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Thursday Complexity PostAugust 8, 2013

Human Conflict Linked to Climate Change


Will global warming lead to more war, crime and violence?


Scientists say an analysis of 60 earlier studies offers strong evidence of a link between higher temperatures and human conflict in all regions of the world. Solomon Hsiang, Marshall Burke and Edward Miguel of the University of California at Berkeley report that research suggests higher temperatures, drought and extreme rainfall can increase the risk of both individual and societal violence. In a paper published in the journal Science, the authors write that for every standard deviation of temperature increase, personal violence such as assault, domestic abuse and rape can be expected to increae by four percent, and societal violence such as rioting and war, can be expected to rise by 14 percent. Global temperatures are expected to rise at least two standard deviations by 2050, according to a story by Ed Yong in The


Thomas Homer-Dixon, an environmental and political scientist at Waterloo University in Ontario, who was not involved in the study, told Yong the research is exceptionally strong and added that the world is likely to be a pretty violent place by mid-century if climate change continues unabated. "Our results shed new light on how the future climate will shape human societies," Burke said in a Berkeley news release. "The findings of the study suggest that a global temperature rise of two degrees Celsius could increase the rate of intergroup conflicts, such as civil wars, by over 50 percent in many parts of the world.


Hsiang's team looked at data gathered by 190 scholars in diverse fields that included psychologists examining the impact of temperature on aggression and archeologists looking at violence in ancient civilizations. Worldwide data stretched from 10,000 BCE to the present. A Fastcoexist story reports researchers from the University of Minnesota found the collapse of the Tang, Yuan and Ming Dynasties all followed long periods of drought or scant rainfall, and worldwide warming has been documented around the time the Tang Dynasty fell. U.S. crime statistics show more murders, assaults and rapes on hot days. Hsiang's earlier research shows civil conflicts in the tropics are twice as likely during hot El Nino years, and Brazilian farmers are more likely to invade each other's land during years that are extremely wet or dry.


Skeptics say climate and conflict are complex subjects, and the relationship between them is unclear and nonlinear. A Washington Post story by Brad Plumer asserts the 2000s were the warmest decade on record and also the least violent since the 1970s. The Post report has links to several stories about the new study. Economic and political conditions not always related to climate contribute to violence. When climate contributes to famine induced by crop failure, or the relocation of refugees fleeing natural disasters, proportionality of the causes may be hard to assign.


Hsiang told The Scientist that while climate and conflict were consistently linked in his team's research, climate is only one influence. Further, his team did not attempt to show reasons for the link. Humans will inevitably be impacted in some way by climate change and environmental upheaval. In Hsiang's view thinking about the future of climate change and its consequences can help people adapt.



Upcoming Event
Liberating Structures Workshop
Westin Kansas City at Crown Center, Kansas City, MO
Thursday, October 17, 2013 - 8:30am-4:30pm
Read more and register

A pre-conference to the 40th Annual National Conference on Professional Nursing Education & Development, this workshop is open to anyone. Full conference attendance is not required.

This workshop will introduce participants to a portfolio of interaction methods designed to engage staff in innovative problem solving around quality improvement and change initiatives. Liberating Structures include more than three dozen easy-to-learn, adaptable, open source methods that make it quick and simple for groups of people of any size to radically change how they interact and work together, and thus how they address issues, solve problems and develop opportunities. These methods have been used in health care organizations to engage staff in working on a wide range of problems such as reducing infection transmission, improving communication between staff in different roles, and making change initiatives work where adaptive change is needed.

Nurses: Up to 6.25 contact hours can be earned during the Liberating Structures Workshop. The number of contact hours awarded will be based on the number of sessions you attend and verify on your certificate of attendance.

Kindle edition now available!
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Inviting Everyone: Healing Healthcare through Positive Deviance
by Curt Lindberg, Prucia Buscell, and Arvind Singhal
Kindle Edition ~ Release Date: 2013-07-26
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Remember PlexusCalls!


Friday, August 9, 2013 - 1-2 PM ET  
Register to receive your call-in number and pin:  
How Our Schools Can Inspire Emergence of Community Builders  
Guests: Ward Mailliard and Lisa Kimball   

Ward Mailliard is one of the founders of the Mount Madonna Center in Watsonville,  CA, and a member of the executive board of the Mount Madonna School, which educates children from pre-school through high school. An educator for more than 25 years, Mailliard helped create the "Values in World Thought" curriculum, which includes taking students to interview government and non-government leaders in Washington DC and other countries. Read his complete bio.


Lisa Kimball, PhD--In addition to serving on the Board, Lisa served as Plexus' President for 3 years. She continues to serve Plexus as Chair, Learning Programs. She is an entrepreneur with more than 30 years experience as an organizational consultant with business, government and non profit organizations. She earned her doctorate in educational psychology, cognition and learning conducting research on how senior executives use system thinking. Read her complete bio


Healthcare PlexusCalls 
Wednesday, August 21, 2013 - 1-2 PM ET  
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Robot + Cooperation Between Hospitals = Better Care for Stroke Patients  
Guest: Dean Gushee     

When someone has a stroke, time is of the essence. Faster diagnosis and immediate treatment can often reduce or eliminate the debilitating effects of a stroke. At Mason General Hospital, a community hospital in southwest Washington State, emergency-room physicians are board-certified in emergency medicine, and trained in stroke diagnosis and treatment. And thanks to St. Peter Hospital, twenty minutes away, there is now a neurologist in the room when needed 24/7, via two-way video and a remote telehealth robot. Dean Gushee, medical director for the emergency department and medical director for the hospital, will join the call to talk about the resources that provide better care for stroke patients-and the cultural changes that were needed to allow separate hospitals, with differing policies and practices, to learn to work together. Read his complete bio.


Visit the Plexus Institute Calendar for a detailed schedule of PlexusCalls, Healthcare PlexusCalls, Nursing Network PlexusCalls and other upcoming events from Plexus Institute and others.  


Audio from all PlexusCall series are available by searching the iTunes store for plexuscalls. Or, visit under Resources/Call Series. 


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