Climate change and Darfur

Climate Progress highlights an article in the Atlantic Monthly arguing that:

The violence in Darfur is usually attributed to ethnic hatred. But global warming may be primarily to blame.

I don’t have a subscription, so I’m relying on Climate Progress’s account. Apparently, the author argues that changes in sea surface temperature are likely to have weakened monsoon rains in Darfur. The ecological crisis that resulted from lower rainfall led to the conflict over land, and then to the genocide.

There is another way that climate change is involved. A major political barrier to action on Darfur is the geopolitical maneuvering over Sudan’s oilfields. China is making friends in the Sudanese government, and the US has little interest in losing access to that oil, especially as major existing oilfields start to peak. Our addiction to petroleum ? the cause of climate change ?†ties our hands in dealing with geopolitics and global security.


  1. #1 Ron Chusid
    March 13, 2007

    I have further quotes from the article (and a link back here) at Liberal Values:

  2. #2 Josh
    March 13, 2007

    Thanks for posting that, Ron.

  3. #3 Colugo
    March 14, 2007

    Let’s not let Europe off the hook. The US has had a ban on trade with Sudan since 1997. Europe and Canada, however, have had continuous trade with Sudan throughout the genocide in southern Sudan and the Darfur genocide, and France and other investors have repeatedly opposed or tried to limit sanctions on Sudan.

    President Clinton, 1997: Executive Order 13067óBlocking Sudanese Government Property and Prohibiting Transactions With Sudan. (Renewed by Bush in 2002.)

    Switzerland, Darfur, and oil

    Map of oil concessions in central and southern Sudan

    Anti-black racism is certainly an aspect of the Darfur genocide.

  4. #4 Daprez
    March 20, 2007

    That’s it… I’m going to blame another crummy season of Royal’s baseball on global warming.
    Why not… it causes everything from teenage pregnancy to an increase in marijuana and opium production. It’s got to also be causing the increases in my high scores at pinball too.