Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Hot Tempers

In 2012, researchers concluded that the hot dry weather produced in some countries by El Nino contributed to unrest and conflict.
I can’t say that I actually stopped to think about it before I read about that research, but I can say that I’m not terribly surprised, if that’s the case. It seems to have been known for a long time that Hot Temperatures produce Hot Tempers. People get uncomfortable and they start to look for someone to take it out on.
So, throw some poverty, political instability and inequality into the pot with the Hot Temperatures, and tempers really start to boil. This is not the Way Things Are Supposed To Be! Maybe people figure things couldn’t possibly get worse than they are, so they might as well try to change things. And pretty soon, things have escalated into some kind of war.
If the climate as a whole is warming up, this doesn’t bode well for the human race. The article I read purported that this strife was more likely to occur in the poorest of nations, and the wealthy countries went relatively unscathed. But how long would that stay true?
For instance, there’s been a lot of talk in the US recently about financial inequality and instability; bigotry and intolerance have reared their ugly heads again. In Nebraska, the daytime temperature can easily top out at 100-110 degrees in August, and everybody virtually runs from air-conditioned work place to air-conditioned car to air-conditioned home.
Now, imagine the temperature heading for 120, and air conditioners that can’t keep up with the demand, or power plants that can’t keep up, producing brown outs. I really don’t think it would take very long for grumblings about the 1% to become angry outcries.

And that means Trouble, my friend. Trouble. With a capital T.

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