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Food shortages cause extinction



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Food shortages cause extinction


Klare 6 (Michael, Professor of Peace and World Security Studies – Hampshire College, “The Coming Resource Wars”, 3-11, http://www.waterconserve.org/shared/reader/welcome.aspx?linkid=53710&keybold=water%20 land%20conflict)

"As famine, disease, and weather-related disasters strike due to abrupt climate change," the Pentagon report notes, "many countries' needs will exceed their carrying capacity" -- that is, their ability to provide the minimum requirements for human survival. This "will create a sense of desperation, which is likely to lead to offensive aggression" against countries with a greater stock of vital resources. "Imagine eastern European countries, struggling to feed their populations with a falling supply of food, water, and energy, eyeing Russia, whose population is already in decline, for access to its grain, minerals, and energy supply." Similar scenarios will be replicated all across the planet, as those without the means to survival invade or migrate to those with greater abundance -- producing endless struggles between resource "haves" and "have-nots." It is this prospect, more than anything, that worries John Reid. In particular, he expressed concern over the inadequate capacity of poor and unstable countries to cope with the effects of climate change, and the resulting risk of state collapse, civil war and mass migration. "More than 300 million people in Africa currently lack access to safe water," he observed, and "climate change will worsen this dire situation" -- provoking more wars like Darfur. And even if these social disasters will occur primarily in the developing world, the wealthier countries will also be caught up in them, whether by participating in peacekeeping and humanitarian aid operations, by fending off unwanted migrants or by fighting for access to overseas supplies of food, oil, and minerals. When reading of these nightmarish scenarios, it is easy to conjure up images of desperate, starving people killing one another with knives, staves and clubs -- as was certainly often the case in the past, and could easily prove to be so again. But these scenarios also envision the use of more deadly weapons. "In this world of warring states," the 2003 Pentagon report predicted, "nuclear arms proliferation is inevitable." As oil and natural gas disappears, more and more countries will rely on nuclear power to meet their energy needs -- and this "will accelerate nuclear proliferation as countries develop enrichment and reprocessing capabilities to ensure their national security." Although speculative, these reports make one thing clear: when thinking about the calamitous effects of global climate change, we must emphasize its social and political consequences as much as its purely environmental effects. Drought, flooding and storms can kill us, and surely will -- but so will wars among the survivors of these catastrophes over what remains of food, water and shelter. As Reid's comments indicate, no society, however affluent, will escape involvement in these forms of conflict.




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