Here’s a forecast for a particularly bizarre consequence of climate change: more executions of witches.
As we pump out greenhouse gases, most of the discussion focuses on direct consequences like rising seas or aggravated hurricanes. But the indirect social and political impact in poor countries may be even more far-reaching, including upheavals and civil wars – and even more witches hacked to death with machetes.
In rural Tanzania, murders of elderly women accused of witchcraft are a very common form of homicide. And when Tanzania suffers unusual rainfall – either drought or flooding – witch-killings double, according to research by Edward Miguel, an economist at the University of California, Berkeley.