Global Warming as a National Security Issue

Global warming endangers every fabric of life, and on a scale that is almost hard to conceive. For this reason, many political representatives and scientists are comparing the human and financial costs of global warming to the Cold War. The scary thing about this comparison is that global warming is much more dangerous for a lot more people than the Cold War. British climate change ambassador John Ashton said that the Cold War was the last great danger to people, economy and life on the planet, and that global warming needs to be treated as an even more serious problem or the consequences will be dire. In adding to his comments, it is important to note that it is not possible to forge a diplomatic cease-fire with nature.

Carpet bombing a city is a terrible thing, and in the last world war this type of atrocity was committed consistently. Since a majority of large cities are positioned by oceans, seas or rivers, the flooding damage caused by global warming would be much worse than a bombing. The main difference between wars and the damages caused by global warming will be the pace of the destruction. Wars tend to inflict atrocities quickly and each time an incident occurs, there is a person behind the incident who the victims can blame. Environmental disasters are an act of nature, and do not result from a particular group of people. Additionally, global warming is slow and insidious in its destructive patterns. Many people die in the course of an invasion or in the quashing of a rebellion, while a huge flood might not take so many lives but would destroy the infrastructure and housing of a city; which would leave people homeless, jobless and angry at the government for not protecting their livelihoods.

The offshoot of this is that many leaders in the world are beginning to ask the question: Does it matter how much it costs to repair the environment on the planet? The UN did a study on world economics and restoring the environment and concluded that it would cost the nations of the world 3% gross domestic product to repair the environmental damage and reverse the trends causing global warming. This study does not take into consideration the x factor of human innovation, where the evolution of design and invention could result in new categories of environmental products and byproduct sales. Would you be willing to pay out 3% of your annual income to a global warming fund? A better question to ask may be, “what is the cost of inaction”? One way or another, we’re going to pay for global warming – whether it’s a little bit now or a lot later.

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