it's biased?

"Imagine they were studying the difference between violence in men and women and at the end of the study made some statement about the "difference between violence in black men and women", they betray an underlying bias that has nothing to do with the subject in hand."

Well that analogy has no findings and it misses a widely accepted relationship.

A better analogy would be a study which finds that respiratory disease cause an increased risk of heart attack. Now you say the authors aren't allowed to even mention the obvious implication that therefore smoking causes an increased risk of heart attack, because their study wasn't specifically about smoking. And if they do mention it then they are biased - pushing the old smoking causes respiratory diseases line to get more funding.

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Stop

> A better analogy would be a study which finds that respiratory disease cause an increased risk of heart attack. Now you say the authors aren't allowed to even mention the obvious implication that therefore smoking causes an increased risk of heart attack, because their study wasn't specifically about smoking.

I would agree with you if they had indeed studied said relationship to smoking. Unless they did, then it is irrelevant and they are suggesting a relationship that was not supported by their study.

They might even "suggest" that smoking was an influence in their conclusions, but they would have to make it pretty plain that this was not necessarily supported by the study itself.

That you think that this is permissible is a shocking indictment on what we expect form scientists.

*I* expect absolute scrupulousness and attention to detail from scientists and so should everyone else.

Anything less is just not science.

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Why using anthropogenic is bad...

The reason why lumping anthropogenic in there is bad is because sooner or later major climate change is a dead certainty: its been happening for all of known history and before. And when it does happen history tells us there are major population migrations, famines, wars, all the rest of it, disruption probably beyond our capability to manage.

But by bunging the anthropogenic label in there its saying, there, there, no need to worry, we'll build a few more windmills and everything will be OK. But it won't be. Because even if there is an anthropogenic component the climate will change anyway and we won't be ready for it, so we'll still get the migrations, famines and wars...

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Not to mention the fact that, oops, not only has the planet not warmed since 1997 but actually appears to be cooling despite a 35% increase in the anthropomorphic contribution to atmospheric CO2. LOL

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Boffin

WALOOB

You probably shouldn't rely on the Daily Mail for your science updates. Here's one easy to read article I found after 15 seconds with Google:

http://www.forbes.com/sites/petergleick/2012/02/05/global-warming-has-stopped-how-to-fool-people-using-cherry-picked-climate-data/

GJC

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Re: WALOOB

You probably shouldn't rely on Peter Gleick for your climate science updates.

"On February 20, 2012, Gleick announced he was responsible for the unauthorized distribution of documents from The Heartland Institute in mid-February. Gleick claimed he had received "an anonymous document in the mail describing what appeared to be details of the Heartland Institute's climate program strategy", and in trying to verify the authenticity of the document, had "solicited and received additional materials directly from the Heartland Institute under someone else's name""

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Boffin

Re: WALOOB

OK, fair point. I was reading the facts, not the byline. How about this one, then?

http://www.skepticalscience.com/big-picture-global-warming.html

GJC

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Re: WALOOB

Skeptical Science! Really! I would trust a known thief with my life savings before I would trust them with the truth.

If you want science, true science, go to climateaudit.org. Facts are the environmental movement's kryptonite. Start studying objective websites, not the mis-named skeptical science.

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Re: WALOOB

Fool! Don't use your <faulty site>, you should use my <perfectly honest site> instead.

After all, <person who runs site> is a known (Skeptic/Apologist/Reliable Source - delete where inappropriate) and his opinion is far better than <your previous suggestion>

Why can't you use some critical thinking and look at <proper site> like all sensible people!

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Re: WALOOB

Er, you know why Cook and Nutelli and the other activists at Sceptical Science are called "The Treehouse Gang", don't you?

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Re: WALOOB

Actually, Google searching for those names and "The Treehouse Gang" gives me no useful results whatsoever.

So no, I have no idea what you are talking about.

Although being as ad hominem attacks are the most effective and honest form of persuasion, you have completely convinced me that you are right and these guys are certifiably kids in a tree.

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Pint

Re: WALOOB

<Wanders off, shaking head sadly>

If anyone needs me, I'll be in the pub.

GJC

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Joke

Naturally

Global Warming -> End of the World (as we know it) -> Zombie Apocalypse = Need more target practice!

Not our fault that there aren't any real zombies to practice on.

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Hmmm

Sounds to me like there's another civil liberty that needs to be removed or another tax imposed, one whose removal/imposition can't be justified by protecting children or preventing terrorism, so the old 'anthropogenic climate change' excuse is as good as any I suppose.

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Re: Hmmm

Sure, so these scientists all sat round a room in the 80s with a bunch of politicians and they all schemed on how to remove civil liberties and increase taxes.

And the best idea they came up with was to spend decades fabricating a line of physics that suggests there is a problem with climate change...just so their successors in 2013 had an excuse to increase taxes.

Are you serious? Even the moon landing conspiracy theory is more believable than that.

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Meh

more like a truism

climate is always changing. Nothing new there. Large scale changes cause migrations thru drought or cold. Once there is an extant population then it is logical that a group migrating in may have conflict. Goths and Romans anyone ? IMHO, the question is for the current world population is what ought/can be done, if anything. Unlike previous states of the world, a large percentage is not living in a subsistence lifestyle andhas resources and high productivity to mitigate environmental changes. I question whether the current tendency to scream in one form or another "we all gonna die" is going to prevent a rational response to changing circumstances. Ones electricity bill is a current common example.

