Speaking in 1994 on the likely global conflict trends for the next 30 years, Professor Paul Rogers of the Bradford Peace Studies Department was astute to recognise the relationship between environmental resources, climate change and conflict. He wrote: “... It is probable that environmental conflict will escalate. This may be local or regional, on issues such as food, land, or water, and global on issues such as energy and mineral resources and transnational pollution. The Gulf War was an early example of this phenomenon, along with conflicts in West and Central Africa and tensions in many other regions. If, as is now thought likely, global climate change means that large areas of the tropics become drier and less able to support people, this will add to the desperate need of people to migrate across state boundaries and even continents.”
Ten years ago our understanding of the finer points of exactly what the negative impact of human activity on the climate would be may have been a bit sketchy, but the basic idea that there was a link between energy climate and conflict has been around a long time. To mark the national - and indeed international - climate change marches on 4 November, Peace News offers news and perspectives from the direct-action focused climate campaigns, plus suggests some groovy DIY activities you can try out and contact details of where to find out more information or get involved in campaigns.