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An Ecological Panic Can Lead to Genocide

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posted on Sep, 13 2015 @ 08:02 PM
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These thoughts are prompted from a book review of The Coming Climate Genocides, by Timothy Snyder, of which a most interesting and thought-provoking review has been published in the New York Times, here: www.nytimes.com...

Note: I'm not subscribed to the NYT, but they permit me to read about 11 articles a month, so I hope the same will go for those of you who click on the link, and are also non-subscribers, consequently enabling you to read the review in full.

There are many "what if's" based on events from the past, the greedy nature of mankind, the proclivity of some to enact or tolerate genocide for their own good, and the future potentially devestating consequences of climate change.

It's a rather harrowing account of possibilites, and I thought it was worthy of discussion here.
I'm aware there is an historical figure who's name conjures so much evil, that it is not welcome on this forum. However, to best prepare the mind for the inplications of this exploration, I note the following as a prerequisite:


Germany was blockaded during World War I, dependent on imports of agricultural commodities and faced real uncertainties about its food supply.


So,


To expand Germany’s Lebensraum, (the monsters) aimed to seize Ukraine from the Soviet Union, starve 30 million Eastern Europeans and transfer the food to Germany. When Germany invaded the Soviet Union in 1941, the campaign had two major aims: the control of fertile Ukrainian soil and...
(second goal removed because nobody needs to be reminded of the primary goal.)
I've obviously ammended the external quote.

Following are some noteworthy points in the review, although I admit some of them seem a little outlandish. (Rather than using the external quotes, they are in color with bullets for distinction, but all came from the above referenced source.

~Climate change threatens to provoke a new ecological panic. So far, poor people in Africa and the Middle East have borne the brunt of the suffering.

~Climate change has also brought uncertainties about food supply back to the center of great power politics. China today, like Germany before the war, is an industrial power incapable of feeding its population from its own territory, and is thus dependent on unpredictable international markets.

This could make China’s population susceptible to a revival of ideas like Lebensraum. The Chinese government must balance a not-so-distant history of starving its own population with today’s promise of ever-increasing prosperity — all while confronting increasingly unfavorable environmental conditions. The danger is not that the Chinese might actually starve to death in the near future, any more than Germans would have during the 1930s. The risk is that a developed country able to project military power could, like Hitler’s Germany, fall into ecological panic, and take drastic steps to protect its existing standard of living.


This idea of "ecological panic" seems to be a recurring theme in the book. Frankly it doesn't seem at all out of step with a realistic scenario of what has been, and what again could be.

~How might such a scenario unfold? China is already leasing a tenth of Ukraine’s arable soil, and buying up food whenever global supplies tighten. During the drought of 2010, Chinese panic buying helped bring bread riots and revolution to the Middle East. The Chinese leadership already regards Africa as a long-term source of food. Although many Africans themselves still go hungry, their continent holds about half of the world’s untilled arable land. Like China, the United Arab Emirates and South Korea are interested in Sudan’s fertile regions — and they have been joined by Japan, Qatar and Saudi Arabia in efforts to buy or lease land throughout Africa.

I personally don't see a problem with leasing land from Africa. Do you? If it's unused, and slides the Country some money. I do wonder how they will irrigate. Greenhouses?

I think the following is a bit much for my mind, but I suppose it's the arthor's "worse case scenario".

~ It is not difficult to imagine ethnic mass murder in Africa, which has already happened; or the triumph of a violent totalitarian strain of Islamism in the parched Middle East; or a Chinese play for resources in Africa or Russia or Eastern Europe that involves removing the people already living there; or a growing global ecological panic if America abandons climate science or the European Union falls apart.~

It puts the Chinese in a very unfavorable scenario, with which I disagree. I think maybe he got a little carried away in that regard. Personally, I don't imagine an 'ecological panic' causing the Chinese to perpetrate genocide of Africans.
I certainly can't agree with all his opinions and thoughts on the subject, but found it a very thoughtful and intelligent, if somewhat exaggerated, indictment of climate change, and lends itself to pondering the future, if we don't make more effort to support and nurture our good Earth.

People do indeed react to scarcity , and I don't see the idea of an "ecological panic" in any way out of the question, albeit decades away.
But I can't help but wonder, are we still capable of the atrocities others were capable of in 1941?


In no way is China the only country who is unable to independently feed it's own population.


