Even BBC features harsh criticism of new study: ‘Their strong statement about a general causal link between climate and conflict is unwarranted by the empirical analysis that they provide’
Other researchers have questioned whether climate breeds conflict.
Work published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences suggested that this environmental factor was not to blame for civil war in Africa. Instead, Dr Halvard Buhaug, from the Peace Research Institute Oslo, Norway, concluded that the conflict was linked to other factors such as high infant mortality, proximity to international borders and high local population density. Commenting on the latest research, he said: ‘I disagree with the sweeping conclusion (the authors) draw and believe that their strong statement about a general causal link between climate and conflict is unwarranted by the empirical analysis that they provide. I was surprised to see not a single reference to a real-world conflict that plausibly would not have occurred in the absence of observed climatic extremes. If the authors wish to claim a strong causal link, providing some form of case validation is critical.’