How does climate change create human conflict?
How would the environment have a direct effect on people's behavior?
Climate change and human conflict are interrelated.
My mind has always been open to this possibility but sans evidence, I chose not to write about it.
Not until I read the article of Dan Smith, the Secretary General of the International Alert of the United Kingdom in the October-December 2008 issue of the Asian Institute Management (AIM) Alumni Leadership Magazine (pages 18-19). Smith's "Climate change and conflict" showed that the environment is intertwined with man's behavior.
It was an enlightening expose.
Smith wrote and I quote: " One thing I want to emphasize is we're not simply talking about consequences of climate change-temperatures rise, therefore people fight- that is not the linkage we are making.
Climate change is bad news in most parts of the world, and the form of bad news differs from place to place:if you have too much rain, there is going to be more, and if there is a little rain, there is going to be less...."
Smith has added too that the International Alert, where he works, has already identified forty-six (46) countries which face the risk of armed conlfict and fifty-six (56) are also at the high risk of polital instability.
All because of climate change.
A revelation showing that indeed man has really caused his own downfall.
First, he disrespected the environment and exploited it for his greed.
Then he committed genocide for a distorted ideology, in the case of the ongoing Gaza war.
Those who have no faith in God will question his misfortune and blame it on HIM.
What has greed made man? Power greed has also victimized nature for the man had created chemical weapons to crush his perceived enemies, destroying all living things on earth.
All these realities point to man's greed for power as the root cause of his own misfortune and the misfortune of others that he is capable of causing. God has provided the environment to help man feed his own needs.
But owing to man's insatiable appetite for power, he decided to control it for his own exclusive use, hence doing great injustice to the Creator of all beings.
Smith added: "Now as that (climate change) happens, part of what we will see, part of what we are already starting to see is that human habitat becomes less habitable; it will be less possible to grow crops, growing season will be shorter, the land will be less fertile.
How will people react to that? Some will start leaving, some will get involved in arguments about the use of scarce resources, prices will rise, the poor will suffer, and there will be political mobilization."
In cases of conflict resolution that is ought to be done by every country affected by climate change, Smith has this to say: "In some countries, institutions and practices don't exist to moderate and mediate those conflicts and there is a risk of those conflicts becoming violent".
This revelation pulls me back to my wartorn province where the fight for justice traces its roots from a long history of neglect from those who are expected to deliver what is acceptable just for the Moro people.
War is indeed a result of injustice by too much exploitation of God's creations-man and the environment.
Man as the oppressor is one role that many powerful leaders opt to play to pursue their vested interest hence inviting the oppressed to raise an arm against injustice.
The environmental abuse caused the tides of fate to turn against the abuser himself-man.
Climate change caused by man is returning back to him in the images of war, agony, death, widespread devastation and devilish spirit.
Sadly, it is the innocent ones who suffer the most, those who have only goodwill in their hearts.
"We need to be linking our actions together in terms of different levels, different issues and indeed, different times--acting today for tomorrow," Smith concluded his article in the note of climate change.
I re-echo the appeal of Smith and other concerned leaders and peoples from all over the world to live responsibly and respect what God has given us--to exercise our freedom with reference to the lives and liberties of others and to be morally upright by protecting and preserving our environment for the present and future generation.