By: PH Liotta and Allan Shearer
194 pages, Figs, tabs
In February 2004, a Pentagon report on climate change and its implication for national security received extraordinary attention and publicity. Public attention, however, focused almost exclusively on portents of inevitable doom and disaster--most particularly on a scenario outlining a possible future similar to a climate event of 8,200 years ago and its impact on the availability of food, energy, and water.
This book offers a broad examination of the meaning of climate change and global warming while maintaining a strategic perspective on the implications of environmental effects on all forms of security--national, international, and human (transcending borders and having more to do with basic resources). Given the uncertainty surrounding climate change as a specific event, the authors argue for recognizing the profound social, political, and human impact that could take place in the coming years. While recognizing the inherent dangers of prediction, Liotta and Shearer effectively present the case that the time to not only recognize--but deal with--potentially profound outcomes is now.
"Liotta and Shearer make compelling cases that offer a broad examination of the meaning of climate change and global warming; within that framework, they maintain a strategic perspective on the implications of environmental effects on security in its broadest sense. Several scenarios are created from the premise above in seven chapters that include rapid climate change; careful examination of security with a focus on the relationship between threats and vulnerabilities; principles behind creating and using scenarios; overview of several methods drawn from the larger literatures of futures and security studies that offer more focused images of the future relative to the context of climate change and societal needs; and finally, a summation that draws all this material together and provides some directions for further thought. This reviewer considers this a factual and unbiased work that reminds us how much remains to be done. Two appendixes explain the abrupt climate change scenario
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