Driving home from a visit to a community gardening project this controversial statement was made by the local permaculture guru. A bit over-simplified I thought to myself. Well, I've been keeping an eye open...
Since July 2007 I have been posting to Ecowar, a blog at Blogspot, whenever I encountered news and information supporting (or countering) the statement linking human conflict to spoils of the Earth. And I have actively sought out this type of information. Still am too.
Because I am experiencing his statement gaining weight. Evidence is aplenty. Anecdotal as well as statistically or politically significant. Let me introduce you to one of each of the latter.
Climate change statistically correlated with wars
My very first post was about a Chinese study correlating climate change with wars throughout history. A statistically significant correlation supporting the "All wars are fought over natural resources" statement - wow!
While far from a conclusive proof of the validity of the statement statistically significant correlations is essential if to address this rationally. And this is a good one of many more to come, I suspect.
United Nations Secretary-General says it himself
Well, not exactly. But almost. His statement given while on his way to Congo circles the topic while addressing a number of related issues:
"We have seen how environmental damage and the collapse of institutions are threatening human health, livelihoods and security. These risks can also jeopardize fragile peace and development in post-conflict societies. The environment and natural resources are crucial in consolidating peace within and between war-torn societies.
The United Nations attaches great importance to ensuring that action on the environment is part of our approach to peace. Protecting the environment can help countries create employment opportunities, promote development and avoid a relapse into armed conflict. On this International Day, let us renew our commitment to preventing the exploitation of the environment in times of conflict, and to protecting the environment as a pillar of our work for peace."
What can I say? Well said, Moon!
And the Congo conflict he was on his way to discuss is about - among many other issues - the control of timber, water, diamonds and cobalt.
Of course, we are being told our wars are fought to quell "evil terrorists" and "spread democracy". But we also see our society's craving for fossil fuel plays some role too. Everyone but the most MSM-baked fool, that is.
Oil conflicts include Iraq, Afghanistan, the Arctic, Georgia... even Somalia... many others. There is a coca-conflict going on in Columbia and opium is everywhere in the Afghan conflict(s) too. They are fighting over water in Israel/Palestine/Lebanon and soon many other Middle Eastern countries too. Deforestation hurts natives and poor farmers in South America, Africa, Asia and elsewhere - spreading malaria, eroding soil, creating poverty et cetera, et cetera.
Mission accomplished? The end of Ecowar.Blogspot.com? No. It has also served to cure Newsvine claustrophobia. And it's clear objective would have drowned in crazy news and sports and rants here.
Anyway, feel free to criticize my project or chip in with ideas. The man who said the words of the present headline was arguing that basically when he was growing his own potatoes he was in his own small way promoting world peace. I'm beginning to see his point. Agriculture in general definitely plays a crucial role. It's a complicated matter though. The statement is a simplification. On this year's Blog Action Day I tried to link some of the other issues surrounding poverty, not just war and environmental degradation (see Pollution, poverty, war, lights, camera... action!).
It would be ignorant not to look at any of the underlying problems in the way of world peace. What one or the other religion put in writing centuries ago has little to do with anything. Our work isn't done yet.