To summarize, climate crisis is the defining issue of the century. Buildup of anthropogenic greenhouse gases (GHGs) in Earth’s atmosphere is driving global heating, while a convergence of global crises threatens to rupture key planetary boundaries. Although the human activities which drive these converging crises (for simplicity: the climate crisis) are diverse and complex, the Fifth Assessment Report (AR5) of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) breaks down the sources of anthropogenic GHG emissions into five high-level sectors. Similarly, the impacts of climate crisis – in their variety and complexity – are almost impossible for an individual to grasp, but so far, this sub-series has covered: global heating, Arctic amplification, heat waves, droughts and floods, disruption of oceanic and atmospheric patterns, cryosphere collapse, declining oceanic dissolved oxygen content, sea level rise, fisheries collapse, coral reef die-offs, deforestation, water scarcity, food insecurity, deteriorating health, urban threats, rural threats and deepening poverty, and mass migration. In the absence of dramatic global climate action this decade, climate crisis will likely spiral out of control, rupturing key planetary boundaries and endangering the future of organized human life on Earth.
Today’s post – which may be the last in this admittedly esoteric sub-series (esoteric in the sense that one could have very easily categorized and emphasized differently, though to much the same effect) – is on violent conflict; as AR5 suggests, in the following excerpt, climate crisis will make such conflict more likely:
For anyone interested in exploring this troubling connection in more detail, I recommend Christian Parenti’s prescient 2011 books, Tropic of Chaos. Unfortunately, it has only grown more relevant since its publication.