Climate Wars: What to Do With the New Set of “Climate Change Have-Nots”?


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The Center for a New American Security is taking a novel approach to thinking about climate change. CNAS — and particularly its CEO Kurt Campbell — are leading a consortium of think tanks and philanthropies in a planned simulated war game exercise on the consequences of climate change.
The group includes the Center for a New American Security, the Center for American Progress, the Heinrich Boell Foundation, the Pew Center on Global Climate Change, the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, and Brookings Global Economy and Development.
My hunch is that they are going to find new swaths of the world that become developmentally unsustainable and that resource-based civil wars within states, conflicts between states and ethnic cluster-driven clashes are likely to erupt globally.
The nodes of wealth and the power in the world in Europe, Russia, China, and the US will have to determine whether they attempt serious adaptation strategies in light of what is projected, or whether they develop policies of injecting their forces into the middle of civil wars (the path the US seems to be on now), whether they pull up their respective drawbridges and wall themselves off from the conflicts and eroding circumstances of “climate change have-nots”, or some mix of these.
— Steve Clemons


2 comments on “Climate Wars: What to Do With the New Set of “Climate Change Have-Nots”?

  1. Dan in C-ville says:

    Hey Steve,
    Enjoy your site. For a few interesting, existing in-depth hypotheticals about scenarios for the future,check out ch. 25 (Possible Worlds) in Philip Bobbitt’s The Shield of Achilles.


  2. jon says:

    The US cannot isolate itself from other countries and the effects
    of global warming. The impacts are too pronounced and widely
    distributed, and the economy is too widely integrated and
    dependent on sources of goods and services from all parts of
    the globe.
    Additionally, as the (formerly) largest economic power, the US is
    a symbol of the engine of wealth that has used the world’s
    resources from every country, and created the environmental
    impacts and climatic changes that countries and peoples will
    suffer from. All those SUVs make a big impression. For better
    or worse we are the symbol.
    We are also the actuality, using more than a quarter of the
    world’s energy production for a fraction of the population. Our
    energy usage is double that of Europe’s for a bout the same
    standard of living, and now GNP. Though twice as productive
    per unit of energy as we were in the ’70’s, we still lag the world
    Current US foreign policy and actions have been oriented
    towards trying to isolate ourselves from the impacts, while
    securing sources of supply, without regard for social, political
    and environmental impacts. It is a zero sum game that seeks to
    keep the US from being a loser in the competition. We should
    expect to hear a lot from peoples and nations that don’t want to
    be zeroed out.


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