The Danger of a Climate War

Wars don’t always happen accidentally or because circumstances necessitate it. Sometimes wars are planned for political or even economic reasons. Wars can be astronomically profitable for various reasons, such as arms sales and reconstruction contracts handed out after the decimation is over. War is also a political tool that can be of great benefit to one side if enough of the opposition are destroyed. This is what happened during the Rwandan civil war and genocide which – far from just ‘developing’ – was carefully planned and orchestrated over the course of several years.

The extremist Hutu-led government meticulously planned the genocide of the entire Tutsi population, and they were mostly successful. Close to a million Tutsi (and moderate Hutu) were estimated to have been killed by their fellow countrymen in very brutal ways. The Tutsi and Hutu people lived side by side – like Republicans and Democrats in the USA – in the same villages and towns. But over a period of several years, the Hutu government flooded the government radio and newspapers with more and more anti-Tutsi propaganda. I quote from an article on the ‘‘ website:

“Radio hosts regularly discussed discrimination that the Hutus suffered under the power of the Tutsis. Strong connotations describing Hutus as slaves during colonization painted the Rwandan genocide as a type of slave rebellion. Radio stories were used to anger the Hutus and channel that anger into action. Radio was also used to dehumanize Tutsis by calling them “cockroaches,” making acts of violence against them seem less inhumane.”

And the Hutu people were not only encouraged to feel angry towards their compatriots. They were encouraged to be deeply distrustful of them, and fearful also. They were persuaded to believe that the Tutsi posed a great threat to their personal and national safety.

Something that has been concerning me for some time is that similar things have been occurring in the USA for several years. The country is very politically divided and polarised, and extremist attitudes and behaviour are being justified and accepted in the name of anti-authoritarianism and anti-fascism. Certain media outlets have allowed messages to be put out along the lines of “Anyone who supports Donald Trump is a racist/white supremacist.” Now, I do not support Donald Trump in any way whatsoever, but that’s a dangerous brush with which to tar millions of Americans. The anger and contempt felt towards him as a human being is understandable, but to harness it and make very extreme comments about half of your county’s population is incendiary and dangerous to say the least. Just consider what occurred in Rwanda. Don’t be so sure that we are too evolved to allow such atrocities to occur in our own countries, because the divisive (and often very subtle) media bombardment is absolutely relentless, and division and polarisation continues to intensify.

Politicians, journalists, TV presenters and commentators have a huge nation-wide responsibility (irrespective of the extremity of the behaviour upon which they are commenting) not to fuel anger, vitriol, and hatred among the general public. Such strong emotions felt among millions of people nationwide are very dangerous, and we all have our responsibility to be part of the solution, not the problem. It is easy to point the finger at the bad guys – almost everyone does it – but are we doing everything we can to make things better? Or are we also spreading and engaging in negativity, anger, division and hatred?

One of the most detrimental things that can occur within a society is the extreme polarisation of its people. And a polarisation of ideas is one thing, but when you accompany that with very strong emotions: deep fear, anger, hatred or even collective rage, then you have a very serious problem which needs addressing urgently. We have all seen in the news the polarising occurring between the Democrats and Republicans in America, largely inspired by the presence of their current president, but I would like to focus for a moment on the ‘climate emergency’ and how that threatens to be far worse on a global scale. I pray that it does not, and the greatest motivation behind me writing this article is the strong hope that it will encourage greater reason, perspective, consideration and peace in those who read it, and that division, fear and anger may decrease.

Strong negative emotions coupled with strong negative ideas are a very dangerous mixture, so even if the ideas remain, it is good to deal with the emotions immediately, in order for them be tempered so that a sense of balance and peace can be restored. From a more peaceful perspective, we can see things more intelligently and objectively, and not get caught up in drama and sensationalism. Such seemingly small actions as restoring a sense of emotional calm and peace – enacted by enough people within a volatile national situation – can avert widespread conflict. So on a practical level, when we feel very angry or afraid we need to breathe, relax and restore a sense of calm to our body and emotions; especially before we act or speak. Spreading peace or spreading conflict is a conscious choice we all have to make in every thought, in every conversation, and in every social media post. We all have a responsibility because we all possess the power to influence others in a positive or negative way. For the sake of peace, we should steer clear of the latter at all costs.

