Jürgen Scheffran, a research scientist in the Program in Arms Control, Disarmament and International Security and the Center for Advanced BioEnergy Research at Illinois, is among those raising concerns that climate-change-related damage to global ecosystems and the resulting competition for natural resources may increasingly serve as triggers for wars and other conflicts in the future.
Jürgen Scheffran identifies four climate change trends that will destabilize countries:
- degradation of freshwater resources,
- food insecurity,
- natural disasters and
- environmental migration.
Darfur is mentioned as an example this is already happening.
"Large areas of Africa are suffering from scarcity of food and fresh water resources, making them more vulnerable to conflict."
Far from the stereotypical doom-sayer as often described by right wingers and science deniers this expert is more of an optimist:
"Although climate change bears a significant conflict potential, it can also transform the international system toward more cooperation if it is seen as a common threat that requires joint action. [...] the seeming conflict between environment and the economy will be best overcome with the recognition that protecting the climate in the best interest of the economy."