Change We Can Fight Over: The Relationship between Arable Land Supply and Substate Conflict
NAVAL POSTGRADUATE SCHOOL MONTEREY CA CENTER ON CONTEMPORARY CONFLICT
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After decades of debate, most natural scientists have now acknowledged that the earths temperature is rising. These scientists also predict that the environmental consequences of global climate change over the next 20-100 years will be significant. This gradual realization of the existence and environmental impact of global warming has spurred a parallel discussion among national security academics and policymakers about the security consequences of climate change. Roughly speaking, there are two camps in this discussion -one that ominously predicts the potential for global warming to spark violent resource-related conflicts all over the world, and one that views the link between climate change and conflict as ambiguous and unproven. This debate between alarmists and skeptics of the security consequences of climate change, not of climate change itself has clear consequences for great power security policy in the coming decades. In recent years the great powers have begun to take slow steps toward the prevention and mitigation of future climate change, but the stark reality is that global warming is already upon us. Thus, policymakers need to know -both now and in the coming decades- whether climate change can be expected to touch off the resource conflicts that some analysts have predicted. If the answer is in the affirmative, then considerably more resources need to be put against the prevention and mitigation of climate change-related violence, and not simply against the prevention and mitigation of global warming itself.
- Government and Political Science
- Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics