Climate Change and Peace-Keeping

Erin Polgreen

There's a great article in Slate on how societal conflict is directly related to climate preservation. The article, of course, analyzes why Al Gore is now a Nobel laureate, but it's great to see a smart dissection of conflict as it pertains to changing climates (and a scarcity of resources). n June, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon went on record to suggest global warming as a cause for the fighting in the Darfur region of Sudan. He pointed out that warming in the tropical and southern oceans, fueled in some part by climate change, led to a decades-long drought and clashes between herders and farmers over the degrading land. When a rebellion broke out against the central government, Sudan's leaders fought back by arming and supporting the herders against the farmers—and the entire region fell into war. If global warming did cause the Sudanese drought, then it's also responsible for the 200,000 to 450,000 lives that have been lost over the last four and a half years. We may very well be watching the first major conflict caused by emissions from our factories, power plants, and cars.(via) Think that climate change-related conflict is just for developing countries? Well, what if oil is the diminishing resource? Hmm … sounds a little like our current situation in the Middle East …

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Before coming to The Media Consortium in February 2008, Erin was an Associate Publisher for In These Times, where she managed advertising, marketing and outreach. Erin began working with In These Times as an editorial intern in June 2005. That August, she joined the staff as Advertising and Marketing Coordinator and was promoted to Associate Publisher in February 2007. From August 2004 through May 2005, Erin served with City Year Chicago, an Americorps program. As a Senior Corps member, she co-led a team of literacy tutors at an elementary school on the West side of Chicago. Erin graduated with departmental honors and a degree in English from Webster University in May 2004.
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