Global Warming

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Global Warming

            Serving as an assistant professor at the American University School of Integrated Services, Dr. Lee has written his article “Global Warming is Just the Tip of the Iceberg” in chapter 20 of The Environment: How Do We Sustain It? He focuses on the impending outcome of the effects from global warming. Lee (471) states that, “the cold war shaped world politics for half a century. But global warming may shape patterns of global conflict for much longer than that.” He deliberately instigates the need to change the mindset from basing global warming as an environmental problem only. It should depict changes to the western lifestyles while in other regions the significance will be more.

            The issues concerning security stories in the world will have lasting bounds to climate change. For example, Lee (471) states that, “living in Washington, I may respond to global warming by buying a Prius, planting a tree or lowering my thermostat. But elsewhere, people will respond to climate change by building bomb shelters and buying guns.” Initially, the cold war had been the most complex case the world had handled. In this instance, humans are their own enemies as concerns the human activities that are speeding up global warming and thereby causing negative effects to life forms and the environment. There is growing concern on the link between conflict and climate change.

            A report from 2007 indicated that there would be a possibility of political unrest in the countries severely hit from climate change and the results would be battle and outright bloodshed. Lee (472) points out that, “One key factor that could stoke these tensions is massive migration as people flee increasingly uninhabitable areas, which would lead to border tensions, greater demands for rescue and evacuation services and disputes over essential resources.” Global warming will lead to conflict through scarcity. Due to the drying up of glaciers, arable lands and space will shrink. This will cause competition of the available land and ideally, conflicts will occur over the same. The displacement of people will create tension in obtaining regions for their settlement.

            The second avenue of conflict from the global warming lies in the increase in abundance of a precious resource in the environment. For example, if the rising temperatures in Siberia, Alaska and Canada lead to availability of oil and gas, this will create a jostle up for the rare commodity that had previously been hard to acquire in especially international regions. In addition, the issue of sovereignty in regions of the previously considered cold parts of the world among nations is a surety of conflict. Passages in areas that have been transformed from ice-free corridors during summer will create tension in laying claim on the regions. Military conflicts will lead to territorial quarrels.

            Politics on equatorial tension will be a direct source of conflict with instability. A different belt of tension will also develop near the polar circles. This provides for a negative outlook of the future, which can be avoided. Lee (473) says, “for starters, we should redouble our efforts to slow down global warming and undo the damage humanity has already done to the environment.” Humans need to develop a positive approach in conserving the environment starting with personal changes in lifestyles. Common approach is required in combating the long-term threats posed by global warming to personal and national security. It should be a matter of concern.

Work Cited:

Lee, James. “Global Warming is just the tip of the Iceberg” read, Reason, Write. 11th Ed. Dorothy Seyler, Boston: McGraw Hill, 2014. Print.

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