To a recent study, global warming could cause a 50 percent increase in violent conflict. Given that it has already sparked the matches of war in Darfur and Syria, one can be scared. As the Guardian noted :
” A group of researchers have trawled the scientific literature and concluded from 60 studies, from Somalia and China to Colombia and the Middle East, that unusually warm weather generates more aggression and conflict. “
” In parts of equatorial Africa, they suggest, every added degree of heat increases the chance of conflict between groups by 11 to 14%. “
” The corollary, of course, is that climate change and global warming will add significantly to conflict in future. “
So it seems that people delving in conflicts, peace and defense issues will have more to do in a warming world. That’s good news for my friend Olivier Jacquemet and his peers but bad news for practically everyone else.
This is no rocket (!) science : between increased water scarcity and its accompanying food shortage, the increased extreme events and so on that such a thing should occur.
In a not so unrelated trend, another study have calculated that the costs of the warming arctic could be of no less than $60 TRILLION ! (ie. the amount of money generated last year globally). As Celsias noted (via Cleantechies) :
Most discussions about the economic implications of a warming Arctic focus on benefits to the region, with increased oil-and-gas drilling and the opening up of new shipping routes that attract investments of hundreds of billions of dollars. However, the effects of melting permafrost on the climate and oceans will be felt globally.
Applying an updated version of the modelling method used in the UK government’s 2006 Stern Review on the Economics of Climate Change, the authors calculate the average global economic consequences of the release of 50 gigatonnes of methane over one decade from thawing permafrost beneath the East Siberian Sea.
In the absence of climate-change mitigation measures, they estimate that the methane event alone would cost $60 trillion in mean global climate impacts — a figure that approaches the $70-trillion value of the world economy in 2012.
If other impacts such as ocean acidification are factored in, the cost would be much higher. Some 80% of these costs will be borne by developing countries, as they experience more extreme weather, flooding, droughts and poorer health, as Arctic warming affects climate.
The authors argue that economic discussions today are missing the big picture on Arctic change. They call for the World Economic Forum to invest in the further modelling needed to assess the true costs of Arctic change and to encourage world leaders to “consider the economic time bomb beyond short-term gains from shipping and extraction”.
So what the hell are we waiting for ? Oh, the answer is in my question ? HELL ?
Given both the huge potential costs of a much warmer world and the huge savings of early action, it’s really the question one can ask him or herself.
Image via : Mother Jones.