Hot, cruel and militarized: how climate change is changing the world today

02 December 2015 2:59 pm

In an interview with the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists, campaigner Naomi Klein says climate change is producing a hotter and meaner world.

“There’s this “disaster apartheid,” where, if you have money, you can simply drive away and check into a hotel when things get bad,’’ Klein says. “The same was true in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, when the floodwaters came.

“But if you don’t have the financial ability, you are dependent on the state for a functioning disaster response, and you can be completely abandoned. I think we saw this in the heat wave in India this summer, where the more than 2,000 people who died this summer were poor people who can’t afford bottled water, who can’t afford air conditioning. Meanwhile, the wealthy have ways of protecting themselves from the worst effects of climate change.

“That’s why I feel so passionately about the fact that climate change is not just about things getting hotter, it’s about things getting meaner and much more divided. We saw this during Hurricane Katrina—and to a lesser extent, during Hurricane Sandy—where there was such a huge gap between how that storm was experienced by people of means and people who were in public housing. It’s very cruel the way this plays out.”

In the United States, Bernie Sanders is saying climate change is directly linked to terrorism

“If we do not get our act together and listen to what the scientists say you're going to see countries all over the world--this is what the C.I.A. says--they're going to be struggling over limited amounts of water, limited amounts of land to grow their crops. And you're going to see all kinds of international conflict,’’ Sanders says.

It’s also had an impact on Paris where terrorist attacks have already intruded on basic human rights in that famous liberal city.

France 24 reports that twenty-four environmental activists were placed under house arrest ahead of the Paris climate summit, using France’s state of emergency laws.

“On Thursday, one such raid in the western city of Rennes led police into an apartment shared by several unsuspecting flatmates.

“ ‘They entered the apartment with shotguns and assault rifles. It was quite violent. They pinned us to the ground,” said Amélie, a young barmaid who did not wish to give her full name. “It lasted quite a long time. We had no idea why they were there.’ “

Scientists are now saying that climate change is linked to more conflict. For that, read more violent societies.

Back in October I wrote a piece looking at how Syria had become the first climate change induced war.

Climate change is more than just rising temperatures. It might be contributing to rising climates of fear.