Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Climate change is a threat to global security

One of the expected effects of climate change is famine and water shortages, resulting in forced migration, political instability and conflict. And according to the Red Cross - who are on the sharp end of this - it is already happening:

Climate change is already exacerbating domestic and international conflicts, and governments must take steps to ensure it does not get worse, the head of the International Committee of the Red Cross has said.

Peter Maurer told Guardian Australia it was already making an impact and humanitarian organisations were having to factor it into their work far earlier than they were expecting.

“In many parts of the world where we work it’s not a distant engagement,” he said.

“When I think about our engagement in sub-Saharan Africa, in Somalia, in other places of the world, I see that climate change has already had a massive impact on population movement, on fertility of land. It’s moving the border between pastoralist and agriculturalist.”


He said changing rainfall patterns change the fertility of land and push populations, who may have settled and subsisted in one area for centuries, to migrate.

“It’s very obvious that some of the violence that we are observing … is directly linked to the impact of climate change and changing rainfall patterns.”

And as the temperature rises, its only going to get worse. Which invites the question: at what stage is the global community going to start considering nations who refuse to act to reduce emissions a direct threat to global security? Because like those who "harbour terrorists", they're exporting instability - not just to their neighbours, but to the entire world.