Zoals gelovigen overal de hand van God in zien, zien klimaatalarmisten overal de opwarming van de aarde als (mede)oorzaak van alle ellende in de wereld. En die opwarming is volgens hen onze schuld! En daar kan ook iets aan worden gedaan, als we maar voldoende in ‘duurzaam’ investeren. Zie bijvoorbeeld het artikel hier in de ‘slijpsteen van de geest’, ‘Het klimaat maakt de regio alleen maar explosiever‘, waarin Roebyem Anders (promotor van zonne-energie), Marjan Minnesma (Urgenda-topvrouw) en Pier Vellinga (klimaatalarmist) het conflict in Syrië ‘framen’ als een gebeurtenis die mede aan klimaatverandering dient te worden toegeschreven.

Marloes van Loon was daardoor geraakt en onder de titel: ‘Blaming The Weather: The Moral Danger Of The Securitization Of Climate Change’, onderzocht zij voor haar ‘master thesis’ of die opvatting wel klopte.

Haar belangrijkste conclusie:

The complexity of war is diminished to one dimension, exonerating moral responsibility from the agents of conflict and the international community from solving the conflict and dealing with its consequences.

Maar met die insteek begon zij niet aan haar onderzoek. Zij was onder de indruk van de klimaatpropaganda van de media, waaronder – verrassing, verrassing! – de NOS, en zocht naar de wetenschappelijke onderbouwing daarvan.

Marloes van Loon:

In the last few years, a connection between the Syrian Civil War, the refugee crisis and climate change appeared in media articles and was discussed in policy circles. The Dutch Broadcasting Foundation (NOS) published a short video explaining this connection, which mentioned climate change as a so-called ‘threat multiplier’ of existing instability.

In all my years of study, never before did I come across the relationship between climate change and conflict. My interest was aroused and the idea for this thesis was born. Initially, my intention was to defend and strengthen the argument for a link between climate change and conflict. After all, it seemed to make sense that when people lose their livelihoods and migrate to other places, only to find themselves with other people in the same situation, tension rises and conflict might erupt.

My own frame of reference played a part in this. I am deeply concerned about a changing climate, our human role in this and the possible future consequences. The fact that prominent people like former-president Barack Obama, former vice-president Al Gore and UN Messenger of Peace – with a focus on climate change – Leonardo Di Caprio spoke out about this, contributed to my view.

The picture of climate change as the biggest threat to our planet led me to believe that the Syrian conflict must have been the (direct) result of climate change. A much-debated article by Kelley et al. (2015) strengthened my beliefs. In short, Kelley et al. argue that a drought preceding the Syrian uprisings had contributed to the escalation of the conflict. They also argued that the drought was the result of human interference with the global climate. In other words, it seemed clear that human induced climate change is not only causing rising temperatures, but apparently it is capable of causing conflicts as well.

A few months into my research, however, I realized that reality is not that simple. Moreover, such a simplistic statement could even make things worse. It came to my attention that shortly after the Kelley et al. research was published, climate change was blamed for Syrian Civil War and the refugee flows in the media, followed by politicians making similar claims. Newspaper articles implied that climate change did not only pose a threat to Syria itself, but also to other countries – even the one in which environmental changes did not occur.

As a consequence of climate change, ‘climate refugees’ appeared to become a global threat to national and international security. My view, and idea for this thesis, had changed. I asked myself, why would a war and its consequences be explained with climate change? Why now and not before? What is the process behind this? Who benefits from this? And why is there such a focus on the risks and threats of climate change?

Na haar onderzoek concludeerde zij:

Climate change, conflict and migration are interlinked. The drought in Syria has demonstrated how climate change could disrupt people’s livelihoods. Climate change can, therefore, indirectly cause migration. But the word ‘cause’ should be used carefully.

Syria has demonstrated that political and economic factors play a significant part in the eruption of conflict and they determine to what extent any environmental change will affect humans. It is true that the drought affected human security by diminishing crops and livestock. This led to a migration from rural to urban areas.

Even though it seems self-evident that this might result in tensions among the people, this is not supported by evidence. Rather, people started to work together, joined forces and united in their shared grievances. They turned their discontent towards the state, which was more likely to result in a peaceful uprising thanks to the overall context of the 2011 Arab Spring. To answer the first sub question of chapter one, climate change played a role, but was not the most important factor leading up to the conflict. Indeed, climate change would never result in conflict on its own. The political and economic context of a country is more important.

Lees verder hier en hier.

Men kan zich slechts met verbazing afvragen hoe een hoog opgeleide en intelligente wetenschapster als Marloes van Loon ooit voor het klimaatalarmisme is ‘gevallen’, evenals zo vele andere hoog opgeleide en intelligente mensen. Maar tegelijkertijd kan men zich slechts verheugen dat zij de moeite heeft genomen het waarheidsgehalte daarvan kritisch te onderzoeken en tot de juiste conclusie is gekomen. Dat zouden meer wetenschappers moeten doen.

Voor mijn eerdere bijdragen over klimaat en aanverwante zaken zie hierhier, hier, hier en hier.