Wednesday, July 11, 2007

The Future with Global Warming: War

By Ben Cohen

High minded politicians will tell you that nations go to war for noble purposes. Wars on terror, fights for freedom, defense, and security, are some of the usual catch phrases used to manipulate and rally the masses.

The harsh truth though, is that nations go to war rarely for the above. Prestige and natural resources are the real reason countries spend billions of dollars and thousands of lives on war, with the recent invasion of Iraq being a perfect example. In this case, the rhetoric fell severely short of the facts:

There were no weapons of mass destruction, there were no links to Al Qaeda, we did not go in to protect the Kurds (our allies in Turkey were busy killing their Kurdish population while we were denouncing Saddam for it), and we clearly didn't go in to bring democracy (in fact, we tried to prevent it almost every step of the way when voting didn't go the way we wanted).

The U.S and Britain clearly went in to secure and control the second largest crude oil reserve on the planet, and have quietly stolen billions of dollars worth of it. Just imagine if Iraq's main export was potatoes. It's highly unlikely anyone in the U.S or Britain would even know where it is. With oil prices rising and the war costing 2 billion dollars a day, the benefits have not exactly made themselves clear. Had we invested the $442,312,900,000 spent on the war so far in renewable energy, perhaps the looming oil crisis could have been avoided aswell.

Alarmingly, with global warming rapidly ensuing, this may only be the start of things. A new report from the journal 'Human Ecology' has found a link to rises in temperature and war, citing 899 wars fought in China over the past 1000 years that correlated closely to temperature change. Rising temperatures lead to water shortages that can severely affect crop growth, resulting in wars for dwindling food. As the science weighs in, it looks like war might be an even more integral part of our future.

As the arguments for the war and occupation in Iraq disintegrate further, this new report about wars over real issues makes it even clearer how absolutely unnecessary it was in the first place.


Josh said...

Indeed the Chinese Boxer Uprising of 1898-1900 was largely triggered by floods and droughts in neighbouring regions. However, a lack of scientific understanding and knowledge of weather systems was in part responsible for the extreme violence that followed. Surely in the 21st century, compassionate projects of aid (such as post Tsunami & post Katrina efforts) can act as buffers to this weather induced violence. Just a thought.