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Drought, refugees, revolution and war – military prepares for climate doomsday

April 16, 2010

We have two similiar articles to consider today on this topic. The title of this post is the title of the first article.

Full Article at: http://news.scotsman.com/uk/Drought-refugees-revolution–and.6169310.jp

MILITARY chiefs are holding “back room” discussions on how to cope with the threat of a world ravaged by wars provoked by uncontrolled climate change, an expert has warned.
Gwynne Dyer, an influential lecturer in international affairs, said if the climate continues to change at its current rate there will be global conflict in decades.

Tens of millions of climate refuges unable to feed themselves in their own dried-up countries will aim for places like Scotland where conditions will remain favourable.

These countries will in turn use their military powers to barricade their borders, leading to wars over land, food and water.

Mr Dyer was speaking to The Scotsman ahead of the Edinburgh International Science Festival next month, when he will give a talk called “Climate Wars”.

He said he had spoken to members of the military around the globe about climate change.

“It turns out that all the major military players are looking very seriously now at the kinds of roles they will be playing in a warming world,” he said. “This was all being done in back rooms and not discussed in public, but definitely being done.”

He believes conflict will occur for three reasons:

• Climate refugees. Tens of millions of climate refugees from the tropics and subtropics will sweep in waves to cooler countries, no longer to survive in nations where crops fail.

• Failed states. Africa and the Middle East are likely to have particular problems, with leaders ousted due to anger over famine. The fallout would be waves of refugees, terrorism and piracy.

• Water wars. Conflicts will flare up between countries – such as India and Pakistan and Iraq and Turkey – that share a river system – over the water supply.

Full Article at: http://news.scotsman.com/uk/Drought-refugees-revolution–and.6169310.jp   
 
The following article is in Adobe Acrobat format (.pdf file) so you will need a Adobe Acrobat reader to get this.  It is a very lengthy and comprehensive report on Climate Change effects, using past historical references to previous climate impacts, and impacts on US national security.  It is a little old but still pertinent and I added it as a follow on to the above article.      
 
An Abrupt Climate Change Scenario and Its Implications for United States National Security-October 2003 
 
Full Article at: http://www.edf.org/documents/3566_AbruptClimateChange.pdf     
 
The purpose of this report is to imagine the unthinkable – to push the boundaries of current research on climate change so we may better understand the potential implications on United States national security.  We have interviewed leading climate change scientists, conducted additional research, and reviewed several iterations of the scenario with these experts. The scientists support this project, but caution that the scenario depicted is extreme in two fundamental ways. First, they suggest the occurrences we outline would most likely happen in a few regions, rather than on globally. Second, they say the magnitude of the event may be considerably smaller. We have created a climate change scenario that although not the most likely, is plausible, and would challenge United States national security in ways that should be considered immediately. 
 
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