«One of the most significant challenges to the global security system in the 21st Century will be a changing climate», writes Gen. Stephen A. Cheney in his introduction to the CLIMATE SECURITY REPORT, published by the think tank American Security Project on October 2012.
«The effects of these changes are already being felt all over the world. Climate change poses a clear and present danger to the United States through its effects on our global allies as well as its direct effects on our agriculture, infrastructure, economy and public health», he adds. «ASP strives to avoid the poisonous, partisan debate about the topic by focusing on the science; we must first start with the facts. In order to move from today’s divisive debates to a point where we can discuss solutions, it will be necessary to build a more civil, non-partisan discussion based on facts and sound science».
«Though this debate continues to rage, there should be no doubt that national security leaders understand that this is a question of risk management. As a national security institution, ASP knows that there is no such thing as “certainty” on the battlefield— there is only uncertainty».
In Brief 1
- The climate influences people’s everyday lives, from what they eat to where they live.
- Changes in the climate are becoming more identifiable every year: the Earth is warming at a faster rate than ever before and humans have played a major role in the change
- Although there are political arguments questioning the science, they do not hold up under close examination.
- Climate change will affect different regions in different ways.
- Environmental threats blur traditional notion of national security: secure states do not automatically mean secure peoples and climate change is proving that.
- Climate change, food security, water security and communicable diseases are examples of such non-traditional threats that require non-traditional responses.
- The U.S. must be resilient to potential large-scale variations in weather that will affect not only our country but our economic and physical security.
- Climate change is a risk to global security because it increases vulnerability in infrastructure, agriculture, energy and other economic factors.
In Brief 2
- The geopolitical consequences of climate change will be determined by how it affects and interacts with local political, social, and economic conditions as much as by the magnitudes of the climatic shift itself.
- A changing climate acts as an accelerant of instability around the world, exacerbating tensions related to water scarcity and food shortages, natural resource competition, underdevelopment and overpopulation.
- The near-term impacts of climate change are likely to have a disproportionate effect on poor countries with weak governance structures, particularly in Africa and Asia.
- Because the U.S. is a global power with strategic interests around the world, climate change is strategically important to the U.S. through the impacts it has on the regional stability of our allies.
- Climate change will cause an increase in frequency of disaster relief responses by U.S. and allied military forces.
- Though climate change will have global implications, there are specific ‘hot-zones’ that national security planners should focus on. These include Sub-Saharan Africa, South Asia, the Middle East, Latin America, the East Asia-Pacific, and the Arctic.
Por la agencia Reuters recibíamos el 12 de 2013, de madrugada, una crónica de una de sus corresponsales en Washington, Deborah Zabarenko, cuyo título lo dice todo: «Impact of climate change hitting home, U.S. report finds»:
WASHINGTON, Jan 11 (Reuters) – The consequences of climate change are now hitting the United States on several fronts, including health, infrastructure, water supply, agriculture and especially more frequent severe weather, a congressionally mandated study has concluded.
A draft of the U.S. National Climate Assessment, released on Friday, said observable change to the climate in the past half-century «is due primarily to human activities, predominantly the burning of fossil fuel,» and that no areas of the United States were immune to change.