Being back from a two weeks stay in the South of France, I am picking up blogging again. After such a long period staying in the middle of nowhere, I usually try to catch up with the news and one of the first thing that I read was this article in Knack magazine: Does De Wever wants to make a sanctuary of scared white men and women in Europe.
It is an interview with Bart Staes, an European representative for the Flemish green party, and it in fact is about the fugitive crisis and the stance of his political opponent (Bart De Wever) in this regard. This is however not what this post will be about. Staes linked the fugitive crisis with our emissions (translated from Dutch):
It seems – even in the facts – that Europe refuses to acknowledge that partly thanks to our CO2 emissions developing countries pay the heaviest toll of climate change. Many studies show that failed harvests, unrest, mass migrations, and even war in North Africa and elsewhere, can be directly linked to the climate issue. An adult Europe recognizes that we have to carry the consequences of the climate change. But we do still more in words than in deeds.
This paragraph came as a lighting on a clear day. There was no mention of anything about climate until that point and without introduction it was weaved in seamlessly in the story.
He seems to be very sure that we know that our emissions are responsible for our changing climate, with such an influence that it affects the developing countries and that we can change the climate by diminishing CO2 emissions. While I can agree that CO2 is one factor (among many) that has an influence on temperature and that there is an increase in temperatures over the last 160 years, but that “dangerous” aspect of it is far from sure. Pity he didn’t explain what those “facts” are.
I already heard the statement that studies show that the problems in North Africa can be linked to climate change (and more specific our emissions). That might be true, but as far as I know there are also studies that show exactly the contrary.
I have no problem believing that a drought can facilitate failed harvests, unrest and mass migrations, but as far as I know a clear attribution of droughts to CO2 is not possible. Even if our emissions had an influence, then beside CO2 there are many other factors in play. Natural as well as human caused. Like these droughts being cyclical events, droughts are not abnormal in that area, population increase, the cancellation of the subsidy on diesel fuel, doubling of the price of chemical fertilizer, failed water management, an unstable social, economical and political situation, corruption, errors made by the international forces, religious extremism, the humanitarian crisis in fact predated the drought and so on and so on. Neighboring countries were also affected by droughts, but only Syria experienced an humanitarian crisis. There are so many more plausible, real-world factors that his focus on our emissions in this issue sounds a bit ridiculous.
I think he really believes that our emissions have a negative effect on the developing countries and that by decreasing our emission we could change the climate and make it all better again.
The really sad thing is that such illusions are used to base policies on.