Will climate change cause war?

Weather causes war, a new study claims. So should we limit CO2 emissions and give peace a chance? Make love not CO2?

The study published in this week’s Nature claims to correlate El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO) cycles with wars around the world during 1950-2009. The study’s intended implication, then, is that if only we can stop climate change (i.e., limit CO2 emissions), peace will be at hand.

The study’s major problem, however, is that even if there is a statistical correlation (pardon the redundancy) between ENSO events and wars, the study authors failed to examine any of the actual socio-political circumstances surrounding the wars. To insinuate weather cycles as a cause of or contributor to war simply because they can be correlated is to mindlessly exalt numerology over socio-political reality.

Next ENSO cycles are real and result in actual weather phenomena. Extrapolating the actuality of ENSO to the dubious hypothesis of catastrophic manmade global warming, is yet another leap of faith.

The goal of this research is to link CO2 emissions with national security. That is, we don’t just have to wish for world peace anymore; we can stop burning fossil fuels, cooling our homes, driving SUVs, eating meat, etc. It is merely a ploy to tug at the consciences of conservatives who, as a tribe, otherwise generally oppose Al Gore-ism.

FYI, this study’s sponsors include the U.S. EPA, the brother of George Soros and the Environmental Defense Fund.

Click for the study, study supplementary material and media release.

43 thoughts on “Will climate change cause war?”

  1. Yes, Common Sense will eventually come to enough people that they will go to war against the EPA and other onerous Govt. Agencies and have them abolished and all their personnel FIRED, no transfers to other govt. jobs…

  2. Right on, Gene, one can only “hope”…. (Sorry, the word has developed such a distasteful and dishonest connotation, I strongly hesitated …. )

  3. They put the horse before the cart. most aggressor nations look for a good period of weather to launch attacks. They do not launch attackes because of good periods of weather.

  4. What many “scientists” fail to realize is that you find what you are looking for! This principle should be taught in every science class in America! Unfortunately, too many are wedded to our old way of “looking” without realizing that the observer colors the examination.

  5. 1950 – 2009 seems a small statistical sample. Historically there have been many more wars indeed, because countires tended to be much smaller there are an awful lot of small wars. They may not be as sexy as recent stuff but they provide precisely as good statistical information.

    So why weren’t they used. One answer is that the people doing the “research” didn’t know the answer to questions of 17th C wars as well as they knew recent ones before starting the research. If there is another answer perhaps somebody could give it since I don’t know what it might be.

  6. co2? co2 ain’t the only gas changing the climate! methane is worse.. you been in a room when somebody fart, talk about climate change .. jus’ think, they’s ’bout four folks in each family .. daddy farts, momma farts, even th’ babies fart, ain’t all of ‘um got cars .. thas’ a lot of methane, thas’ a lot of gas .. add to this, cows ‘n dogs ‘n jackasses all fart (mos’ politicians release through they mouths) .. co2 ain’t nuthin’ .. whut we need is federally mandated ‘n funded fart filters.. this’ll clean the climate, bring peace ‘n bring about universal brotherhood…

  7. For humanity (pun intended), war is the normal state. The fact is that armies find it easier to work in fair weather. When the weather turns bad, it is bad for the armies. If you don’t believe me, ask Napoleon about his march on Russia.
    Armies don’t like to work in bad weather any more than roofers.

  8. U.S. EPA, the brother of George Soros and the Environmental Defense Fund – all credible scientists or scientific organizations with neutral political leanings, i.e., this was a real oblective study.

  9. This is about as credible as the ‘aliens from outer space are coming to kick some earthling butt for CO2 emissions’ story.

    They won’t stop with this green nonsense because the goal of total global control via the green movement is too juicy to resist, and much faster than the old communist way. They can see the goal post. Just a little farther,,,,almost there. Disgusting!

  10. can’t figger the reason for all the wars, ‘cep some folks jus’ don’t like each other .. ain’t no “can’t we all jus’ get along” factor involved..
    as for this study, i think the crack pipe has been replaced with the old fashioned communal crack pot .. soros ‘n his ilk spout this crapsense whenever they come up for air…you’re right jarmo, credibility factor=zero…

  11. It appears the fall-out from discredited AGW has a life of its own due to the support of Environmentalists and Politicians. Scientists supporting it have a vested interest in that they have becom wealthy from research grants in the hope of finding some ligitimacy to AGW. Finding none has turned the hundred or so climate scientists who persevere into scince prostitutes. A well kept secret is that over 30,000 legitimate US scientists, myself included,
    petitioned our Senate to ignore the Kyoto Protocols in 2008. The US and a number of foreign countries have squandered hundreds of billions of $$$ in the futile search for a way to control climates. It is not surprising as several factors related to the cosmos control our weather. Man’s puny abilities play a very minor part. Never forget that Earth would become an ice ball if it were not for a healthy greenhouse gas.

