In 2007 a group of experts met for one year to discuss foreign policy and what type of security issues may arise from climate change. In the report “The Age of Consequences,” these experts came up with “three future world scenarios” that predicted some possibilities that may take place because of climate change (Campbell, K. et al., 2007).
In scenario one, the report explains that the following effects from climate change can be expected at bare minimum. Possible effects include security issues such as an increase in internal and border strain because of large migrations, shortages on water and food, and fighting over resources. Troubles with the border are already occurring in Arizona and Mexico and became a national security issue this year.
I definitely believe that increased tensions will occur and existing tensions, such as the Mexican border, will escalate into further national security issues. As the thought pattern switches to survival, these types of conflicts will probably become the norm. I also believe this scenario will affect the global market much more than we can imagine. Tensions from bigotry and intolerance will more than likely increase as climate change causes an increase in migration.
There is already national conflict over natural resource scarcity due to climate change. There has been a legal battle between Georgia, Florida and Alabama over Georgia’s use of Lake Lanier. As climate change continues to put a strain on water resources, we will more than likely continue to see more of these water wars that may threaten national security eventually.
This report also notes that if national migrations continue due to climate change, it will more than likely cause the spread of diseases. Part of the national security issues the report listed included quarantine and loss of tourism and conflict over resources as a result of large migrations.
After reading the “Age of Consequences” I was initially left with a feeling of discouragement concerning our future outlook due to climate change. This report was intended to shed light on global climate change and national security and in its last few paragraphs (excluding the summary) it can leave one with a sense of hope. Optimism and practicality may play a critical role in how we mitigate and adjust to the effects of global climate change and adapt a national security plan that works.
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Authors’ Disclaimer: While every caution has been taken to provide my readers with the most accurate information, please use your discretion before making any decisions based on the information in this article.
Campbell, K. et al. (2007). The age of consequences: The foreign policy and national security implications of global climate change. Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) and the Center for a New American Security (CNAS).http://csis.org/files/media/csis/pubs/071105_ageofconsequences.pdf