"Today, 66 countries are not able to be self-sufficient due to water and/or land constraints," said Fader. This equates to 16% of the world's population depending on food imported from other countries.
The countries with the most reliance on imports were found in North Africa, the Middle East and Central America, with over half the population depending on imported food in many of these locations. Outside those locations many countries could become food self-sufficient if they chose to.


Also some 1st world countries:


A number of developed countries, including the UK, the Netherlands and Japan, are already unable to meet the food requirements of their populations. This reliance on imports looks set to become worse as population levels rise. However, unlike the developing countries, these nations will probably be able to buy their way out of the problem.

environmentalresearchweb.org...

Something to think about.




posted on Sep, 13 2015 @ 08:23 PM
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What do you expect when our worldwide population exceeds 7 billion? Climate change isn't the issue. Our overpopulation is the real problem and there is no easy or humane way to fix the dilemma.



posted on Sep, 13 2015 @ 08:24 PM
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a reply to: ladyinwaiting

Some of the most chaotic and violent bloodbaths throughout history have been spurred by ecological catastrophism.

There is almost enough hysterical rhetoric in the public sphere already to provide the spark.



posted on Sep, 13 2015 @ 08:34 PM
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a reply to: Metallicus

Not everyone agrees that we have an overpopulation problem. In fact, in many areas birth rates are declining.


Let's put it another way. Since we have more people, our wars are bigger. Our famines may affect more people, and more people will have diseases and be poor. But population growth didn't create these problems--they have have existed since people have existed.

In other words, we can't blame population for problems that have been around forever. The only difference is, since there are more of us now, these problems affect more people.


overpopulationisamyth.com...



posted on Sep, 13 2015 @ 08:51 PM
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off-topic post removed to prevent thread-drift


 



posted on Sep, 13 2015 @ 08:56 PM
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a reply to: SirKonstantin

..........laughing. I see what you've done and it's hilarious! I didn't know one could do that! I'll have to tuck this away in my 'how to troll file." lol. (Not too much though, I'm sure you can get busted for it)



posted on Sep, 13 2015 @ 09:02 PM
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Didn't the Chinese have a policy of couples only having one child? I haven't ever heard how this worked out for them.



posted on Sep, 13 2015 @ 09:02 PM
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a reply to: ladyinwaiting

Yeah, use it anytime buddy. Glad to give you some fun info to use..."wisely?" lol

Probably will get busted, i trolled this "it" heavily in the last 5min.lol. I told this "preacher" to Be the Jesus, Not Preach the Jesus #tag.lol
So if "it" gonna create an ATS account to tell people they need jesus. I'll be there to tell them to keep it to themselves.

This person is a religious nutty Kim Davis freak. Just kinda felt like trolling "it".

edit on th04Sun, 13 Sep 2015 21:04:21 -0500K201592130pm9 by SirKonstantin because: (no reason given)

edit on th05Sun, 13 Sep 2015 21:05:29 -0500K201592930pm9 by SirKonstantin because: (no reason given)



posted on Sep, 13 2015 @ 09:09 PM
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originally posted by: Metallicus
What do you expect when our worldwide population exceeds 7 billion? Climate change isn't the issue. Our overpopulation is the real problem and there is no easy or humane way to fix the dilemma.


On topic though, This guy is right.

P.L.U.R.



posted on Sep, 13 2015 @ 09:10 PM
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a reply to: StanFL

Yes, one child, however recently a woman can have a second child if she pays a very large fee. So, for the wealthy, they can have another child.

Poor women still undergo forced abortions and must pay about $3,000 in penalty fees.
www.nytimes.com...



posted on Sep, 13 2015 @ 09:34 PM
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originally posted by: ladyinwaiting
a reply to: StanFL

Yes, one child, however recently a woman can have a second child if she pays a very large fee. So, for the wealthy, they can have another child.

Poor women still undergo forced abortions and must pay about $3,000 in penalty fees.
www.nytimes.com...



I respect their attempts to solve the problem, but this is exactly the kind of horrible solution I would expect. Forced abortions is the soulless response you would expect from a Communist country.



posted on Sep, 14 2015 @ 01:12 AM
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a reply to: ladyinwaiting


I'd have to read the book, the article/review is clearly slanted to the editorial bias and the US audience. The US invested a lot of money trying to get rights to Ukrainian wheat, which is one of the reasons Russia stepped in. North Korea have bought large tracts of farmland in Africa too. Tanzania has been under constant World Bank funding for the last few decades, preparing it to be a general bread basket for the West, directing that funding away from other African states in dire need of humanitarian aid, however that investment has done nothing to halt the devastation of malaria and HIV in the region. It is not being developed for the benefit of the locals.