  12. Here I go again, differing from Stephen. I not only think that climate change may cause wars but that it may already have done so. If you were living somewhere that might be submerged by rising seas and had no place to go, might you be willing to engage in military action or terrorism to prevent it from happening. I believe there are people in the world who would. Our Department of Defense, no bastion of liberal thinking, understands this possibility and is supporting measure to prevent it. It realizes that it may be wiser to avoid the motivation for desperate action than to fight it once it happens. This is no “rocket science” by liberal moralists, but rather practical thinking by realists.

  13. I’ll have to throw my lot in with Stein on this one. While the methodology is dodgy at best, given their assumptions, the conclusions of this study are correct. If we assume IPCC worst case warming with rapidly rising seas, major droughts, and massive loss of areable land, then wars could result out of desperation.

    However, this assumption is false. There is no evidence for a rapidly rising sea scenario, and the best estimates I see are for an increase in overall rainfall and increase in areable land. Therefore, I am not concerned and I find the matter of much less concern than other global issues.

  14. Most models that I have seen predict the within reasonable limits of error, the effect of global warming will cause an increase in sea level and a decrease in livable areas in many parts of the world that will be greater than any increase caused bu increasing rainfall. It may be that the rainfall will allow previously dry land not previously suitable for farming to be used, these are usually not regions of high population density. In the U.S., the prediction is that most of New Orleans and Miami would be submerged, and the effect would be as great if not greater for many third world cities, leading to population displacement and hardship. I believe this will result in popular unrest.

  15. According to the models cited several years ago, we should have seen a 5 to 10 foot sea level rise. Where is that?

  16. Rising Seas??? You sound like fart Al . . . LOL
    What will cause the “wars” is when sanity reigns supreme and the EPA and the looney so-called Computer Modeller Scientists . . . all funded by Billions of Tax Dollars are cut-off from the Treasury . . . aka: DEFUNDED . . . that will be an All Out War . . . Al has already demonstrated how sane he is!!!

  17. Steve, I hate to go off-subject, because the trolls will surely attack me. I read that at the epicenter of yesterday’s quake is what is now known as “Bush’s Fault”.

  18. Did increasing carbon dioxide due to man cause the Civil War in April 1861? This was the most catastrophic war for the U. S. The Jounal Nature has sunk to very low depths to print trash like this and should not longer be referred to as a scientific journal.

  19. Richard . . . back in the late 80’s Hansen . . . NASA Pretend Scientist and fat Al . . . . told us the Oceans would rise by 30 feet . . . . by TODAY!!!! So he buys a mansion on the Calif Coast . . . . does Al believe???
    Even his fellow IPCC members dramatically disagreed with the most threatening part of the movie and this clip, namely a forecast sea level rise of 4 to 12 meters.
    A United Kingdom Court judge wrote, “I viewed the film at the parties’ request. Although I can only express an opinion as a viewer rather than as a judge, it is plainly, as witnessed by the fact that it received an Oscar this year for best documentary film a powerful, dramatically presented and highly professionally produced film. It is built round the charismatic presence of the ex-Vice-President, Al Gore, whose crusade it now is to persuade the world of the dangers of climate change caused by global warming. It is now common ground that it is not simply a science film – although it is clear that it is based substantially on scientific research search and opinion – but that it is a political film, albeit of course not party political. Its them theme is not m e merely the rely fact that there is global warm warming, and that there is a powerful case that such global warming is caused by man, but that urgent, and if necessary expensive and inconvenient, steps must be taken to counter it, many of which are spelt out. Paul Downes, using persuasive force almost equivalent to that of Mr Gore, has established his case that the views in the film are political by submitting that Mr Gore promotes an apocalyptic vision, which would be used to influence a vast array of political policies.”

    The court ordered the Brtiish government to provide manuals for teachers planning to show the movie in the classroom advising the students of the political nature and the errors.

    A scientific definition of carbon is: the chemical element of atomic number 6, a nonmetal that has two main forms (diamond and graphite) and that also occurs in impure form in charcoal, soot, and coal.
    A scientific definition of carbon dioxide (CO2) is; a colorless, odorless gas produced by burning carbon and organic compounds and by respiration. So basically carbon is a solid and CO2 is a gas. They claim CO2 can slow heat escape from the atmosphere and an increase from human activity causes warming. It has not happened at any time and is not happening now. Carbon occurs as particles of soot in the atmosphere causing cooling by blocking sunlight. I expect them to blame soot for failure of their warming predictions.

  20. In the 1970’s soot was the primary cause of the impending ice age. Some of those oddball predictions can be traced to AGW alarmists.

