Climate change behind Darfur killing


PDA






xd9fan
June 18, 2007, 12:05 PM
Climate change behind Darfur killing: UN's Ban
Jun 16 05:27 PM US/Eastern

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said that the slaughter in Darfur was triggered by global climate change and that more such conflicts may be on the horizon, in an article published Saturday.

"The Darfur conflict began as an ecological crisis, arising at least in part from climate change," Ban said in a Washington Post opinion column.

UN statistics showed that rainfall declined some 40 percent over the past two decades, he said, as a rise in Indian Ocean temperatures disrupted monsoons.

"This suggests that the drying of sub-Saharan Africa derives, to some degree, from man-made global warming," the South Korean diplomat wrote.

"It is no accident that the violence in Darfur erupted during the drought," Ban said in the Washington daily.

When Darfur's land was rich, he said, black farmers welcomed Arab herders and shared their water, he said.

With the drought, however, farmers fenced in their land to prevent overgrazing.

"For the first time in memory, there was no longer enough food and water for all. Fighting broke out," he said.

A UN peacekeeping force may stop the fighting, he said, and more than two million people may return to rebuilt homes in safe villages.

"But what to do about the essential dilemma: the fact that there's no longer enough good land to go around?"

"Any real solution to Darfur's troubles involves sustained economic development," perhaps using new technologies, genetically modified grains or irrigation, while bettering health, education and sanitation, he said.

Sudan is not the only country with such problems, Ban said, and pointed to Somalia, Ivory Coast and Burkina Faso as African countries with "food and water insecurity."

Khartoum agreed this week to accept 23,000 UN and African Union peacekeepers after four years of fighting, which has killed at least 200,000 people.


Copyright AFP 2005, AFP stories and photos shall not be published, broadcast, rewritten for broadcast or publication or redistributed directly or indirectly in any medium


wow

If you enjoyed reading about "Climate change behind Darfur killing" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!
JohnL2
June 18, 2007, 12:21 PM
Hmm. I thought it was all about ethnic cleansing.

Juna
June 18, 2007, 12:27 PM
:rolleyes: The climate must have been pretty bad during the Holocaust. :rolleyes: Maybe the Spring climate change sparked the VT shootings? :barf::banghead:

The U.N. was started with good intentions, but it is now full of manure. They spew nothing but the same.

JohnBT
June 18, 2007, 12:32 PM
There is an excellent article on this subject in 4/07 issue of The Atlantic Monthly. It's pasted below.

But first, one part that caught my eye:

"In a herders’ camp near the desert’s border, he met with a bedridden and nearly blind Arab sheikh named Hilal Abdalla, who said he was noticing things he had never seen before: Sand blew into fertile land, and the rare rain washed away alluvial soil. Farmers who had once hosted his tribe and his camels were now blocking their migration; the land could no longer support both herder and farmer. Many tribesmen had lost their stock and scratched at millet farming on marginal plots."

It continues, speaking of the leader of the militiamen:

"At their head was a 6-foot-4 Arab with an athletic build and a commanding presence. In a conflict the United States would later call genocide, he topped the State Department’s list of suspected war criminals. De Waal recognized him: His name was Musa Hilal, and he was the sheikh’s son."
______

The Real Roots of Darfur
By Stephan Faris
The Atlantic Monthly
April 2007

To truly understand the crisis in Darfur—and it has been profoundly misunderstood—you need to look back to the mid-1980s, before the violence between African and Arab began to simmer. Alex de Waal, now a program director at the Social Science Research Council, was there at that time, as a doctoral candidate doing anthropological fieldwork. Earlier this year, he told me a story that, he says, keeps coming back to him.

De Waal was traveling through the dry scrub of Darfur, studying indigenous reactions to the drought that gripped the region. In a herders’ camp near the desert’s border, he met with a bedridden and nearly blind Arab sheikh named Hilal Abdalla, who said he was noticing things he had never seen before: Sand blew into fertile land, and the rare rain washed away alluvial soil. Farmers who had once hosted his tribe and his camels were now blocking their migration; the land could no longer support both herder and farmer. Many tribesmen had lost their stock and scratched at millet farming on marginal plots.

The God-given order was broken, the sheikh said, and he feared the future. “The way the world was set up since time immemorial was being disturbed,” recalled de Waal. “And it was bewildering, depressing. And the consequences were terrible.”

