sexta-feira, 5 de junho de 2009

As alterações climáticas, segurança e política

As alterações climáticas começam a preocupar o Departamento de Defesa dos EUA e o Pentágono. No ensaio de John Broder, os militares incitam os governos a uma resolução económica eficaz para mitigar os efeitos do aquecimento global, caso contrário os custos serão muito mais elevados e desastrosos, se houver recurso a acções militares. Contudo Andrew Revkin (neste ensaio) vai mais longe, questionando se as pretensas medidas militares preventivas, que já estão no terreno, servem os reais interesses dos estados em conflito? A ler (em inglês).
Climate, Security and Politics

O conflito no Darfur foi em parte devido a seca intensa e prolongada
John Broder has a story above the fold in Sunday’s Times describing growing concerns of Defense Department planners over the potential destabilizing effect of the building global greenhouse effect.
Strategists and planners within the Pentagon have for many years been exploring the military implications of rising temperatures and seas and retreating Arctic sea ice. But such studies had, until recently, been a relatively low priority.
The story notes that lawmakers pursuing climate legislation are seeking to use the security risks embedded within climate change to build support among hesitant lawmakers.
The Pentagon is clearly taking the security risks related to human-driven climate change seriously. But do they hold up as justification for a bill capping carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases that would take decades to result in big emissions reductions?
One statement in the piece implies there’s an either-or aspect to the question:
“We will pay for this one way or another,” Gen. Anthony C. Zinni, a retired Marine and the former head of the Central Command, wrote recently in a report he prepared as a member of a military advisory board on energy and climate at CNA, a private group that does research for the Navy. “We will pay to reduce greenhouse gas emissions today, and we’ll have to take an economic hit of some kind. “Or we will pay the price later in military terms,” he warned. “And that will involve human lives.”
In contrast, many experts on climate and security policy would say this is really already a “both” issue. A host of climate studies, including the 2007 reports of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, conclude that it would take decades for substantial emissions cuts — even if achieved globally, let alone in the United States — to have a substantial impact on warming rates.
In the meantime, climate-related risks don’t exist in a vacuum. Even if the legislation took effect and emissions were curtailed, the world would still see disruptive pressures building in places already facing severe drought and flood risks with or without the added kick from greenhouse warming. Africa’s population could easily double by midcentury, and recent research has shown that its most volatile region, along the south flank of the Sahara, faces the inevitability of epic droughts.
Another reality is that while worries about climate-related instability are rising, near-term concerns about energy insecurity are already a top-tier issue both here and in China, the two dominant contributors to the planet’s greenhouse-gas blanket. China has made it clear lately that energy security there trumps climate concerns.
All of this surely speaks of glaring security challenges in a world heading toward nine billion people, with most of that growth in poor places and marginal environments. And there are plenty of actions that could cut energy insecurity while also curbing greenhouse gases.
But does this security issue relate to the main provisions of the climate bill, or more to how much the Pentagon and State Department spend on preemptive risk reduction as opposed to war-fighting, on the scope and focus of American foreign aid, on building prosperity and resilience in Africa and South Asia?

Obrigado Paixão da Água e ao Claro pela informação.

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