Highlighting the connections between climate change and human security, this book elucidates what might happen when a mere 10-degree drop in average temperature results in a sudden inability to produce enough food, when rapidly advancing desertification produces water scarcities where none existed before, and when newly frozen landscapes lead to more power plants for energy, resulting in increased air pollution. The destabilizing effects of these possibilities create many potential challenges for U.S. national security in a globalized world in which we may have to intervene militarily to safeguard our interests around the globe.
In February 2004, a Pentagon report on climate change and its implication for national security received extraordinary attention and publicity. Public attention, however, focused almost exclusively on portents of inevitable doom and disaster--most particularly on a scenario outlining a possible future similar to a climate event of 8,200 years ago and its impact on the availability of food, energy, and water.
This book offers a broad examination of the meaning of climate change and global warming while maintaining a strategic perspective on the implications of environmental effects on all forms of security--national, international, and human (transcending borders and having more to do with basic resources). Given the uncertainty surrounding climate change as a specific event, the authors argue for recognizing the profound social, political, and human impact that could take place in the coming years. While recognizing the inherent dangers of prediction, Liotta and Shearer effectively present the case that the time to not only recognize--but deal with--potentially profound outcomes is now.
About the Author:
P. H. Liotta is Executive Director of the Pell Center for International Relations and Public Policy in Newport, Rhode Island, and Tenured Professor of Humanities at Salve Regina University. As a member of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, he shares in the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize. He is the author of seventeen books.
Allan W. Shearer is Assistant Professor of Landscape Architecture at the School of Environmental and Biological Sciences, Rutgers--The State University of New Jersey. His work focuses on the development and use of scenarios for environmental planning and management decisions.