What People Will be Killed for in This Century

What are the greatest dangers of our time? A new book by Harald Welzer tries to find out.

Apparently, the climate will play a big role in defining who lives and who dies in the future. In a summary in the Global Journal they describe Welzer as “a sociologist, measures climate change by the amount and extent of violence, as societies search for strategies to adapt to new realities.” The book, published in 2008 in German and now available in English looks deeper into these outbreaks of violence.

In the future idealogical clashes and identities will be less important, the author believes or at least they will cause less conflicts than in the past. That is the case because there is one big new cause for violence: the changing climate and a shrinking amount of resources.

Drinking water is one of the big issues Welzer talks about. That is because not everyone will have enough if it – that is not even the case today, much worse in the future. The lack of water can quickly lead to mass violence, to civil wars and such.

Climate change leads to a growing number of refugees and migrants already today. Welzer believes it will be the one big reason for people to leave their land behind and try to settle somewhere else where the climate is not as harsh. The amount of places where living is possible will shrink over the years while the world population keeps growing. Rich countries are already preparing to keep “climate refugees” out, what kind of world are we heading into?

When we talk about climate change we think about the climate. We might think about islands and forests dissapearing but we harldy ever think about war. “Violence, so Welzer says, has always been society’s answer to problems. The real challenge of climate change is therefore not an issue of finding technological or scientific solutions, but rather of social collective action.” It is time to take up topics like justice, responsibility and security and make them part of the climate discourse – why not in Rio?


4 thoughts on “What People Will be Killed for in This Century

  1. As an Australian I feel this post is especially pertinant to me. We live in one of the driest countries that is forecaste to only get drier. Climate change will change the face of Australia and its people and we need to be working on the solutions NOW. One solution would be to introduce composting toilets for all Australian households. Its deplorable to think about how much drinkable potable water is flushed down our toilets on a daily basis all over this water starved country. Not only do we not promote composting toilets…they are actually disuaded…go figure!?

    • That’s a wonderful example of how the solution’s are actually there but we don’t bother taking them into account..and that on every level. Do we really have to go as far as described in the above book … 😦

      • Its a bit like “Animal Farm” isn’t it…when people start to think about survival other things go out the window, but our humanity has seen us through tougher times than this and allowed us to achieve a degree of civilisation so we can only live in hope Rahel…

  2. Pingback: Forgotten People | Kosmos 9

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