We live in an age when our actions have consequences…sometimes more than we ever even thought about when we acted, and sometimes more severe than ever we could have dreamed. We’ve heard about the threats posed by global warming and its climate impacts to our health and natural systems, to our water supplies, to our agriculture and forestry. But many Americans who are desperately concerned about national security, dismiss the science of global warming as a hoax and thus discount these potential impacts. They are not alone in overlooking national security issues. Many of us have not contemplated sufficiently how a changing climate could impact our very security as a nation. Fortunately, though resisted by a Congress in denial, our military has explored this issue.
In “The Age of Consequences: How climate change impacts resource scarcity, migration and conflict through the lens of US National security and global stability” Jared Scott offers an 80 minute documentary exploring exactly these issues (http://theageofconsequences.com/).
The film explores how the changing climate impacts gradually, or through sudden cataclysmic events. Any one of increasing temperature, ocean level rise, decreasing water and food availability increase instability can serve to promote unrest and conflict. The concern is that if we do not address these problems, their scale, duration and frequency will increase threatening peace in the world and posing problems particularly for the U.S. The evidence suggests that many conflicts previously thought to have socio-political roots may have been driven by our human confrontation with the consequences of a warming world.
The film’s unnerving assessment is by no means reason for fatalism – but instead a call to action to rethink how we use and produce energy.
All SOCAN meetings are open to the public.