  21. I once did a very unscientific overlay of a graph of global temperatures against a graph that showed frequency and severity of hurricanes that made landfall in the US. Both covered 100 years. Interesting result: temperature did not have any noticeable influence. The largest numbers of hurricanes making landfall in the US were during WW1 and WW2. Do wars cause hurricanes?

  22. Don’t forget vaporized and gaseous di-hydrogen oxide. Perhaps one of the most deadly chemicals every invented by man or gore.

  23. can’t figger the reason for all the wars, ‘cep some folks jus’ don’t like each other .

    War is the solution to humanities collective insanity. It goes without saying (but I will say it anyway) that insane people don’t like sane people. There is no chance of rational discussion with the insane and therefore no possible solution to the conflict. The insane people’s inability to convince the sane to adopt their world view inevitably leads to violence. A condition we call war. As awful as war is it does force people to rearrange their priorities and push them back into reality.

  24. you’re right ted .. my uncle got into some of that dihydrogen oxide stuff .. mos killed him .. couldn’t breathe, when we got to him, he was wringin’ wet,
    when we finally got him around, he wuz a’ gaggin. ‘n coughin’ .. but he wuzn’t in no shape to go to war .. he’uz jus thankful to get some help .. yep, some potent stuff .. well, war makes some people dead, war makes some people free…

  25. Changing climate has caused wars in the past, whet reason would there be to beleive they won’t in the future. Blaming the changing climate on our use of fossil fuels is delusional.


  26. Interesting correlation. In the church of climatology, that correlation would be sufficient to justify legislating a price on war, call it “Bomb and Trade.”

  27. That’s easy. It goes something like this. We’re experiencing a global recession, that recession causes reduced fossil fuel consumption and therefore a reduction in CO2 emissions. This reducion in emissions has allowed the world to hit their Kyoto targets, AGW has been halted and so polar ice caps are not melting. Voila, Kyoto works and no sea level rise. This will soon be peer reviewd and published in Nature any day now.


  28. “I am not concerned and I find the matter of much less concern than other global issues.”

    If you are not concerned about the threat of wars caused by AGW, then clearly you are being paid by big oil to be a holoca…I mean climate denier.


  29. Mr. Stein, what are reasonable predictions of error?

    I have to say that I rely on DATA, not models. The data for sea level rise has show a relatively constant 1.5-2mm per year for the past century with no evidence of acceleration (excluding Mr. Mann’s nonsensical and obscene extrapolation which can be thoroughly lambasted by simple description). Even if this continues unabated ad infinitum, this gives a century or more to cover Miami.

    I’m an engineer. The first rule of modeling a system is that your model is wrong. Models must first be proven, and climate models have shown a very poor ability to predict even the barest of climate principles. Once you add in the fact that climate is inherently chaotic on all timescales and further confound in the uncertainty about the various inputs… I put more faith in models of the value of the S&P 500

  30. The trouble with the 30,000 scientists on that petition is that there are people who have signed it who are not who they say they are. The petition has little credibility with the public, I think they should start the petition over.

    By the way I am a geologist as well, I know many older geologists who are climate skeptics but I know several new geo grads and almost all are climate alarmists. What are they teaching young geo’s today that is so different than what we were taught?

  31. Rich, I missed that particular war where the soon to be submerged nation launched an amphibious attack against another nation state for Lebensraum. Please fill us all in. The Pentagon does what they’re told by the politicians from whom they get their funding. I’m sure if we look into the Pentagon archives we can find their circa 1970’s ice age contingency plans.

  32. The study at hand suggests that the wars that occurred between 1950 – 2009 were related to inclement weather. Which one in particular was caused by rising sea level, which you mentioned. Anybody can dream up crazy “Road Warrior”/”Water World” post apocalyptic scenarios for the future. I’m not impressed by that.

  33. Does the expression, “grasping at straws” ring a bell? How long will it be until the warmists assert wars larger than the civil kind correlate with “climate change?” AGW made the Germans invade Poland? Made the Japanese bomb Pearl Harbor? Made MacArthur cross he Yalu? Tonkin Gulf? Sept 11, 2001? Ad nauseum.

    Prof. Brignell’s list at Numberwatch will surely balloon by orders of magnitude!

  34. Conversely, Human-induced Global Cooling during the Maunder Minimum (1550-1825) is no doubt responsible for the French Revolution, the English Civil War, the Crimean War and all of the British/French/Spanish conflicts the entire period – all due to the vast amounts of wood and coal used during the winter months to keep Human Civilization warm prior to the Industrial Revolution.

Oh!… those dastardly Homo Sapiens – the world was such a lovely place until they emerged as the dominant species on the planet! – Yes!… Natural Law was such a compassionate and benevolent master… the World was a veritable Garden of Eden! – nothing close to the: “… rather brutish place!” as Hobbs puts forth.

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