In 2003, another scourge, now infamous, swept across Darfur. Janjaweed fighters in military uniforms, mounted on camels and horses, laid waste to the region. In a campaign of ethnic cleansing targeting Darfur’s blacks, the armed militiamen raped women, burned houses, and tortured and killed men of fighting age. Through whole swaths of the region, they left only smoke curling into the sky.

At their head was a 6-foot-4 Arab with an athletic build and a commanding presence. In a conflict the United States would later call genocide, he topped the State Department’s list of suspected war criminals. De Waal recognized him: His name was Musa Hilal, and he was the sheikh’s son.

The fighting in Darfur is usually described as racially motivated, pitting mounted Arabs against black rebels and civilians. But the fault lines have their origins in another distinction, between settled farmers and nomadic herders fighting over failing lands. The aggression of the warlord Musa Hilal can be traced to the fears of his father, and to how climate change shattered a way of life.

Until the rains began to fail, the sheikh’s people lived amicably with the settled farmers. The nomads were welcome passers-through, grazing their camels on the rocky hillsides that separated the fertile plots. The farmers would share their wells, and the herders would feed their stock on the leavings from the harvest. But with the drought, the farmers began to fence off their land—even fallow land—for fear it would be ruined by passing herds. A few tribes drifted elsewhere or took up farming, but the Arab herders stuck to their fraying livelihoods—nomadic herding was central to their cultural identity. (The distinction between “Arab” and “African” in Darfur is defined more by lifestyle than any physical difference: Arabs are generally herders, Africans typically farmers. The two groups are not racially distinct.)

The name Darfur means “Land of the Fur” (the largest single tribe of farmers in Darfur), but the vast region holds the tribal lands—the dars—of many tribes. In the late 1980s, landless and increasingly desperate Arabs began banding together to wrest their own dar from the black farmers. In 1987, they published a manifesto of racial superiority, and clashes broke out between Arabs and Fur. About 3,000 people, mostly Fur, were killed, and hundreds of villages and nomadic camps were burned before a peace agreement was signed in 1989. More fighting in the 1990s entrenched the divisions between Arabs and non-Arabs, pitting the Arab pastoralists against the Fur, Zaghawa, and Massaleit farmers. In these disputes, Sudan’s central government, seated in Khartoum, often supported the Arabs politically and sometimes provided arms.

In 2003, a rebellion began in Darfur—a reaction against Khartoum’s neglect and political marginalization of the region. And while the rebels initially sought a pan-ethnic front, the schism between those who opposed the government and those who supported it broke largely on ethnic lines. Even so, the conflict was rooted more in land envy than in ethnic hatred. “Interestingly, most of the Arab tribes who have their own land rights did not join the government’s fight,” says David Mozersky, the International Crisis Group’s project director for the Horn of Africa.

Why did Darfur’s lands fail? For much of the 1980s and ’90s, environmental degradation in Darfur and other parts of the Sahel (the semi-arid region just south of the Sahara) was blamed on the inhabitants. Dramatic declines in rainfall were attributed to mistreatment of the region’s vegetation. Imprudent land use, it was argued, exposed more rock and sand, which absorb less sunlight than plants, instead reflecting it back toward space. This cooled the air near the surface, drawing clouds downward and reducing the chance of rain. “Africans were said to be doing it to themselves,” says Isaac Held, a senior scientist at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

But by the time of the Darfur conflict four years ago, scientists had identified another cause. Climate scientists fed historical sea-surface temperatures into a variety of computer models of atmospheric change. Given the particular pattern of ocean-temperature changes worldwide, the models strongly predicted a disruption in African monsoons. “This was not caused by people cutting trees or overgrazing,” says Columbia University’s Alessandra Giannini, who led one of the analyses. The roots of the drying of Darfur, she and her colleagues had found, lay in changes to the global climate.

The extent to which those changes can be blamed on human activities remains an open question. Most scientists agree that greenhouse gases have warmed the tropical and southern oceans. But just how much artificial warming—as opposed to natural drifts in oceanic temperatures—contributed to the drought that struck Darfur is as debatable as the relationship between global warming and the destruction of New Orleans. “Nobody can say that Hurricane Katrina was definitely caused by climate change,” says Peter Schwartz, the co-author of a 2003 Pentagon report on climate change and national security. “But we can say that climate change means more Katrinas. For any single storm, as with any single drought, it’s difficult to say. But we can say we’ll get more big storms and more severe droughts.”

