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Climate Change and World Conflict

Tonight on Face Book, I read a comment that it was insensitive to talk about climate change while dealing with the tragic loss of life and property caused by Hurricane's Harvey and Irma. (Note: The hurricane season is not over yet.)  If we only spoke about the recent events in the Gulf and Carribbean, I might agree.  That said, we live in a small, but beautiful planet.  The Gulf is just one part of the world.  

There is a Middle East suffering years of drought.  ISIS trying to control the water and dams in the region.  Syrian civil war began as drought forced people to migrate to the cities ... cities that could not employ them or feed them.  That resulted in idle people who had little to do but get angry and angrier at their lot in life.   Civil war - thousands of men, women, and children killed.  Cities leveled.   

  In Somalia, Chad, Darfur and elsewhere water sources are drying up and have been for years.  I remember reading about the "Lost Boys of the Sudan."  I even met one of the Lost Boys of the Sudan who had to walk incredible distances to find water while making their way to a refugee camp. They left their homes with nothing but the clothes on their back.  Again, civil unrest - civil war - happening alongside drought and crop failure.  Climate change.

  In some of our recently flooded and battered lands, looting and fights over fuel and scarce resources remind us that third world hard ship can cause groups (albeit small groups) of people to disregard law and order and take what they want.  How long does it take to get from a lawful society to one of civil unrest?  I don't know.  But I do know that after New Orleans was nearly destroyed (only a few years ago) there was a huge migration from that part of our country to Texas and other neighboring states (even North Carolina got its share of new citizens)  Some of the displaced went back home ... but many did not!  Does that sound familiar?  What will happen to the thousands of displaced persons in the Virgin Islands or Florida's Keys?  In third world countries their migrations are and were huge!  These migrations may well be the result of civil unrest.  However, the subtext of the unrest may well be climate change. In fact, it likely is.

  Here in North Carolina our legislators want to drill for oil off shore.  We must get away from the use of fossil fuels.  These fuels fuel climate change.  Our glaciers and northern ice pack is melting away at a dramatic pace.  Some of our climate deniers reject a human in role in climate change.  Fine.  I tell them to point their fingers of blame wherever they choose, but don't be paralyzed by inaction.

  I could go on and on.  Finally, for now at least, sea levels are rising.  That is a fact.  Our shores are more and more at risk for devastation caused by storms that form over warm oceans. Dought is real in the Middle East, sub Saharan Africa, and even in "Mother Russia."   AND we have people running our country who oppose the views of 99% of the world's scientists.  These scientists have long been screaming about climate change.  We must listen! We are on the edge of the sword.  For our children and grandchildren steps must be taken now!

 


Bossert for State Senate
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