So this is why I am very concerned about the increasing use of war terminology regarding the climate emergency. I have seen the phrase “A World War 2 type mobilisation is needed” many times in various places. Such words are not being used by accident, because they are coming from several different sources simultaneously, and all of them have been left-wing sources. In fact, an entire article I read in a popular online socialist magazine (called ‘New Republic’) painted the climate emergency as a full scale war against the climate.

(You can see the article here:

This strange article uses intense war and battle terminology throughout and paints a very detailed picture of us being amidst the most serious war that the world had ever seen. “World War III” they called it. I quote: “World War 3 is well and truly underway. And we are losing.”

Now, words can be very powerful, as can metaphors and analogies because they lead people into a certain mentality, a certain way of seeing things. Unless we want a war, we should not paint pictures that suggest we are already in the midst of one. But it has become obvious to me that there are some groups who would like one, such is their contempt for the current capitalist system. And the idea is being spread – especially among the younger generations -that a massive (and inevitably violent) revolution is what is required in order to force the system change that everyone is being encouraged to believe would solve all of our global problems.

My biggest concern with the ‘World War 3’ metaphor being used so frequently now is that human beings cannot fight ‘the climate’, because it is invisible and non-sentient. You cannot fight it. But if people’s minds are steered into a war mentality, they will instinctively look for who the real ‘enemy’ is, and they will come to the conclusion (as several high-profile voices in the media are suggesting) that the enemy is whoever is responsible for our global environmental predicament. And we are told who that is: those who are responsible for the climate changing and who don’t seem to care about it: The fossil fuel companies, the politicians and wealthy individuals who support them, the people who champion capitalism, economic growth and and so on. Essentially, it’s all the people on the political right.

Can you see where this is going? A left versus right political war with environmental and planetary salvation as the justifying cause. If we believe the Earth is dying, and all those on the political right are supporting the system (capitalism) that we believe is responsible for its demise, who is the ‘enemy’ in the climate emergency? Who is heartlessly making the situation worse? Who holds all the power and needs to be defeated for humanity to live in safety and peace? This is the subtle psychological aspect to the whole climate issue, which has become incredibly political.

There are some suggestions that after the Cold War, the falling of the Berlin Wall and the obvious failing of communism before the eyes of the western world, that the extreme political left embraced environmentalism with the aim of furthering their political ideas, and generating anti-capitalist sentiment. If you look at what’s currently happening in the world regarding the climate situation, and how the youth have been fully and passionately mobilised behind this cause (“system change, not climate change”) you might say that this particular strategic move has been very successful. As I said, the climate change issues is incredibly political. It’s the left-wing climate alarmists versus the right-wing climate deniers.

Naturally, many people wonder, “Who is right? Which is true”, but I think a more important question is “How can we avoid getting into conflict with others?” There are undoubtedly those who want a political revolution at all costs, and are harnessing the fear, passion and emotion generated by the climate emergency for this purpose. But I can assure you that the more strongly you take sides, the more strongly you will feel opposed to those on the opposing side. Again, let us think more about how we can maintain peace in our lives and in our societies, while simultaneously addressing all our other problems. Demonising groups of people is a very bad idea, because who knows, maybe it is our own ideas that are faulty, no matter how thoroughly convinced we are of them. If our ideas generate hostility, conflict, anger, judgement or the desire to control, manipulate or change other people, then this is a sure sign that our thinking has strayed from true humanitarianism, from true peace and compassion.

Here is another revealing quote from the New Republic ‘war article’: “There are powerful forces, of course, that stand in the way of a full-scale mobilization [of renewable energy technology]. The only way to overcome that concerted opposition… is to adopt a wartime mentality”. So here we see the true message of this very long article, which is a very accurate reflection of extremist thinking: “If we really care about the planet, we need to engage in a war against those who are standing in the way of us making the changes that will save us.” It is a war mentality, not a peace mentality.

The image above – which has been appearing across the planet in various guises and even in the small rural towns in Portugal where I live – reinforces this exact message. It instinctively looks righteous, yet in truth it is not a message of peace but a message of war; despite the imagery appealing to a part of every human being that cares about the Earth. It is a piece of very clever propaganda to encourage what I call ‘conflict mentality’, which is actually something we should be steering away from at all costs. I must say that I am infinitely more like the people depicted on the right of the image (in the green) however I don’t see businessmen and capitalists as my enemies. I don’t want to defeat them and I do not believe the extremity of what the image is depicting; that half of this beautiful planet is black, charred and devastated. It is an extreme depiction, used for political reasons (“bloco de esquerda” means “the left party” in Portuguese).