With countries across the region and around the world suffering similar pressures, some see Darfur as a canary in the coal mine, a foretaste of climate-driven political chaos. Environmental degradation “creates very dry tinder,” says de Waal. “So if anyone wants to put a match to it, they can light it up.” Combustion might be particularly likely in areas where the political or social geography is already fragile. “Climate change is likely to cause tension all over the world,” says Idean Salehyan, a political scientist at the University of North Texas. Whether or not it sparks conflict, he says, depends on the strength, goodwill, and competence of local and national governments. (For more on the economic, political, and military tensions that global warming might create, see “Global Warming: What’s in It for You?” by Gregg Easterbrook, on page 52.)

In Darfur itself, recognizing climate change as a player in the conflict means seeking a solution beyond a political treaty between the rebels and the government. “One can see a way of de-escalating the war,” says de Waal. “But unless you get at the underlying roots, it’ll just spring back.” One goal of the internationally sponsored peace process is the eventual return of locals to their land. But what if there’s no longer enough decent land to go around?

To create a new status quo, one with the moral authority of the God-given order mourned by Musa Hilal’s father, local leaders would have to put aside old agreements and carve out new ones. Lifestyles and agricultural practices would likely need to change to accommodate many tribes on more fragile land. Widespread investment and education would be necessary.

But with Khartoum uncooperative, creating the conditions conducive to these sorts of solutions would probably require not only forceful foreign intervention but also a long-term stay. Environmental degradation means the local authorities have little or no surplus to use for tribal buy-offs, land deals, or coalition building. And fighting makes it nearly impossible to rethink land ownership or management. “The first thing you’ve got to do is stop the carnage and allow moderates to come to the fore,” says Thomas Homer-Dixon, a political scientist at the University of Toronto. Yet even once that happens, he admits, “these processes can take decades.”

Among the implications arising from the ecological origin of the Darfur crisis, the most significant may be moral. If the region’s collapse was in some part caused by the emissions from our factories, power plants, and automobiles, we bear some responsibility for the dying. “This changes us from the position of Good Samaritans—disinterested, uninvolved people who may feel a moral obligation—to a position where we, unconsciously and without malice, created the conditions that led to this crisis,” says Michael Byers, a political scientist at the University of British Columbia. “We cannot stand by and look at it as a situation of discretionary involvement. We are already involved.”

Stephan Faris is a freelance journalist.

ArmedBear
June 18, 2007, 12:37 PM
"It is no accident that the violence in Darfur erupted during the drought," Ban said in the Washington daily.

Hmmm...

Well it DOES seem that the LA Riots happened during a dry spell.:D

http://iridl.ldeo.columbia.edu/expert/SOURCES/.NOAA/.NCDC/.CIRS/.ClimateDivision/IDIV/401/402/403/406/407/VALUES/.pcp/T/%28Jan%201971%29%28Dec%202000%29RANGE/T/12/splitstreamgrid%5BT%5Dsum/SOURCES/.NOAA/.NCDC/.CIRS/.ClimateDivision/IDIV/401/402/403/406/407/VALUES/.pcp/T/%28Jan%201971%29%28Dec%202000%29RANGE%5BT%5Dsum/30/div/div/100/mul/dup/T2/fig:/colorbars2/:fig/+//pcp/0/200/plotrange//pcp/0/200/plotrange//IDIV/401/plotvalue/T2/132./493./plotrange+//XOVY+null+psdef//plotborder+72+psdef//plotaxislength+432+psdef+.gif

But when they happened, the lefties blamed it on a backlash against income inequality and racism, not climate. The real whack-jobs even called the LA Riots a "revolution." I guess they hadn't yet jumped on the climate bandwagon at the time.:p

Mannlicher
June 18, 2007, 12:37 PM
To me, it sounds like Ban Ki-Moon and the UN are once again acting as apologists and enablers for muslim terrorists and thugs.

Henry Bowman
June 18, 2007, 01:00 PM
"This suggests that the drying of sub-Saharan Africa derives, to some degree, from man-made global warming," the South Korean diplomat wrote.So it is Bush's fault after all! :rolleyes:

Titan6
June 18, 2007, 01:23 PM
You mean famine and violence go together? Who knew?

Everyone also knows before global warming was discovered in 1981 there were no famines.

JohnBT
June 18, 2007, 02:07 PM
Hasn't the mainstream media emphasized the violence causing the famine? Maybe it was the other way around.

"The distinction between “Arab” and “African” in Darfur is defined more by lifestyle than any physical difference: Arabs are generally herders, Africans typically farmers. The two groups are not racially distinct."

Not something you'd typically see on the nightly news. Ethnic cleansing sounds so much more, oh, important.

