Why the next World Wars will be over Food and Water
With nations refusing to take serious climate actions, experts believe the situation will ultimately degenerate to humanity fighting over food and water
Our children may face wars over food and water, Credit, The Guardian
A few days ago, the European Commission’s climate chief Frans Timmermans warned that society will be fighting wars over food and water, if nations fail to take serious actions on climate change, since global warming will pose one of the greatest risks to food security worldwide.
Meanwhile, of the 25 countries considered most vulnerable to climate change and most neglected by climate action, conflicts afflicts 14 of them, as countries such as Somalia, Yemen, Mali, Afghanistan, and the Democratic Republic of Congo embark on wars partly over food and water.
Also, in another report, 90 percent of the world’s refugees originate from countries already impacted by the climate change emergency, leading to the emergence of non-state actors such as militant groups, with 3.3 to 3.6 billion people caught up in their activities in vulnerable places such as Africa, South Asia, South/Central America, and Small Island Developing States, their existence driven by the search for food and water.
The search for food and water creates competition in societies vulnerable to climate change, which accounts for some of the wars and conflicts happening in such societies, and with the subsequent creation of millions of refugees, developed nations could become affected in the coming decades, particularly if nations fail to undertake serious actions related to the control of climate change.
Due to global warming, the world already witnesses temperature rises above one degree Celsius above pre-industrial levels, with the current rate of rises taking place at 0.2 degrees Celsius per decade, meaning global warming could reach 1.5 degrees Celsius between 2030 and 2050.
Meanwhile, global sea levels increase happens as a result of the human-induced warming, with recent rates the highest in the past 2,500-plus years, as the mean sea level having risen by 21-24 centimeters since 1880, through a combination of melt waters from glaciers and ice sheets and the thermal increases of sea water as it gets heated up by rising temperatures.
Unfortunately, the number and duration of climate change-induced drought went up by 29 percent since 2000, with weather and water hazards joining the climate to account for 50 percent of disasters and 45 percent of disaster-related deaths in developing nations, forcing 2.3 billion people to face stresses caused by shortage of water.
In the near future, more people may face stresses, as climate change-induced droughts and other factors contribute to nasty situations, and with the global sea level rise and warming proving factors, the competition for resources caused by these could make more wars to take place, with humans fighting for water and food, enabling refugees to spill even to the developed world.
Without serious climate action, floods in the United States may ramp up the yearly cost of damage by more than 26 percent by 2050, with the number of people worldwide vulnerable to devastating floods expected to mushroom to two billion, and one billion people could live in 31 countries where the climate resilience may not competently withstand the impacts of ecological events.
Without serious climate action, drought could affect more than 75 percent of the world’s population, with 4.8 to 5.7 billion people living in places of water shortages for at least a month in the year, and as many as 216 million people compelled to leave their ancestral homes over drought.
An estimated 923.7 million people faced severe food insecurity in 2021, 73.6 million more than in 2020 and 207 million more people compared to 2019, but with the absence of climate action, the situation could worsen, because global food yields could decline by as much as 30 percent by 2050, increasing the number of people without access to food, smallholder farmers and other people living in poverty the major victims.
With billions of people affected by food insecurity, and having to cope with drought largely induced by climate change, and faced with the challenge of global warming and rising sea levels, the resulting competition for food and water could trigger wars, with the ensuing refugees forced to seek survival in rich nations, dragging them into the climate change conundrum.
Global gas emissions should fall by 45 percent by 2030 and then reach net zero by 2050 for sanity to prevail. For this to happen, 90 percent of the world’s electricity should arrive from renewable energy in twenty seven years’ time, meaning a reduction in the usage of fossil fuels, which account for 75 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions and nearly 90 percent of all carbon dioxide emissions. Restoration projects will help nations adjust to drought conditions, reducing the estimated 700 million people at the risk of displacement by drought by 2030. Refusal to take climate actions towards the reduction of fossil fuels, or the restoration of land, might imply an accelerated progress of climate change, which in turn creates the stresses that result in wars, where people will have to fight for water and food just to survive in the near future.
What to Eat
A Yemeni Vegan dish, Credit, Yemeniyah Recipes