The reason this is “conflict propaganda” is because it proposes a way of seeing the world which – although based on some truth – encourages us to see humanity as divided; the good guys versus the bad guys. And as all Hollywood films have been telling us for decades, if you just defeat the bad guys then you can live happily ever after. This is not how we achieve a peaceful civilisation, because we will continually find new enemies. We have to stop seeing people (or groups of people) as our enemies. This image is subtle and speaks instinctively to what we believe is right and good, but it is a message of conflict, as clearly illustrated by the “tug of war” at the bottom. Again, it is subtly insinuating that we are in a war, and encouraging us to think in terms of conflict and battle.

I am seeing this ‘conflict mentality’ exhibited in various areas of left-wing politics, activism and the media. Essentially it is a mentality of “Come on, let’s take on the big boys. We can beat them if we all join forces.” It’s the women, the children & youths, the minorities and all the world’s oppressed versus the men in power, the ‘oppressors’, the ones who are heartlessly destroying the planet without a shred of remorse (or so we are led to believe). This is the scenario that is being put in people’s minds; this is the film script for this particular drama, promoting the underlying message of “if we can just defeat the bad guys once and for all, we can all live in peace”. But this is a message justifying war, in the name of peace.

Most people do not know how devastating, brutal, gruesome and tragic war truly is. They have watched endless films portraying it as noble and heroic. They have played video games portraying it as exciting, daring and even fun. War is brutal and deeply tragic for pretty much everyone. We should do our best to steer in completely the opposite direction from it, at every opportunity. War is not necessary, and not possible when there is true human compassion in our hearts. But the climate agenda is encouraging people to let the Earth be the focus of their compassion, instead of humanity (and especially not the aspect of humanity that is responsible for all the pollution and destruction). Yet true compassion is not selective. It is unconditional, and it never, ever seeks to generate pain or suffering. Its primary desire is to alleviate suffering in all living things, even the suffering that we cannot see, which is held in the hearts of virtually all human beings and thus leads them to act in less-than-loving ways. We are all subject to this. None of us is perfect.

So, if you have noticed yourself being drawn into such a ‘conflict mentality’ as I have mentioned – a perspective of seeing opposing sides who are battling with each other for victory – please understand that this is a war mentality, and peace simply cannot come from seeing things in this way. Again I strongly emphasise: war is truly devastating – emotionally, psychologically, spiritually and physically. Do you think the Hutu people were singing and dancing in the blood-soaked streets of Rwanda after one million Tutsi were slaughtered (many of them with machetes)? It was horrific, brutal and devastating. It was no cause for celebration, especially when the Hutu realised that it had been totally unnecessary; that they had been manipulated and used by the Hutu extremists in the government to wipe out nearly a million good people, for nothing more than political reasons. Be very, very aware that something similar doesn’t unwittingly get your support in your own country, no matter how convincing and righteous it sounds.

Because there are some powerful people who do indeed want a war, and know how to generate one. In fact, they are in the process of convincing the younger generations (and other facets of society) that a revolution is exactly what is required to force the system change that everyone is being encouraged to believe would solve all of our problems. Of course, it always starts with inspiring people to join forces, to become part of a positive movement for change (which in itself is not a bad thing). But if an enemy has been identified and announced, then conflict, violence and war do indeed become a very real possibility.

There are always extremists who believe that conflict is necessary to achieve an important and often political end. The danger is that intelligent people can be persuaded into becoming extreme in their own thinking, through emotional manipulation (usually involving fear or anger) and through an unquestioning belief in the reality of an extreme situation, such as impending environmental catastrophe. Be aware, and when you hear messages of conflict – messages which demonise others and put you in opposition to them – ensure that your mind and heart remain focused on peace, compassion, and forgiveness. This is the only antidote to hostility and enmity, and this is what needs to be spreading around the globe, rather than fear and anger. Please be a part of the solution.

Alexander Bell

Read more about the politics behind the climate emergency, and watch some excellent videos at

Join Alex in an online video seminar called “Freedom from Fear”, on October 18th or November 1st, for just €5. For more information see

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
“Develop the strength of your heart”

“If we walk down the path of fear, things get darker,

but if we walk down the path of faith, things get brighter.

Be aware in each moment which path you are walking along.”