John

McCall911
June 18, 2007, 02:09 PM
Hmm...we're having a drought here in Alabama. But--hey!--no genocides to report! Right, Ala Dan, etc?

ghschirtz
June 18, 2007, 03:01 PM
Buffoonery-"...all the world's a stage..."

At least Moon knows his role as the lead Buffoon.

Kali Endgame
June 18, 2007, 03:38 PM
Water is far more important than oil.

When Darfur's land was rich, he said, black farmers welcomed Arab herders and shared their water, he said.

With the drought, however, farmers fenced in their land to prevent overgrazing.
I don't have a problem with this. Everyone is talking about using force to protect their property, but forgets that water is essential to survival.

Correia
June 18, 2007, 05:11 PM
Hmm...we're having a drought here in Alabama. But--hey!--no genocides to report! Right, Ala Dan, etc?

Been to Ensley lately?

:p

bogie
June 18, 2007, 05:23 PM
I know what's really wrong.

Darfur doesn't have enough RAM.

harbinger_j
June 18, 2007, 05:24 PM
UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon is clearly an apologist for the Muslim Atrocities that are being committed. Before the complete genocide of the black Sudanese the Arabs were slaughtering gang raping and enslaving the non-muslim villages in the south (10+ years ago).

The secretary general gives himself away when he blames the victims for their own destruction. "...however, farmers fenced in their land..."

ArmedBear
June 18, 2007, 05:32 PM
With the drought, however, farmers fenced in their land to prevent overgrazing.

"For the first time in memory, there was no longer enough food and water for all. Fighting broke out," he said.

BTW this sounds kinda familiar.

http://www.legendsofamerica.com/we-feuds.html

The Johnson County War is a prime example (fought over exactly the same thing: grazing vs. farming, and water rights):
http://www.legendsofamerica.com/wy-johnsoncountywar.html
http://www.wyomingtalesandtrails.com/johnson.html

I think it's time to send the avenging Mayor of Carmel to set things right!
http://www.cinemovies.fr/images/data/films/Pfilm69561340643808.jpg

BTW he really DID do some great things in his 2 years as mayor. The town is better for it.

Art Eatman
June 18, 2007, 05:36 PM
Mr. UN is full of BS.

From Wikipedia:

"Although this specific conflict in Darfur has occurred already in 2003, the mentality behind the conflict stems from the 1960s and 1970s. The ideology of Arab supremacism grew in northern Africa. In the countries of North Africa, as well as many Arab nations, a secret group called “Tajamu al Arabi”, or the Arab Gathering, formed and would emerge in the Darfur region in the 1980s. The Sudanese government became involved in the 1990s, funding militia groups who were carrying out the attacks. It was not until early 2003 that the Non-Arab Africans began to combine their forces to protect themselves against the militia groups."

The 1960s were some forty years ago, per my abacus.

Next: Darfur is part of what's called the "Sahel" of Africa, an area south of the Sahara which has been undergoing desertification since before the 1960s. You can probably find a wealth of info about the Sahel, but I ain't gonna do the research. The area has been drying since well before all this Globular Worming came to anybody's attention.

Art

JohnBT
June 18, 2007, 06:31 PM
"Malam Garba says that rains are lighter and more erratic than before. The daily showers that used to fall during a 25 day period in the rainy season have now ceased. Noumau explains that farmers in his village cultivate millet, irrigate winter cash crops and hunt only a little for deer. Nowadays Malam Garba's field is three times larger, but his harvest is only 1/7 of what it used to be 40 years ago." - googled up at random

jselvy
June 18, 2007, 06:51 PM
sounds like the land has been over farmed and not cared for properly. This can destroy arable land faster than any climate change. For example I submit the American Dustbowl.

Jefferson

Well Regulated
June 18, 2007, 10:12 PM
25 years ago all supermarkets changed from paper bags to plastic because environmentalists said it was better for the environment. Now these same experts are trying to force supermarkets back to paper bags because plastic bags are bad for the environment.


The root cause of most of the World's problems is OVERPOPULATION. Dorughts are supposed to happen. Drought and war is nature's way of population control.

Number 6
June 18, 2007, 11:29 PM
I think the UN Secretary General and others need to realize that violence rarely has one cause, but usually is a product of a multitude of factors. Climate change and the ecological basis for conflict became popular in the late 90s with the work of Homer Dixon and Kaplan's article, "The Coming Anarchy." Frankly, as an academic I find both works suspect. That being said, climate change and changes in the environment can be one of the causes of violence, but by itself climate change tends to not cause conflict. Climate change affecting economic performance I think is the link the Secretary General was trying to make. There are many instances where economic downturns aid in violence.