The UK is dependent upon outside sources for about 40% of it's food for it's population, though recent and impending influxes are increasing this proportion. The US does not seem to be publishing it's figures on food imports and skirting around the issue, but given the depletion of acquifers and the infertility caused by irrigation systems creating salination build up on farm land internationally there is little doubt that they, much like everywhere else where intensive, industrial farming is practiced is feeling the pinch and looking to future food security, on top of the impending energy insecurities, with increasing nervousness. We're going to see a lot more people on the move in coming years. If the author's scenario is to roll out, we have to then consider our ability to recover do to depleted biodiversity and therefore increasing desertification of land due to over grazing as well as industrialised food crop production. Then there is India's vast population and rapid economic growth to contend with...the global economic maxim to cope is still growth, growth and more growth. We need to grow out of that, pause, consolidate and adapt.

I'm not holding my breath.




posted on Sep, 14 2015 @ 07:55 AM
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a reply to: ladyinwaiting

Good for you for bringing up a topic many people won't look at directly

Or look at at all

It's an opinion piece, but I don't think he overstates anything. There are people out there who aren't afraid to say what we're really looking at. Climate change is here - we're already seeing the effects

California anybody? Not exactly science fiction - or politics - is it? Ukraine is a good example of how important a region can be - and how prized. If the climate shifts so that the Ukraine can't produce? If we weren't so isolated people would be invading us not to topple our government but to claim our wheat and corn fields. They're more valuable than gold - until we get too much rain. Or not enough...

The Syrian drought of 2006-2010 fits in climate trend of lower precipitation and higher temperatures, this graph shows

In Syria, where an estimated 90 percent of fresh water is used for agriculture harvests failed – and due to necessary food imports the price of staple foods like wheat and barley doubled. The farming collapse led to the migration of 1 to 1.5 million people from the countryside to larger cities. This in turn helped spark the Syrian uprising (early 2011), experts claim.


Drought helped cause Syria’s war. Will climate change bring more like it?

Now, of course, they're making their way to Europe. War, poverty, hunger and migration because of resources. And not just food either

S&F lady - cue the deniers... it's all fun and games until somebody can't feed their baby



posted on Sep, 14 2015 @ 10:49 AM
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a reply to: Anaana


It is not being developed for the benefit of the locals.


No. It isn't, and there is no evidence of consideration of that. In fact, there is concern that the endeavor could even trigger conflict or outright belligerent behaviors from native Africans, who tend to find it outrageous that food is being grown on their own soil, yet they gain no benefit from it. Who could blame them. If first world nations continue to cultivate those areas, they need to step up. The African government should require some attention to this before selling or leasing land for agricultural development. They might feel powerless to assert any rules.


The US does not seem to be publishing it's figures on food imports and skirting around the issue


I explored some of these figures, and got varying results. Most of our imported foods come from Canada and Mexico, and the reasons are "it gives more variety; and some agricultural products are cheaper to import than grow domestically".

Of course, we import lots and lots of COFFEE. Thank God. : )

As far as importing from Canada and Mexico, we also export many food items to them, as they are numbers 2 and 3 in agricultural exports, with China being of course, number one. Our exports to China comprise 40% of their food imports. I found an article on Mother Jones entitled "How the U.S. Became China's Grocery Store". (Much of that seems to be grains and livestock feed though.)

This is off the topic, but I noticed how our primary import from India, other than textiles, is Pharmaceuticals. They struck me as funny yet deplorable. Buy on the cheap, rename, repackage, and peddle it to unwell Americans for outrageously exorbitant prices. It's the American way.


the global economic maxim to cope is still growth, growth and more growth. We need to grow out of that, pause, consolidate and adapt.

I'm not holding my breath.


Nor am I. Nothing is going to change until our politic changes and we seat a Congress who is actually astute to the realities of ...... reality.

Great post btw!






edit on 9/14/2015 by ladyinwaiting because: (no reason given)



posted on Sep, 14 2015 @ 11:46 AM
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a reply to: Spiramirabilis

Hey you!

