According to the headlines, the current United Nations General Secretary, Ban Ki-Moon, has suggested that the killing in Darfur was caused by global warming. Apparently, sub-Saharan Africa has been drying for the past two decades, and Ban attributes the drying to “man-made global warming.”
Is there something to global warming? Probably. Pouring tons of carbon into the atmosphere very likely has caused some unintended consequences. Nonetheless, even the celebrated Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has made predictions and pronouncements more modest than Al Gore’s hyperbolic hysteria.
Even if drought conditions in sub-Saharan African could be directly attributed to carbon emissions (which is impossibly complex), the problem in Darfur is not drought. It is genocide. The Sudanese government and allies who are racially Arab have been systematically slaughtering black Africans. Unlike the conflict in other parts of the Sudan, both sides are Muslim. The killing in Darfur is based almost solely on ethnicity. Over 300,000 are dead, and the number is climbing. The United States Holocaust Museum has a helpful summary.
The problem in Darfur is sin. Evil had darkened the human heart. Rape, murder, genocide are not caused by climate change. Although droughts can make life horribly difficult, they do not force people to exterminate their neighbors.
Why then would an intelligent man like the U.N. General Secretary blame global warming? I honestly don’t know. Perhaps, it is easier. Perhaps, it is easier to sign treaties to cut carbon emissions than to change hearts and minds. We all want to do something, but who wants to do the hard work of changing hatred to love?