Much of the research on internal conflict and ethnic conflict at least in Africa points to economic factors as being one of the most important determinants for violence. Ethnicity or identity is not usually a cause for violence, but instead provides an organizing motif for the actors. Ideologies of racial superiority matter, but they do not usually act in isolation.

MikePGS
June 18, 2007, 11:33 PM
I sure hope it cools down there quick so the killing will stop. Look what happened during WW2. As soon as it turned colds the nazi's stopped fighting the russians.

Davo
June 18, 2007, 11:41 PM
Most of the worlds problems are caused by guns, and global warming...Oh and Halliburton too.

Cosmoline
June 19, 2007, 12:00 AM
To me, it sounds like Ban Ki-Moon and the UN are once again acting as apologists and enablers for muslim terrorists and thugs.

There you go. And the UN's response, when it's responded at all, has been to disarm the victims and ensure they'll be meek for the slaughter in the next wave.

gc70
June 19, 2007, 12:21 AM
This is nothing more than a weak attempt by Ban at political math:

Polls show the US favors helping Darfur
+
Darfur's problems are caused by global warming
=
US needs to sign on to the UN's global warming program

LawBot5000
June 19, 2007, 12:32 AM
Actually the dryness of the Sahara is due to COOLING. When the sahara was hotter about 5000 years ago it got steady rainfall and was actually a grassy savanna. The former moistness of the Sahara was due to increased airflow which brought in moist air from the surrounding ocean.

roscoe
June 19, 2007, 02:24 AM
Competition for resources is Biology 101. People are animals, after all.

wacki
June 19, 2007, 04:18 AM
Actually the dryness of the Sahara is due to COOLING. When the sahara was hotter about 5000 years ago it got steady rainfall and was actually a grassy savanna. The former moistness of the Sahara was due to increased airflow which brought in moist air from the surrounding ocean.

link to journal? Sepulchra et al says otherwise.

wacki
June 19, 2007, 04:21 AM
from CNN - Six Admirals & Five Generals: There will be wars over water:

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Global warming poses a "serious threat to America's national security" and the U.S. likely will be dragged into fights over water and other shortages, top retired military leaders warn in a new report.

The report says that in the next 30 to 40 years there will be wars over water, increased hunger instability from worsening disease and rising sea levels and global warming-induced refugees. "The chaos that results can be an incubator of civil strife, genocide and the growth of terrorism," the 35-page report predicts.

report can be found here:
http://securityandclimate.cna.org/report/

I really can't comment on that. I don't know that much about precipitation.

nemoaz
June 19, 2007, 05:10 AM
WOW! If that doesn't show you how stupid the clowns at the top of the UN are, I don't know what will. I cannot wait to hear how Hamas, Hesbollah, and Al Quaida are also cause by George Bush driving an SUV.

Mannix
June 19, 2007, 05:40 AM
Drought and famine certainly have played a significant part in many wars. No doubt it had major part to play, but so did age old animosities between rival ethnic groups, government incompetence in dealing with the drought, and the political and economic domination of the non-Arabs by the Arab controlled government.

McCall911
June 19, 2007, 05:52 AM
Most of the worlds problems are caused by guns, and global warming...Oh and Halliburton too.

I gotcha!

Ah, so we can take these points to their "logical" conclusion: The U.S.A. is behind every single one of the world's problems! :rolleyes:

Alphazulu6
June 20, 2007, 02:10 AM
Interesting observations....

ConfuseUs
June 20, 2007, 04:23 AM
Before blaming global warming, shouldn't someone point a finger at the government in Khartoum for arming, supplying, and providing air support to the Janjaweed? Oh, wait, that makes too much sense.

What about the alternative theory that the Darfur conflict is the result of finding make-work for the generals who were formerly in charge of the civil war in the south?

Gosh, don't the Chinese like buying Sudanese oil? Perhaps they are supplying Khartoum with weapons knowing that the weapons will be used to commit genocide in Darfur. This fits Chinese interests nicely: they will be Sudan's only friend, which means they keep buying oil from Sudan.

Also, hasn't the Sahara Desert been growing in size for centuries if not millenia? If this is the case, what does global warming have to do with it? Could it be that Mother Nature, pitiless harpy that she is, is behind all this?

I'm sure that there are other much more plausible explanations for Darfur than global warming.

If you enjoyed reading about "Climate change behind Darfur killing" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!