From your link -


But what we would say is that some of the changes climate change could bring are likely to be unprecedented, so in many ways looking at history is going to be limited in terms of how informative that can be. In 20 years, we might be looking at situations that are so extreme they could lead to security breakdown. So we need to be proactive in creating the institutions necessary for cooperation — to ensure we don’t have conflict in the future.


It also states in 2011 Syria experienced a terrible draught, largely caused by Assad's choosing to cultivate cotton, a plant requiring exorbitant amounts of water. A very bad decision which caused farmers in Syria to relocate to the cities, creating further instabilities, and lends itself to the notion of "ecological panic". (From recent photos I've seen, apparently now they are cultivating rubble. : (

But yes Spi. The implications are chilling.


- cue the deniers... it's all fun and games until somebody can't feed their baby


The problem is nobody will notice until it's their baby.

Great post. Thanks!



posted on Sep, 14 2015 @ 04:56 PM
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originally posted by: ladyinwaiting
I explored some of these figures, and got varying results. Most of our imported foods come from Canada and Mexico, and the reasons are "it gives more variety; and some agricultural products are cheaper to import than grow domestically".

Of course, we import lots and lots of COFFEE. Thank God. : )

As far as importing from Canada and Mexico, we also export many food items to them, as they are numbers 2 and 3 in agricultural exports, with China being of course, number one. Our exports to China comprise 40% of their food imports. I found an article on Mother Jones entitled "How the U.S. Became China's Grocery Store". (Much of that seems to be grains and livestock feed though.)


I obviously didn't look hard enough, thanks for that. Subsequent reading on the matter and I was tweaked by this...


One of the widely criticized export policies of the US was the PL 480 (Public Law 480), instituted in 1954, which lasted till 1969. India had a major share of about 50% in receiving this aid under it. This policy was criticized because it had damaged the export potential of many countries, in particular Canada and Australia. It was also said that this policy discouraged countries from developing their own agriculture.[29] In India, in particular, this aid in fact "bankrupted large numbers of Indian farmers."[30]


But also this...


It is generally accepted that wheat is beneficial to grow in the off season compared to other crops as its planting occurs, depending on the agro-climatic condition, in late fall or early spring. This results in reduced application of fertilizers and pesticides and less need for irrigation, and helps in preventing soil erosion. However some of the negative effects identified in a study conducted by the FAO are natural habitat loss due to encroachment into new lands after degraded lands are abandoned, loss of indigenous species affecting the biodiversity, and milling operation causing dust pollution. Historically, habitat conversion in the US has occurred in agropastoral land areas as in many other countries and is considered a natural development. In the western US, habitat conversion is still an ongoing process due to the subsidies provided by the government for wheat and other crops in the US has made it financially profitable to develop areas which otherwise would lie fallow; blue stern prairie is one such area. However, habitat expansion for wheat has stabilized since 2000.[27]


en.wikipedia.org...

Too much land seems to be the historical problem in the US, hence producing primarily for export for which they had to muscle themselves a market. The drive now appears to be to limit and reduce the amount of land used for wheat and other cereal production, that may be with an eye towards oil prices.

What are US biodiversity figure like? Some of the UN directives on that are pretty demanding, necessarily so.

Interesting.








posted on Sep, 15 2015 @ 03:42 AM
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I was reading this...

www.globalchange.umich.edu...

It's out of date in terms of the figure, but since very little proactive action has been taken in terms of prevention or rehabilitation of degraded land, they can be expected to have multiplied exponentially. Otherwise, it is very clear and concise about the difficulties of land degradation and future food security as a consequence of that.

Climate change is one of the problems that we are facing, the general rule of thumb being, dry places will get drier and wet places will get wetter. Sitting here in the North of England where it has been heaving down since the wee small hours, I can certainly attest to the accuracy of the latter. Drainage is an issue here, as well as soil erosion caused by flash flooding (as well as property damage but human homes can be replaced much easier than natural habitats and the soil we all depend upon). Decades of over farming and over grazing, of growth at all costs combined with our dependency on a very narrow band of domesticated crops, contamination and over use of ground water, as well as fresh and sea water (and fisheries) poisoned by fertiliser run off, and that is even before we get to air contamination. We have a lot of issues to address, people are already dying as a direct consequence of our current behaviours, the point at which we start allowing (as well as faciliating) people to die so that we can continue in the lifestyle to which we are accustomed has long since passed.



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