I attended “Climate change and conflict – The Danger of future wars”, Klimaforum09 Sunday the 13th of December 2009.
Prof. Dr. Jürgen Scheffran, Institute for geography in the KlimaCampus at University Hamburg, Germany and The International Network of Engineers and Scientists for Global Responsibility (INES) made the first presentation.
The event had an initial resource crisis: Too many spectators had showed up and in choosing between fighting over seats or exchanging the limited resource, the room, organizers fortunately chose the latter. Hence, the talk is also a bit chaotic (presentation projector starts 6 min into the talk, microphone 11 mins into it).
“The essential simple assumption would [be to] think: more temperature, more conflict. It’s not that simple if you look at previous data. […] there was a drop of conflict with the end of The Cold War despite the fact there was temperature rise. You cannot make that simple link here. Because conflicts have many reasons, not just global warming.”
“[We] have looked at major conflict constellations that may be relevant in the future. One is water, one is food, one is natural disasters […] the fourth one is migration as a factor. These could contribute each of themselves but also in their combination.”
“The final choice […] the world is facing: Are we moving towards […] more environment destruction, more instability and war – and the link between these two – or are we moving toward […] sustainable development, emission reduction, peace and security, and the […] links between peace, security and […mumbles…sustainable development]?”
The talks had this description in the Klimaforum09 programme:
Climate change will create both floods and draught and force millions of poor people to flee their homes. The world will be short of the basic needs of human beings. We will experience more conflicts about farmland, water and food. According to UN, 20 million people were made homeless because of climate related disasters in 2008. We need solutions that are social and global just and responsible. We need the money used on weapons of mass destruction and warfare to be transferred to social and sustainable development.
Dr. Joachim Spangenberg, Germany and Prof. Dr. Claus Montonen Finland also spoke. I’ll post some clips of them later.
They promised to put their presentations online and I’ll link as soon as I see them.
Jürgen Scheffran is also the expert in the August, 2008 “Expert: Climate Change causes wars”.