It is an oversimplification to say that climate change is at the root of all of the world’s current problems. However, it is a contributing factor and a driving force of many.
For example, the current wars and terrorism in the Middle East may have had its beginnings in the myth of Abraham, Ishmael, and Isaac. War and terrorism were nearly guaranteed to follow the division of the Ottoman Empire and various African territories, largely by British High Commissioners drawing lines on maps without regard for the ethnicity or culture of people living in those territories. War and terrorism received another boost during and after World War II, when the allies divvied up the Middle East and Eastern Europe.
Subsequent climate change includes devastating droughts in the Middle East, which drove agrarian peoples off their lands and into already overcrowded cities. These cities provided the tinder boxes ignited by the Arab Spring. Climate change is a concurrent, if not proximate cause of the ongoing war and unrest.
The Zika virus, of which we learn more every day, and which is creating a cohort of disabled babies who will be a drain on society's resources for the next century, if not longer, has jumped continents because of easy travel between continents, but also because the climate has warmed and created new home ranges for the mosquito vectors for that virus. The same is true of malaria, but we don't hear as much about that.
The refugee crisis facing Europe and the US is directly attributable to climate change in Africa and to the wars and terrorism in the Middle East (see above).
The number of refugees fleeing their homes because of climate change is expected to number in the millions in the near future. This will create in nearly every country, including the US, the kind of unrest and troubles we already see in Germany, Greece, and elsewhere.
Trump is more the fool because he wants to create barriers to refugees while denying a significant factor that creates refugees. That factor is climate change.
This is not to say that there are other factors. Gunboat diplomacy was first exercised by the US in Derna, Libya, the war that gave us the phrase, “to the shores of Tripoli” in the US Marine Corps song. [The “halls of Montezuma,” another example of gunboat diplomacy, came later (1847) than the battle of Derna.]
We rejoiced when Admiral Perry forced a trade treaty with Japan in 1853, but we seldom think that he might have created resentment that came back in 1941. [Pearl Harbor was not the first Japanese “sneak attack.” In 1592, under the guise of an annual trading fleet, Japanese attacked the fortresses of Pusanjin and Dadaejin, (South) Korea in the first battles of the Imjin war that lasted for about seven years.] “Those who do not learn from history may not be doomed to repeat it, but they will be taken advantage of by those who do remember history.”
Another problem we have created is a civilization that is utterly dependent upon technology, while (in this country, especially) we have suppressed the lessons of The Enlightenment. Carl Sagan, in “Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors” wrote, “The dumbing down of America is most evident in the slow decay of substantive content in the enormously influential media… lowest common denominator programming, credulous presentations on pseudoscience and superstition, but especially in a kind of celebration of ignorance.”
Some of the battles of the Imjin War, and the military strategy of Admiral Yi Sun-sin, a Korean naval genius, will be featured, albeit transmogrified, in the forthcoming sequel to “Stuff of Life: Book I.” The sequel’s working title is “Enemy Planet.” It will explore the life and career of a member of the Enemy of the Founders, mentioned in Book I.
Registered Curmudgeon, scientist, skeptic, humanist, and writer.