Collective Violence

There is increasing scientific evidence that climate change is associated with collective violence, mainly due to the socioeconomic and political instability that climate change can create. A variety of factors can lead to this instability, including increased temperature, extremes of precipitation (with associated droughts and floods), damage to farmland (and resultant crop failures), and, as a consequence, food shortages, loss of farm-related income, and forced migration.

Climate change multiplies the risks of conflict from many causes, including disputes over political power and land ownership, economic and social issues, and ethnic hatred. Many research studies in different populations, conditions, and time periods, including a meta-analysis of over 50 studies, have demonstrated that when the temperature is hot and/or precipitation is extreme, social stability is likely to decrease and conflict is likely to increase. Scarcity of food, safe water, and other essentials of life are major contributing factors.

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