Environment

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Climate Change Raises Global Security Issues

March 08, 2008 09:35 AM
by findingDulcinea Staff
The opening of the Northwest Passage could lead to international disputes over shipping routes. Global warming has prompted a variety of security concerns.

30-Second-Summary

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Foreign Affairs warns that the melting of the polar ice caps could have dramatic global security implications, as nations scramble to take advantage of new trade routes and resources available in the area.

The article argues that the United States must lead the world in finding diplomatic solutions to the conflicts that will inevitably develop.

The story comes on the heels of a recent discussion by EU officials about the security risks posed by climate change, especially in the Mideast, and an upcoming United Nations conference on climate change in Bali.

The effect of climate change on global security is a discussion that was underway in 2004, when the U.S. Department of Defense commissioned two futurologists, Peter Schwartz and Doug Randall, to write a report that outlined several doomsday scenarios, such as the dawning of a new ice age.

Media outlets and environmental groups, such as The Nation, pointed out the discrepancy between the Pentagon’s study and the Bush administration’s policies.

“Pentagon people are not known as wild environmentalists,” a science professor said to Commondreams.org, a progressive news outlet.

European publications, such as The Guardian, were especially incensed, calling the study a “secret report suppressed by U.S. defense chiefs.”

The study’s authors later responded that the initial reaction was misconstrued and that their report described a highly unlikely, although plausible, worst-case scenario.

Headline Link: ‘Arctic Meltdown: The Economic and Security Implications of Global Warming’

‘Climate Change Poses Security Risks, According to EU Diplomats’

Background Links: An Abrupt Climate Change Scenario and Its Implications for United States National Security

Opinion & Analysis: The response to the 2004 Pentagon report

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