Climate Change will spark Regional Warfare in the United States
Climate change will spark regional warfare between Americans — if Vox’s latest weather predictions come true.
To clarify, climate change could reduce the number of freezing days in many regions, Vox’s Weather 2050 project predicts. For instance, Lubbock, Texas, could lose 60 freezing days each year.
In detail, 67 U.S. cities could see two fewer freezing days each winter. Importantly, the lack of freezing could make life miserable in some areas.
For instance, there could be more mosquitoes and a greater danger of getting the viruses that cause diseases like West Nile, Zika, and dengue fever. To clarify, mosquitoes carry all those diseases. Plus, there will be more ticks and a greater chance of catching Lyme Disease.
How Climate Change can Spark Regional Warfare in America
Regional warfare could result because climate change can cause dramatic declines in the snow pack. For instance, a study in the journal Nature reports significant declines in the snow pack at 33% of snow-monitoring sites across the Western United States.
Less snow pack could devastate the ski industry, which depends on snow. This could spark regional warfare between areas that depend on snow sports and coal-mining regions.
The coal miners will be at a disadvantage here because the people who ski; or own ski condos are more likely to be affluent and politically connected. Interestingly, coal miners won the first battle by electing President Donald J. Trump (R-New York) who rants about “clean, beautiful, coal.”
However, the skiers have more money; and influence and are now striking back at Trump’s working-class followers. Thus, a likely outcome of Trump’s presidency will be efforts to reduce the political influence of coal-mining regions like West Virginia.
An obvious way to achieve that goal is to abolish or reform the Electoral College, so the popular vote will elect presidents. In fact, Trump’s Hillary R. Clinton (D-New York) won by the popular vote by 2.9 million in 2016.
How Climate Change will Spark Regional Water Warfare in America
Water shortages will trigger far greater and more destructive battles than those over skiing. The water wars will be larger and more vicious because they will involve more people and money.
For instance, the Colorado River; the primary water source for Southern California, Arizona, and Nevada, depends on the slow release of water from the snowpack. If the West goes dry; we will see a conflict between Phoenix and Las Vegas; two metropolitan areas that get their water from the Colorado River.
On the other hand, the Colorado River’s decline could enrich some cities. For instance, coastal cities like Los Angeles and San Diego can get their water from desalination of seawater. Thus real estate prices in Phoenix and Las Vegas could collapse while property values on the coast could skyrocket.
However, desalination is expensive and energy intensive. In fact, desalinating enough water for LA or San Diego could require nuclear power, which will not be popular. An obvious future battle will be over pipelines to carry desalinated water from the coast to thirsty inland cities; like Las Vegas and Phoenix.
How Climate Change Regional Warfare will disrupt America
Climate change could trigger political warfare that can disrupt America’s government.
For example, California; America’s wealthiest and most populous state is feeling the effects of Global Warming. Conversely, most of the fossil fuel extraction occurs in poorer and sparsely populated regions; Wyoming and West Virginia for instance.
Hence, efforts by California and other wealthy coastal states, to strip smaller states of their political power are a logical side effect of climate change. Efforts to neuter, or abolish, the Electoral College are likely to intensify, for example. To explain, the Electoral College gives every state a disproportionate number of electors.
Likewise, there will be attempts to restructure the U.S. Senate; which provides equal representation to each state regardless of population. Likely Senate restructuring includes electing Senators by population or giving larger states additional Senators.
Interestingly, the battle lines in the regional wars over climate change became clear in the 2016 Presidential election. In particular, coal states like Ohio, West Virginia, and Wyoming voted for the open climate change denier Trump; while California voted overwhelmingly for Clinton.
How Climate Change Regional Warfare could change the Constitution
Efforts to restrict the U.S. Senate and Electoral College will be difficult because they will probably require Constitutional Amendments. Constitutional amendments are difficult to pass because the process requires approval in two-thirds of state legislatures.
However, history shows that powerful political movements can change the Constitution. For instance, the Progressive movement of the early 1900s led to amendments authorizing the popular election of U.S. Senators and the income tax.
Additionally, large states can do an end-run around the Amendment Process with a Constitutional Convention, or Con-Con. Notably, the original Constitutional Convention in 1787 did not represent all the states; Rhode Island did not attend. In addition, the two most populous states; New York and Virginia dominated the original Constitutional Convention.
Will Climate Change lead to a Second US Constitutional Convention and a New Constitution?
Fascinatingly, there is a movement to hold a new Constitutional Convention; or Con-Con, in America today, The Guardian reports.
Plus, 28 state legislatures have voted to hold new Con-Con, The John Birch Society calculates. Significantly, Article V to the Constitution requires a vote of two-thirds of the state legislatures (34 states) to authorize a second con-con.
A national crisis the existing U.S. government was not dealing with sparked the first Constitutional Convention. To explain, the national government in 1787; the so-called Continental Congress, was not providing a military strong enough to defend the country from enemies like Britain.
Notably, the Founders at the first Constitutional Convention responded with a radical restructuring of the federal government. For instance, the founders increased the authority of the federal government with a powerful chief executive.
Today, America faces a threat; climate change, that the federal government is refusing to deal with. Under those circumstances, it is easy to imagine California, New York, and Florida delegates to the second con-con proposing a radical restructuring of the federal government to deal with Climate Change.
For instance, they could emasculate the Senate and make it a rubber stamp body (like Canada’s Senate). Make the Senate popularly elected, or abolish it. Interestingly, many progressives prefer a parliamentary system like the UK’s to America’s Congress.
Climate Change could lead to Regional Warfare over the Constitution
California delegates could take radical action because climate change threatens the lives and property of their constituents. In fact, over 80 Californians died in the Camp Fire; which scientists blame on global warming, in November 2018.
For instance, California delegates to the Con-Con could propose an amendment banning fossil fuel production and use in the United States. Obviously, smaller states; whose economies depend on fossil fuels, would resist such Draconian measures. Hence, the Con-Con could trigger more regional warfare between smaller and larger states.
Would such states try to withdraw from the Union (the last time that happened in 1861 it triggered the Civil War) or refuse to acknowledge the new government’s authority over them? Moreover, would the new federal government use the military against Climate Change deniers in the state houses? Or send troops to shut down coal mines and oil wells?
Could Climate Change Spark a Second American Civil War?
There is historical precedent for that. In 1957, President Dwight D. Eisenhower (R-Kansas) deployed federal troops to Little Rock, Arkansas, to enforce school desegregation.
In conclusion, the political regional warfare triggered by climate change could tear America apart. The regional warfare sparked by climate change will be brutal because people’s lives and livelihoods are at stake. Remember, the Civil War broke out because Southerners feared Northern Republicans threatened their slave-based economy.
Hence, a Second Civil War and regional warfare are among the effects of Climate Change Americans need to fear.