In the lead-up to Copenhagen, it makes sense that climate issues will be linked to all the evil in the world. Still, the concern about linkages between weather and conflict are not new in African studies. Ted Miguel’s work has linked rainfall (via the economic shocks associated with it) to conflict in Africa and the murder of witches in Tanzania. Some consider it at the root of the conflict in Darfur. Still, a number of researchers have pointed out that the link between climate change and conflict is — at a minimum — not very simple and perhaps very problematic (see here and here, for instance). Much as Thad Dunning has demonstrated in Crude Democracy that oil need not be the curse we make it out to be, we should be careful to understand the conditions under which climate change may (or may not) impact the likelihood of conflicts in Africa.
Climate ‘is a major cause’ of conflict in Africa
By Richard Black Environment correspondent, BBC News websiteClimate has been cited as a factor behind civil conflict in Darfur
Climate has been a major driver of armed conflict in Africa, research shows – and future warming is likely to increase the number of deaths from war.
US researchers found that across the continent, conflict was about 50% more likely in unusually warm years.