Is Climate Change Already Causing Violent Conflict?
For years, the Pentagon has been saying that climate change is perhaps the biggest threat to American security of all. Back in 2004, a report commissioned by Pentagon defense adviser Andrew Marshall, the man behind the restructuring of the US military under Donald Rumsfeld, predicted that "abrupt climate change could bring the planet to the edge of anarchy as countries develop a nuclear threat to defend and secure dwindling food, water and energy supplies." The report went on to declare that the threat to global stability posed by climate change was indeed greater than that of terrorism.
Ironically, while climate change denial seems to be a communal oath among right wing politicians, folks in the military that they so staunchly support, are busy preparing for it, both strategically and tactically. Retired Rear Admiral Dennis McGinn has called climate change a threat multiplier.
Most of the coverage of the subject has focused on natural forces, not military ones as a threat to our continued existence. Should we be concerned about this? Will the Pentagon's prediction come true?
According to Christian Parenti, the author of the newly released book Tropic of Chaos, it already has. Parenti says that climate change is causing violence around the world right now, particularly in the global South. The book "looks at the intersection of the legacy of cold war militarism, free market economic restructuring and the onset of anthropogenic climate change" and traces how these factors, with particular emphasis on the latter as a kind of socio-economic last straw, create the conditions for increased civil war, religious war, banditry and increased violence. He suggests the best way to deal with this violence is to mitigate the exacerbating condition.
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