Climate security

It shouldn’t be news by now that climate change could be — already is, on a small scale — a driver of very, very nasty wars. Desertification is the source of the underlying pressure that emerges as a slow-moving genocide in Darfur, for instance, and a warmer planet will be a lot drier in a lot of places and more flooded than others.

Thirsty people, hungry people, people who can’t grow food to feed their children: these are not the constituents of mutually supportive liberal democracies.

But it’s worth repeating from time to time, as Britain’s Royal United Services Institute, a defence think tank, has done:

In the next decades, climate change will drive as significant a change in the strategic security environment as the end of the Cold War. If uncontrolled, climate change will have security implications of similar magnitude to the World Wars, but which will last for centuries.

Again, this isn’t new. Policymakers ought to consider the costs of preparing for this sort of thing when they’re fretting about the costs of cutting carbon emissions. It’s not a zero-sum game.

The threat, incidentally, is neatly summed up in the term “climate security,” which isn’t one I’d heard before but which make perfect sense.

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2 responses to “Climate security

  1. Pingback: Climate security (Google / The Ecolibertarian) « Desertification

  2. After reading an article of the VOA News on “Nigeria and global warming”, I posted a comment on my desertification blog in which I urged for more attention to the hunger and poverty problems in the drylands. Reading your contribution on “Climate security”, I want to congratulate you for excellently pinpointing the same problem : hungry and thirsty people, not having a chance to grow their own food “are not the constituents of mutually supportive liberal democracies”. Therefore, let us make people aware of the existence of cost-effective and quite simple methods to reverse that situation. UNICEF in Algeria has proven that family gardens for the refugees in the Sahara desert can solve the hunger problem. In the long run they can also alleviate poverty of the rural people in the drylands. Isn’t that a good news ?

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