Sustainability in the Time of War

I am a fan of the Nobel Prize-winning Colombian author Gabriel Garcia Marquez. For that reason the title of this article is based on his novel called “Love in the Time of Cholera“. However, this story starts a bit different, when a Russian-German climatologist known...

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I am a fan of the Nobel Prize-winning Colombian author Gabriel Garcia Marquez. For that reason the title of this article is based on his novel called “Love in the Time of Cholera“.

However, this story starts a bit different, when a Russian-German climatologist known as Wladimir Köppen (1846-1940) studied the influence of temperature on plant growth. Köppen first formulated his famed classification of climates in about 1900, basing it on the principle that the distribution of vegetation is a reflection of the climates that permit their growth. This classification helped to set the boundaries of Climate Zones (a natural distribution in which everyone is adapting).

ClimateMap_WorldMap 1. The colored areas of the map denote the climate zones classified by Köppen.

So, the point is that Climate is traditionally defined by the distribution of vegetation. Vegetation is an expression of the seasonal amount of precipitation and warmth received in a particular area. Non-vegetated areas, such as the poles, are also classified into zones, using seasonal precipitation and temperature criteria..

Nowadays, Climate and specifically climate changes are based on economy growth. However, those countries who pollute the most (“Developed Countries”) are the ones who write the policies and take the decisions and classify the world??? Hopefully COP21 in Paris will get to a useful point and not to the death of more people and therefore the environment.

On the other hand, environmental technologies have advanced as scientific understanding and methods of data collection have improved. For example, weather forecasting has increased the quality and quantity of observations, thanks to the many weather satellites that now orbit the earth and the computers that process the data. That’s a smart way of using maps, research, globalization, communication and technologies in order to find answers to our challenges.

energy-black-goldAnd yes, the Earth’s climate has varied a great deal over the four and a half billion years of  its existence. However, the effects of human activity on the atmosphere’s composition mean that the climate is now changing at an accelerating rate.

Climate change will be this Century’s greatest challenge.

However, the global economy is heavily reliant on fossil fuels to provide energy, but these resources are a major cause of global warming and most of the current disputes around the world.

Therefore, is this “black gold” (petroleum) the cause of this war?

In this regard, in 2013, the bestseller author Nafeez Ahmed  published  for The Guardian an article called “Syria intervention plan fueled by oil interests, not chemical weapon concern“. He mentioned:

Whatever the case, few recall that US agitation against Syria began long before recent atrocities, in the context of wider operations targeting Iranian influence across the Middle East. A memo from the Office of the US Secretary of Defense just a few weeks after 9/11 revealed plans to “attack and destroy the governments in 7 countries in five years”, starting with Iraq and moving on to “Syria, Lebanon, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and Iran.” In a subsequent interview, Wesley Clark (retired NATO Secretary General) argues that this strategy is fundamentally about control of the region’s vast oil and gas resources.

war_mapMap 2. Aviation Week’s Defense Technology International has compiled the following map summarizing all the current and probable conflicts of 2012. Since 2012 the conflicts have increased.

Avoiding wars should be an important part for ensuring sustainable development.

Therefore, who are the real enemies of the sustainable development?

See more at Weather (Eyewitness Companions), 2008. A book written by the Met office.

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Grossmont College

Alizul

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