Climate change plays a crucial role in the current refugee crisis in Europe, the largest since World War II. Truthdig columnist and “On Contact” host Chris Hedges explains that “millions of climate refugees are already fleeing the violence and the chaos of the ‘global south,’ ” and that this mass exodus is just the start of the geopolitical ramifications of climate change.

Hedges sits down with NYU professor and author Christian Parenti for a discussion on how the effects of climate change incite global violence. Parenti’s latest book, “Tropic of Chaos: Climate Change and the New Geography of Violence,” examines how climate change interacts with economic neoliberalism and post-Cold-War militarism.

“Much of the global south is littered with cheap weapons and veterans of previous conflicts,” Parenti tells Hedges. “Underneath a lot of these ethnic and religious conflicts, we see that there is a climate element.”

Many states have been “systematically reduced to the point where they can’t respond” to climate change, “even if they wanted to,” Parenti says.

“How do people adapt to climate change?” Parenti asks. “Very often, the way is you pick up the surplus weaponry and you go after your neighbor’s cattle, or you blame it on your neighbor’s ideology or ethnicity.”

The two go on to discuss how the West’s response to these conflicts exacerbates tensions.

Watch the full interview, which also features a segment from correspondent Anya Parampil, in the player above. Watch past editions of “On Contact” here. Read Hedges’ June 18 column, in which he explores his conversation with Parenti and the climate crisis.

—Posted by Emma Niles

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