"Europe’s reaction to the recent influx of refugees does not bode well for the future of liberal democracy in a world where climate change will force far more people to migrate. Across the continent xenophobic, right-wing populist parties are on the rise while even mainstream parties are pushing policies of aggressive policing, surveillance, and militarized borders." ‎· Eivind
"Since 2011 the number of refugees globally has surged by a shocking 40 percent, bringing the worldwide total to 60 million refugees, more than any time since World War II. Why the upward spike starting in 2011? That year saw the second major food price shock in less than a decade. Between June 2010 and June 2011, world grain prices almost doubled. Wheat prices shot up 83 percent, while corn prices increased by a staggering 91 percent. In summer 2010, Russia, one of the world’s leading wheat exporters, suffered its worst drought in one hundred years. Known as the Black Sea Drought, this extreme weather pattern triggered fires that burnt vast swathes of Russian forest and desiccated farmland in Russia, Ukraine, and Kazakhstan. That year, Russian wheat exports declined by 78 percent. Meanwhile, bad weather in the American Midwest in 2009 and 2010 meant wheat production shortfalls, and by 2011 that translated into a 22 percent drop in US wheat exports. Over the same years, massive flooding in Pakistan put a large part of that country under water, and while this did not hurt wheat exports as much as expected, it rattled markets and spurred on the speculators. Among those most aggressively bidding up grain prices was the Swiss-based commodities trading giant Glencore. The firm went so far as to publicly urge Russia to cancel its export contracts, which it did. Egypt, like many Middle Eastern countries, is a major wheat importer, one of the single biggest in the world. When Russia canceled its export contracts, food prices in Egypt and across the Maghreb surged, helping fuel the protests that became the Arab Spring. Meanwhile, modern bread riots broke out in cities from Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, to Nairobi, Kenya, and four new wars began: Libya, Yemen, Syria, and a small one in Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula. At the same time drought in Syria, combined with austerity by the Assad government, pushed as many as eight hundred thousand Sunni farmers off the land and into cities. Their suffering and the associated social friction contributed to the outbreak of civil war in Syria." ‎· Eivind
"Between 2007 and 2013, the EU allocated €4 billion to deal with refugees but, according to Amnesty International, only 17 percent of that amount was spent “to support asylum procedures, reception services and the resettlement and integration of refugees.” The other 83 percent was spent on border militarization, detention, surveillance, and deportation." ‎· fax
"The current influx of refugees to Europe does not, in any economic or cultural sense, constitute an “emergency.” The (non-EU) foreign-born population of Europe is about 6.3 percent. By comparison, 13 percent of the United States population is foreign-born." ‎· fax
These causality relations sound too simplistic to me. ‎· haypat
@haypatpat: I can't find the source now, but I remember hearing about a paper on Acik Radyo, which argued that strife does indeed follow droughts/famine. It said something along the lines of a drought being a good predictor of near-future violent conflict, if not the direct cause. I'll try to find it (not that it refutes your challenge of causation :) ) ‎· Kickdrum
I think it was this paper, and it does say in the abstract "We conclude that human influences on the climate system are implicated in the current Syrian conflict.". Haven't read the full paper so I don't know if they claim direct causation | ‎· Kickdrum
Thanks for sharing that paper. Very interesting and adds detail to the link between climate change and strife. ‎· Eivind
Also relevant: ‎· Eivind
@kickdrum thank you! I really would like to see them try to connect the dots xp ‎· haypat