Warming Called a National Security Issue


Sci-Tech Today – April 30, 2007

This is an excellent viewpoint on why we need to understand what is happening to our climate. The author says that we need to understand the ramifications of massive climate changes because, if they are dramatic enough, we will surely have more human suffering and more regional hostility as nation-states aggressively try to protect or acquire resources. Their is little disputing the fact that the Earth is a little warmer today than 100 years ago and, based on this trend, it will likely increase some more (although some scientists say that a cooling period is imminent). Any change that would impact a country’s ability to feed, clothe, and protect its citizens is worth discussing.

Growing concern surrounds a new national security Relevant Products/Services threat, an insidious trend that could foster terrorism worldwide and draw our armed forces into messy regional conflicts in Africa, Asia and Latin America.

It’s global warming.

In the last few weeks, several groups — including the U.S. Congress, a panel of retired top-ranking military officers and the U.N. Security Council — have considered the possibility that global warming may be a significant threat to peace and security in coming decades.

Droughts, crop failures and tropical disease epidemics caused by global warming could destabilize already fragile governments in Asia, Latin America and especially Africa, creating the kinds of “failed states” that harbor al-Qaida and other terrorist groups. Sea- level rise could scatter refugees by the millions from low-lying countries such as Bangladesh and Vietnam, putting stress on both them and their neighbors.

[Republican Rep. James Sensenbrenner] “I will have many questions about why global warming has suddenly become an issue of national defense.”

The conflict in Darfur is a perfect example. Nomadic tribes in western Sudan are attacking their sedentary neighbors partly because drought in the region has forced them off their traditional grazing lands.

Parts of sub-Saharan Africa, already the poorest region in the world, could see a 50 percent reduction in crop yields by 2020, according to a report issued this month by the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

Skeptics argue that such problems are primarily environmental, economic and social, and should be dealt with as such. Perhaps they’re right. But global warming, not to mention the effort to mitigate it, promises to be so transformative that it will touch every policy realm governments deal with.

This is a fairly long article. I encourage you to read the entire piece here.

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1 thought on “Warming Called a National Security Issue”

  1. Scott says:

    Don’t worry, we have a secret weapon against global-scale threats.

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