Posts Tagged 'climate change'

What are the Omens for Peace?

Ever since I joined World Beyond War I have been watching events and commentary on the predicted future for the Earth and the Human Race. This post will feature comments from two men about the dangers of Climate Change that could ignite more war, and one who sees the natural evolution of international order making war no longer a political option.


I also have a link to the latest video from the World Beyond War organisation. This comes first:

You may watch it by cutting and pasting into your Internet browser.


The first of the articles I quote, by Nicholas Stern, Baron Stern, the Chair of the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment, was printed in the Guardian on February 14th


“The record rainfall and storm surges that have brought flooding across the UK are a clear sign that we are already experiencing the impacts of climate change. There is an increasing body of evidence that extreme daily rainfall rates are becoming more intense, in line with what is expected from fundamental physics, as the Met Office pointed out earlier this week.

This would be far above the threshold warming of 2C that countries have already agreed that it would be dangerous to breach. The average temperature has not been 2C above pre-industrial levels for about 115,000 years, when the ice-caps were smaller and global sea level was at least five metres higher than today.

The shift to such a world could cause mass migrations of hundreds of millions of people away from the worst-affected areas. That would lead to conflict and war, not peace and prosperity.”

The Second is from an article written by Meterologist Eric Holthaus and published December 20th 2013. He quotes Dr James Hansen, professor of Atmospheric Physics and a climate change activist.


“And if warming goes over 2°C, Hansen and his colleagues present a familiar litany of climate impacts: mass extinctions, stronger storms, and increasingly severe effects for human health, along with “major dislocations for civilization.”

Those dislocations mean the mass migrations of people from the affected areas, conflict and even war over living space and food.

The optimist is next.

Dr Hans Blix was the first Executive Chairman of the United Nations Monitoring, Verification and Inspection Commission from 2000 to 2003. In short, his was the voice of truth that told the world that Saddam Hussein of Iraq had no nuclear weapons; while Bush and Blair were bent on war and lying to refute Dr Blix’s evidence. This comes from an interview in the Independent for February 16th.

“For Dr Blix, the game-changer was public horror over the Iraq war and its aftermath, in which over a million people are estimated to have been killed. “After the unsuccessful war in Iraq it’s my belief there will be fewer unilateral military interventions and fewer wars between states – the ‘big thugs’ – and we should expect greater global détente and more international cooperation. This is my hypothesis and my hope.”

But isn’t this what people said after the First World War – the war to end all wars? “Some will think I am as naïve as those who had similar views in 1918. But it is no longer romantic thinking to suggest that risk of wars between states – I am not talking about civil war or terrorism – is decreasing.” His reasons are these: with the end of colonialism, armed land-grabbing is over, most borders between states are settled and after the end of the Cold War, religion and ideology are no longer grounds for wars between states. At the same time, institutions such as the UN Security Council, the International Monetary Fund, the World Trade Organisation, G8 and G20, and international courts are helping resolve controversies, and interdependence has increased exponentially.

“Remember Dag Hammarskjöld? Well, he used to say the UN was not created to bring us to heaven but to avoid going to hell.”

To summarise, we have two voices warning that unchecked climate change could lead to wars and one voice pointing out that wars are less likely in the future. We do not to need to judge who is correct because both can be if the human race will switch the huge sums of money from armaments and militarism to socially valuable spending as World Beyond War advocates.


The greater the danger of the mass migrations away from homes no longer habitable; of the mass extinctions of animals and plants stressed beyond adaption, that we depend upon for food; of the increased disease viability within the changed climate parameters; the more important it will be to spend our wealth ensuring we keep the planet habitable for life. If the rich countries do not lend a hand to the poor ones the risk of conflict is greater, but if we pool our resources and cooperate with our fellows we will attain the best possible outcome, as Mahatma Gandhi used to put it. Following some of the worst scenarios and going it alone to arm ourselves against the needy we will ensure not only a future of greater hardship but even the possibility that our human society will break down catastrophically.

We may not survive, individually or collectively, if we fail to create a World Beyond War.