Responses to JPR Climate and Conflict Special Issue: John O’Loughlin, Andrew M. Linke, Frank Witmer (University of Colorado, Boulder)›
Complexity, in terms of economic, cultural, institutional, and ecological characteristics, weighs heavily on contemporary attempts to unravel the climate change/variability and conflict nexus. The view that local-level complexity can be “controlled away” by technical fixes or adding variables in quantitative analysis does not sit well with many geographers (though some do try to adopt a middle ground position).
The relationship between climate change and conflict has been discussed for over two decades but most of the evidence of the link between the two has been anecdotal, drawing on extreme climate scenarios. The authors featured in the January special issue of the Journal of Peace Research devoted to climate change and conflict are therefore to be commended for their detailed investigations into a possible causal relationship between the two.
If you want a government to address something, make it a defense issue. No need to hold a PhD in political science to know that governments tend to give the highest priority to issues that involve national security interests – one can complain and whine about it, but that’s the way it is.
Responses to JPR Climate and Conflict Special Issue: Solomon Hsiang (Princeton University) and Todd G. Smith (University of Texas, Austin)›
A January special issue of the Journal of Peace Research brings together a new collection of evidence on a subject that has been a mainstay of the environmental security agenda: the links between climate and conflict.
Violence is on the wane in human affairs, even if slowly and irregularly. Could climate change reverse this trend? Pundits and politicians have raised the specter of havoc caused by rising temperature, erratic patterns of rainfall, and rising sea levels. In this way, so the story goes, climate change will produce famine and mass migration that threatens political stability and provokes violence. However, to date there is little evidence that the meteorological or agricultural conditions associated with climate change are actually a major source of violence.
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