The hot, hot heat of climate change is not going to bring out the best in humanity. A new study mashed up FBI crime data with past and future climate data in order to try to estimate how many more crimes we’ll commit if it’s hotter out.
Apparently, a lot. The Los Angeles Times:
Between 2010 and 2099, climate change can be expected to cause an additional 22,000 murders, 180,000 cases of rape, 1.2 million aggravated assaults, 2.3 million simple assaults, 260,000 robberies, 1.3 million burglaries, 2.2 million cases of larceny and 580,000 cases of vehicle theft, the study published this week in the Journal of Environmental Economics and Management says.
Compared with the number of crimes expected to occur during this period in the absence of climate change, these figures represent a 2.2% increase in murders, a 3.1% increase in cases of rape, a 2.3% increase in aggravated assaults, a 1.2% increase in simple assaults, a 1% increase in robberies, a 0.9% increase in burglaries, a 0.5% increase in cases of larceny and a 0.8% increase in cases of vehicle theft, the study says.
There has been some back and forth about whether higher temperatures actually do increase crime rates, or whether there are other explanations for the correlation. This is a wide-ranging study, with a long time horizon, so it carries some weight. All we can say is, enjoy the peace and quiet of the polar vortex while you still can.