Climate – conflict link debunked

The Oxford Martin School hosted a talk yesterday, “Climate violence?” presented by Professor Clionadh Raleigh from the University of Sussex. There is an introduction to her talk here, and the whole thing is available on YouTube:

Andrew Montford (now Deputy Director of GWPF) has a report on the talk.

The talk is about 35 minutes long and is followed by questions and discussion.

Near the beginning she gives her conclusion:

“There is very little evidence to suggest that the conflict and protest patterns that we see across developing countries is in any way correlated to climate change.”

A bit later she says that there is a widespread assumption that conflict occurs naturally under adverse weather conditions, but in fact the opposite occurs – cooperation is far more likely in difficult conditions. But cooperation doesn’t make headline news, so we don’t hear about it in the media.

For similar reasons, I think it is unlikely that the Guardian or the BBC will report on Prof Raleigh’s lecture.



  1. Considering the “politically &/or climatically correct” academic lunacies that seem to be occurring with increasing frequency on this side of the pond, this presentation was a very refreshing change. Particularly since – if I’m not mistaken – former UNEP head honcho, Achim Steiner is probably by now comfortably ensconced as head honcho at Oxford Martin (See: )

    To the best of my knowledge, Steiner has never been known to encounter any problem that cannot be tied to “global warming” aka “climate change” and/or the increasingly au courant threat to “sustainable development”.

    More power to Professor Raleigh – and her refreshing refusal to succumb to climatically correct word salads tossed with jargon du jour.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Nobody seriously believed at the time this ludicrous claim that the Syrian War was caused or exacerbated by millions of oxygen atom pairs bonded to single carbon atoms. . . . . except Charlotte Church of course.


  3. Poor woman. All but one of the audience members were basically saying ‘yes but you agree deep down that it’s really climate change that’s at fault’ and she’d start again to say, ‘no, it’s all the other issues that have always been there’. Warmists are deaf to inconvenient truths.

    The guy who complained that she hadn’t got enough historical climate/violence data needed to be taught a bit of history about the periods of high conflict that erupted during cold periods.

    Any potential climate signal is swamped under a mountain of other issues including population growth and religious conflict. She was on the right track talking about Zimbabwe and Mugabee. He’ll happily blame his country’s woes on western CO2. Warmists continue the self flagellatory nature of many western elites. Everything wrong with the world is our fault and we must be punished. They’re enablers for the dictators of the world.

    Anyway, well done Professor Raleigh for speaking the truth, rather than what you’re supposed to.

    Liked by 3 people

  4. Most serious research on this question comes to the same conclusions.

    Sociopolitical variables predict conflict more effectively than climate variables. It is well established that poorer countries, such as those in Africa, are more likely to experience chronic human conflicts. It is also obvious that failing states fall into armed conflicts, being unable to govern effectively due to corruption and illegitimacy.

    It boggles the mind that activists promote policies to deny cheap, reliable energy for such countries, perpetuating or increasing their poverty and misery, while claiming such actions reduce the chances of conflicts in the future.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. What a refreshing presentation that was! Calm, intelligent, data-rich, modest but incisive, open to discussion – all the things lacking in the hideous world of the CO2 alarm campaigners. And the professor provides yet another illustration of how to deal with the assertions/presumptions/neuroses/demands of such campaigners: take a look at the data.

    I would have been even more pleased if she had used the phrase ‘climate variation’ rather than the politically-loaded ‘climate change’, but she made so many good points that this is a minor quibble.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. LOL. The conflicts are ABOUT the bogus climate scare, so I guess could be blamed on “climate change” but that seems such a S T R E T C H


  7. I have been meaning to go back to the video to extract some quotes from it, but Paul Homewood has beaten me to it. He has posted some of the gems here:

    Her talk bristled with ideas, and insights. Good to see some have been extracted for us by Paul. In how many other fields being exploited by the CO2 campaigners would similar remarks apply? Hurricane studies, hydrology, mass energy production, polar bear science, and refugee sociology spring immediately to mind, but given the Warmlist (, it seems likely that a great many more instances can be found thanks to the surging zealotry of the past few decades.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Professor Raleigh is interested in conflict, not climate. She has been studying it closely in Africa and Sout East Asia and is extending her study to the Middle East “for my sins” she says. Everyone should listen to this talk. (Ony 600 Youtube views so far.) Here’s an extract (from roughly 8 minutes in):

    The most likely explanations for conflict are not recorded in this systematic nature that temperature and rainfall are often recorded and hence they’re often ignored. There’s a study that came out a few years ago that said that they couldn’t include régime type and they couldn’t include the type of political economy in a state because that would complicate the analysis and there might be endogenous explanations. And so therefore it made total sense that the temperature, how hot it was, explained whether or not there was violence in a country in a particular year and not the type of governance that people experienced, or the resources that were available to fund the government in that state and whether they were willing to go and get those resources and extract them.

    They treat political and social information that we know is important for violence as background noise, and instead, often physical scientists who pursue this relation much more strongly than I think social scientists do, can disregard the very very important social and political phenomena that we know underly violence. This prioritises the climate effect, rather than a social science lens which would of course ask: how climate fits into a wider system of pressures and incentives and disincentives for collective action within a social system. All of that tends to be missing from any of these analyses which focus on very very simple direct relationships.

    And the worrying part is that the attraction of this work and the uptake of this work almost suggests that there’s an intuitive truth to it. And that in fact is what’s so dangerous about it. There is nothing intuitive about suggesting that the poor who live in very unstable and poor countries will attack their neighbour when it does and doesn’t rain. There’s nothing intuitive about it. At best it’s a very blatant form of environmental determinism. And at worst it’s a form of low expectations that is born of terrible attitudes and (?) developmentalist attitudes towards the poor…

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I wrote to Professor Raleigh inviting her to comment here. I think it’s extremely unlikely that she will, since the last thing she wants is the support of us climate denialists. But she needs us, whether she knows it or not, because nobody else is going to quote her. Paul’s comment: “I think it is unlikely that the Guardian or the BBC will report on Prof Raleigh’s lecture” is highly significant. This is a “man bites dog” story. A normal journalist in normal times would love it, since it challenges the accepted view. But these are not normal times, and normal journalists are as rare as heroes.

    What we’re seeing here is one of the first signs that climate scientists have overplayed their hand, and that other scientists are starting to stand up and defending their own pitch.

    The numberwatch link listing all the things caused by climate change (lack of prostitiutes in Sofia, Bulgaria, reduction in rates of circumcision in West Africa etc.) given by John Shade (14 May 17 at 5:00 pm) is a good laugh, but contains an important message; climate science becomes climate ideology when it starts to dictate to other scientific disciplines. It’s a shocking indictment of our society that the only people likely to get a hearing in countering the insanity of climate scientists are other scientists defending their disciplines. Why can’t the rest of us make our voices heard?

    Liked by 1 person

  10. This is part of a larger political meme about violence that incorrectly informs a lot of the naive members of Western societies. It holds that violence is always a consequence of externalities such as environmental stress and never a consequence of ideology or human nature. Tendencies toward violence are part of human nature and can be controlled only by constant vigilance. Also some ideologies justify and glorify violence. These ideologies are also a danger to be vigilant against. The politically correct cannot admit that different cultures, religions, or nations have different visions of what man is and can become. They are of very unequal status in terms of humane Western standards.


  11. I hope Professor Raleigh already has tenure because, in many institutions, positive comments here would probably not go down too well if it attracted attention from the regular MSM climatocrats.


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