14 July 2007

Comes the Cold, and Let Slip the Dogs of War!

When earth's climate was even warmer than today's--during the medieval warm period--humans grew plentiful crops in areas considered marginal today. If we are lucky enough to continue the current warm period, we can expect a similar cornucopia from the world's breadbaskets.

But if the weather should turn cold, beware! Drought, pestilence, and widespread warfare await the cold.
warfare frequency in eastern China, and the southern part in particular, significantly correlated with temperature oscillations. In fact, almost all peaks of warfare and dynastic changes coincided with cold phases. Zhang speculates that in times of such ecological stress, warfare could be the ultimate means of redistributing resources.

Zhang concludes that; "it was the oscillations of agricultural production brought by long-term climate change that drove China's historical war-peace cycles." Looking to the future, Zhang and colleagues suggest that shortages of essential resources, such as fresh water, agricultural land, energy sources and minerals may trigger more armed conflicts among human societies.

So if war is often driven by the threat of loss of food resources, it is logical to expect more wars of this type to occur during cycles of cold weather--when the growing season becomes perilously short, and surplus populations are expected to starve.

Those are the cold hard facts of life that capitalism, medical science, and large scale farming, refrigeration, and transportation have hidden from our pampered selves.

We live in a complex house of cards civilisation. If we lose transportation or electric power for refrigeration, we will lose a lot of food--and people. If our economic system breaks down, the basis for long distance trading and markets will disappear, and a lot of people will die.

Think of the Hurricane Katrina aftermath, except on a worldwide scale. There will be no cavalry riding to the rescue. It will be cold, hungry, and violent. That is the natural variation of climate, which humans will never learn to deal with as long as they are chasing phantasms of imagination such as CAGW.

It will not require a nuclear winter--although nuclear war is far more likely should the nuclear powers suffer a loss of productive cropland in a cooling climate. These are the things we should be thinking about and working to prevent, or at least mitigate. The things that kill, such as cold.

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Blogger Audacious Epigone said...

Right. Warmer weather corresponds with greater crop yields, more available agricultural land, and easier access to natural resources like copper, oil, and timber. Abundance doesn't drive wars of aggression--scarcity does.

Saturday, 14 July, 2007  
Blogger al fin said...


Additionally, we find that when societies experience abundance--especially when women are given the freedom to become educated and choose careers--birthrates actually drop!

With lower birthrates, societies are not as likely to experience the "youth population bulge" that seems to predispose to revolution and war.

Sunday, 15 July, 2007  

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“During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act” _George Orwell

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