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Can I call bovine excrement yet?

Looking at the pic, chart "A" seems to indicate that when folks are huddling for warmth there is a 5% drop in violence and when it's smoking hot there is about an equal rise, perhaps stemming from the 'get off me, man!' feeling. It would be interesting to see what absolute temperature shows in correlation to "anomaly". Perhaps it's me but I seem to remember many more heat waves (+10 °C) in the warm months and 'arctic blasts' (-10 °C) in the cold months. Then again should it really matter if your average 75 °F day boiling over at 93 °F or chilling out at 57 °F? Shocking information.

If you're going to present data as "anomaly in degrees" on one chart, "absolute value in σ" in another, "% change from prior year", a "weighted anomaly index" and a "NINO3 index May-Dec in °C" then I claim there is a potential correlation between the rain in Spain falling mainly on the plain and the volume of urine coming from a cow pissing on a flat rock.

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Meh

Some conflicts may be the reuslt of changes to the climate, however it's not the only cause. In particular, a lot of 19th and 20th century conflict could be linked to expanding populations, competition for resources, and more effective armies as a result of industrialisation. Even, sometimes, "because we can" would be sufficient motivation - Alexander the Great, for example?

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They will also find a correlation between droughts and cold leading to conflict. Both of those conditions historically have led to crop failures and food shortages, which in turn lead to conflicts. That's one of the main problems with the chicken-little global warming scare: cold kills more than warmth. Drought causes more suffering than heavy rains. Life thrives in a warm, wet world and suffers in a cold, arid one. Consider this: how many mass extinctions have been tied to ice age? How many to 'warm' ages?

Cold,bad. Warm, good. Gore, idiot.

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This is exactly it

Climate change in the form of weather extremes will tend to reduce the food supply and cause famines in the immediate area. In the ancient world, when your only option is to go elsewhere for food, and the people who live elsewhere don't want to share, violence results.

In today's world food can literally be shipped halfway around the world, something that even a few generations ago wasn't practical (the biggest ships of the 1800s hold less than 1% of what today's cargo ships do) so there is no need to make war on one's neighbors because you lost your crop - though unfortunately it still happens in areas like parts of Africa where violence exists whether or not the harvest is good.

I know some of the alarmist scenarios would see the entire world's harvest in decline as a result of global warming, and if that happens no doubt war would result. But if it just makes some areas less productive and some areas more productive then on the whole any resulting violence would be lost amongst all our daily violence based on religion and nationalism.

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The most violent place I've ever been was located on the equator, and yes it was hot. The most relaxed place I've ever been had snowploughs and frozen lakes.

Of course, this is purely anecdotal and therefore isn't worth the paper you're reading it on ;-)

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Biggest problem

The biggest problem is uncontrolled population growth.

That may, or may not, have a climate side effect. Either way the population increase will cause food shortages & wars over water, food, land & energy.

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Re: Biggest problem

I'll sum up your post for you:

"Wealthy Western white guy hates brown-skinned people"

We have fewer wars over resources than ever. The global population will soon begin decline. Our technological capacity for supporting human life has never been higher.

All in all, your prediction lacks a credible supporting argument.

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Re: Biggest problem

Oh you think so, do you?

I have written elsewhere, even on here, about how Britain's problem is not immigration but birth rate: that the number we can feed and clothe from our own land area was passed some time between the 1450s and the 1750s (depending how you choose to measure it)

But I would not like to deprive you of your simplistic assumptions, so just carry on feeling good about yourself, please.

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Re: Biggest problem

Robert stated, "The biggest problem is uncontrolled population growth" and you replied with, "I'll sum up your post for you: Wealthy Western white guy hates brown-skinned people".

Seriously? I mean, wow. That's not what he said at all. He did not even imply such a thing. That's some chip you have on that shoulder of yours.

"The global population will soon begin decline."

So says you...

The UN figures show 3 projections for the end of the century. High: Population approaches 16 billion. Medium: Population starts leveling off at just over 10 billion. Low: Population peaks at just over 8 billion and crashes to just over 6 billion.

"All in all, your prediction lacks a credible supporting argument."

All in all, you simply infer what you want and cherry pick data to support your own personal bias.

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Re: Biggest problem

Population growth engenders conflict without competition for resources as a cause.

Populations that are growing rapidly contain a disproportionate number of young adults (because of the growth curve, and because societies with low life expectation have high birth rates). Societies with a high proportion of young adults have been shown to be more quarrelsome and aggressive. I suppose: old farts don't fight much because they expect to lose.

This is one of the reasons for the surprising, and mostly counterproductive, aggressiveness of mediaeval society.

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Go

Didn't the Houston police department find killings rise with temperature up to 26c

then start falling

But the loss of resources caused by climate change is going to cause more competition.

Note. This research applies to any climate change, regardless of cause.

Being able to quantify these effects can help future planning, but this is a first attempt.

So go for them to continue to refine this work.

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This study is right!!

Because I know my urge to kill increases each time I have to listen to Thomas Friedman rattle on about how in the interests of the climate he had to fly across the world to talk to world leaders and activists about how the rest of us need to lower our carbon footprint!!

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Anonymous Coward

Re: This study is right!!

My personal experience is that my gf is much hornier when it's warmer. This suits me fine because that means I get my end in more often. The result is a lack of aggression evident in my behaviour. Hotter should lead to a more docile population.

Bonking ... and better for it ;)

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