National Security Now Involves Climate Change
The scientific community, and now increasingly the political community, has come to accept climate change as a circumstance of our dependence on fossil fuels. The concerns continue to be, rising sea levels, severe storms, heat waves, and droughts (to name a few). However, many societies continue to see the problem as a phenomenon rather than fact.
Several senators and military officials are now asking whether military intervention will be necessary to deal with the effects of climate change. This argument for Environmental Security is the idea that that as environmental problems worsen societies will have to deal with resource scarcity, energy scarcity, land security, biological security, and poverty issues, which could lead to social conflicts. These conflicts could topple governments and feed terrorist movements – making military intervention inevitable.
It is crucial that environmental security be addressed differently than traditional security issues. Military intelligence is usually state-centric relying on power strategies, and focusing on binary worldviews. This conventional definition needs to be redefined in the environmental and global context, in order to develop mitigation schemes before conflict arises. Having control and access to natural resources is a power issue and when that is taken away through environmental degradation violent conflict can ensue.
Relying on ingenuity will not solve the geopolitical challenges presented by climate change – but sustainable development will. If governments and communities can integrate sustainable measures into the economy and promote conservation, we can mitigate the consequences of climate change.
One such measure would be to incorporate green building standards and codes into mainstream construction. By giving builders, businesses, and homeowners incentives to save energy, conserve water and resources, and reduce waste, we can adapt to a more sustainable lifestyle. Green building can have widespread success in countries throughout the globe. Given that over half the world now live in urban centers, by adopting green building strategies we can create sustainable and healhty communities that compliment rather than complicate national security issues.
What other sustainable methods do you think could have widespread mitigation results?