New Study Links Global Warming to Rising Murder & Assault Rates
A new study presented at the Sydney Symposium of Social Psychology linking increasing aggression with increasing temperatures points to an upping of the murder and assault rate in conjunction with global warming.
Best estimates of global warming project a temperature increase of 2 to 11.5 F. within the next few decades.
Based on those records, the authors estimate that if the average temperature in the U.S. increases by 8 degrees Fahrenheit (4.4 degrees Celsius), the country's murder and assault rate will jump by about a hundred thousand cases a year.
Why An Increase in Aggression with Increase in Temperature?
- People get cranky when they are hot and sweaty and have a shorter fuse.
- People often indulge in alcoholic beverages when the temperature creeps up, impairing their judgment.
- When the weather is hotter, people spend more time outdoors and interact more often, setting the stage for more conflicts.
- Climate disruptions will see eco-refugees in transit and armed conflicts may break out.
- More droughts and extreme weather events may cause destruction of crops resulting in famine and conflict over food sources.
- As oceans levels creep higher, people will flee low-lying areas and emigrate to other 'have' countries, setting up conflicts over dwindling resources.
- Increased mobility of people in search of a more stable environment will set up conflicts over differences in customs and cultural mores.
The Sydney Symposium of Social Psychology is a series of annual meetings organised by
Joe Forgas, Arie Kruglanski and Kip Williams of the University of New South Wales. This year's topic for the March 15-18 event was Social Conflict and Aggression.
On both an individual and on a societal level, the spectre of global warming casts a gloomy shadow.