U.S. intelligence community warns of rising climate security threat

The Guardian reports: Climate change has the potential to stoke regional instabilities and fuel international tensions, according to a major new report from the US National Intelligence Council.

Released yesterday, the Global Trends 2030 report seeks to map out the security trends that will shape international relations over the next two decades. It is the latest in a series of studies from national security bodies around the world to acknowledge that climate change and its likely impacts on food, water, and natural resource supplies represents an emerging security threat.

“Demand for food, water, and energy will grow by approximately 35, 40 and 50 per cent respectively, owing to an increase in the global population and the consumption patterns of an expanding middle class,” the report states. “Climate change will worsen the outlook for the availability of these critical resources.”

The report argues that scarcities can be avoided, but only if co-ordinated steps are taken to improve productivity and efficiency across a raft of industries and economies.

“We are not necessarily headed into a world of scarcities, but policymakers and their private sector partners will need to be proactive to avoid such a future,” the report states. “Many countries probably won’t have the wherewithal to avoid food and water shortages without massive help from outside.”

It also acknowledges that a series of technology breakthroughs will be needed to address climate-related risks. “Key technologies likely to be at the forefront of maintaining [energy, food and water] resources in the next 15-20 years will include genetically modified crops, precision agriculture, water irrigation techniques, solar energy, advanced bio-based fuels, and enhanced oil and natural gas extraction via fracturing,” the report argues.

“Given the vulnerabilities of developing economies to key resource supplies and prices and the early impacts of climate change, key developing countries may realise substantial rewards in commercialising many next-generation resource technologies first.”

So, in order to mitigate the effects of the environmental damage caused by the excessive use of fossil fuels, the “intelligence” community recommends expanding the use of environmentally destructive fracking, increased toxification of agricultural land through the use of GMOs and in the process there will be profits to be made. Something’s wrong with this picture.

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