by Patrick H. Moore

Holy crap! We all know that the polar ice caps are melting and that temperatures are rising worldwide. Now, according to a new comprehensive study conducted by researchers from University of California, Berkeley, Princeton University, and the National Bureau of Economic Research in Cambridge, Mass., there is a strong link between global warming and increased violence and social chaos. As temperatures increase worldwide, there will be a corresponding increase in wars, rape and murder. The study, which is published in the current issue of the journal Science, is “the first comprehensive synthesis” linking violence to climate change.

Although apologists for global warming will no doubt ignore, and possibly even deride, these findings, there is no doubt that the three researchers did not pull these results out of thin air. Delila James of Science Recorder provided the story:

warmFirst, the researchers reviewed data from 60 primary studies provided by 190 researchers from around the world:

The research “analyzed 45 different occurrences of violent conflict ranging over a period from about 10,000 BCE to the present. Their analysis revealed a strong historical correlation between societal violence and hotter temperatures.”

The authors of the article analyzed both interpersonal violence and intergroup conflict in the context of temperature and rainfall.

The authors naturally were not able to qualitatively analyze the relationship between increased temperatures and increases in violence. Instead, they used studies that quantitatively analyzed the amount of conflict in a given population just before and after a known change in climate had occurred.

warm4“The magnitude of climate’s influence is substantial,” say the authors. “For each one standard deviation change in climate toward warmer temperatures or more extreme rainfall, median estimates indicate that the frequency of interpersonal violence rises four percent and the frequency of intergroup conflict rises 14 percent.”


The 4 per cent increase in “interpersonal violence” is bad enough, but the 14 per cent increase in “intergroup conflict” based on a small temperature increase is absolutely frightening.

The study found that an increase in temperature was a more reliable predictor of societal unrest than increased rainfall:

 warm6One study, for example, found that police officers were more prone to draw their weapons as the temperature in the training room was increased. According to co-author Solomon Hsiang, an assistant professor of public policy at UC Berkeley, the officers felt more threatened in a hot room.

“Imagine you’re in a country, there are some protesters, and some policemen who are supposed to be maintaining order. Their response to that protest may change based on environmental conditions.”

The researchers are savvy enough to not insist that climate change is the sole, or even main, factor causing violent behavior. They do suggest, however, that rising temperatures have a substantial impact on the amount of human conflict that plagues society at every level.

Coauthor Edward Miguel, a professor of environmental and resource economics at UC Berkeley, stated that a two degree Celsius rise in temperature in the United States would be associated with something like a five or six percent increase in violent crime.

warm2The authors frankly acknowledge that theirs is a preliminary study and that more research is needed to illuminate the relationship between violence and climate change. They insist, however, that “disregarding the potential effect of human-caused global warming on societal conflict is “a dangerously misguided interpretation of the available evidence.”

*     *     *     *     *

We’ve all witnessed those around us getting cranky when it gets too hot. We’ve also all heard the old saying: “Cooler heads prevailed.” And no one, of course, likes a “hothead.” Based on the above research, we now have scientific proof of what we’ve sub-consciously known all along.




5 Responses to Holy Crap: Global Warming Leads to Increased Violence and Chaos

  1. BJW Nashe says:

    The underwear graph might be the only good news I’ve ever come across in regard to global warming.

  2. Cathy Page says:

    Patrick H. Moore: Great summary for this research. As climate change weather affects continue, seasonal crops will be destroyed. Staple food crops will be in short supply. As more and more infrastructure and housing gets destroyed, the repairs and rebuilding will become more difficult, if not impossible to afford or keep up with. Climate change will affect different regions in both similar and dissimilar ways. When and if Hydrofracturing for the last dregs of petroleum for energy, enormous quantities of water will be polluted forever. Wars, big and small will be fought over water. I fear we are rushing closer to some type of precipice, will no real plans to keep from going over. People, when unable to secure a place where food and water are available, will become violent. Even in winter.

    • PatrickHMoore says:

      What a dire and frightening scenario this is! Let’s hope something is done before it’s too late.

    • Elaine says:

      Agree Cathy. Our oceans continue to warm too, producing massive fish kills. In addition, pollution of shores with incidents such as the Horizon explosion, Exxon and chemical introductions, killing the corals, sea life, plant life and wildlife. The food chain pushed further off shore. And now, Hydro-fracturing for energy. I call it The Rape Of Mother Earth. The bee and bird populations are greatly affected.

      And the greed continues with The American Petroleum Institute. The Keystone XL will be the next harbinger toward that precipice. “Something Wicked This Way Comes.”

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