Three years ago a diverse 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 forecasted “three future world scenarios” that predicted some possibilities that may take place because of climate change (Campbell, K. et al., 2007).
In “scenario three”, the report explains that certain environmental activities will take place that will not be able to be reversed. Climate change will cause a certain circulation in the Atlantic and currents in the oceans, which in turn will cause the inability of the gulf stream to warm Europe.
These experts claim that climate change will also create a national security problem where major loss of life will occur due to hunger, drought, floods, and heat. The report also suggests the serious connection that this scenario has with terrorism. This scenario predicts that some low lying and coastal areas will be flooded while other areas will experience the relocation of many people because of deficient glacier runoff from climate change.
“The Age of Consequences” report details in great length certain suggestions that will threaten national security. Some of these include terrorist attacks on oil reserves and power grids and interruptions with telecommunications, food, water, and energy.
This last scenario for climate change and national security will result in the end of our world as we know it. This was the most difficult to digest because of the severe climate change penalties and threats to national security that may occur. I envisioned a world of basic instinct survivalists vs. terrorists. Perhaps it is time a controversial book is released that will inform and ignite increased interest in making changes now and not when it is too late.
In a report prepared for the U.S. Department of Defense, an “abrupt climate change scenario” was described in which gradual global warming could at some point cause the ocean’s circulation to suddenly slow down. This would make problems worse for the areas that already have problems with soil moisture and it would create stronger winds and more severe winter weather (Schwartz & Randall, 2003).
This report further suggests that there is an “impending abrupt climate shift (Schwartz & Randall, 2003).” Part of the recommendations by Schwartz & Randall for this climate change was to create and put into practice certain strategies that would protect food and water supplies and national security. The report also believed that it was important to create adaptive response teams to deal with migration, disease, and food/water shortages and to actually practice the procedures ahead of time.
I can only hope the U.S. government is working on a national security plan and/or has one in place. Although the successful planning for a global problem due to climate change can be limited by our lack of urgency and/or knowledge, it is no excuse for waiting until it is too late.
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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
Schwartz, P. & Randall, D. (2003). An abrupt climate change scenario and its implications for United States national security. Environmental Defense Fund. http://www.edf.org/documents/3566_AbruptClimateChange.pdf