An Abrupt Climate Change Scenario and Its Implications for United States National SecurityImagine giant hyperpneumatic Edo Period octopi, with eyes as big as Nissan truck headlights, cavorting with female divers in ways that cannot possibly be posted to a family-oriented blog
By Peter Schwartz and Doug Randall
As famine, disease, and weather-related disasters strike due to the abrupt climate change, many countries' needs will exceed their carrying capacity. This will create a sense of desperation, which is likely to lead to offensive aggression in order to reclaim balance. Imagine eastern European countries, struggling to feed theirpopulations with a falling supply of food, water, and energy, eyeing Russia, whose population is already in decline, for access to its grain, minerals, and energy supply. Or, picture Japan, suffering from flooding along its coastal cities and contamination of its fresh water supply, eying Russia's Sakhalin Island oil and gas reserves as an energy source to power desalination plants and energy-intensive agricultural processes. Envision Pakistan, India, and China – all armed with nuclear weapons –skirmishing at their borders over refugees, access to shared rivers, and arable land. Spanish and Portuguese fishermen might fight over fishing rights – leading to conflicts at sea.
(Wow, is that image ever not worksafe ...but oooh, it is ooh sooo very bakumatsu! And it's Katsushika Hokusai, which means it is Art with a capital "A")
Or, getting back to imagining the unthinkable, as the authors suggest, imagine awesome sabertoothed turtle-orca-venus flytrap hybrids with frickin' lasers on their heads!
Seriously, not even I can "picture Japan...eying Russia's Sakhalin Island oil and gas reserves as an energy source to power desalination plants and energy-intensive agricultural processes."
Energy-intensive agricultucal processes? What energy-intensive agricultural processes?
What are you talking about you strange little men?
"Time to pull out the old Karafuto maps boys; there's some serious desalination that needs getting done here!"
Ah c'mon, contamination of Japan's water sources? From where? From what? This is an bloody island chain you numbats! Our water comes to us in the form of rain, the condensation of water vapor created in the most part by the evaporation of seawater off the surface of the Eastern Pacific.
If anything, global warming will increase Japan's supply of freshwater, make the winters milder and the summers cooler and wetter.
Sakhalin's gas reserves don't enter into the equation.
I do not know what is worse about this:
2) that the "picture Japan..." segment was the preface to UK Conservative Party leader David Cameron's op-ed in my morning's Financial Times*.
Global warming is real. It is serious.
Even if the President of the United States cannot get himself to say the words "global warming".
Possibly (probably) it is too late to avoid catastrophe.
But Japanese lusting after the energy resources of Sakhalin as a consequence of global warming?
Look, if anyone will find an techno-architectonic wonder solution to coastal flooding resulting from global warning using a massive quantity of concrete and a cussed unwillingness to do the smart thing and move to higher ground, it will be a country that puts a 10 meter wall around an island to guard against tsunami after a tsunami has already leveled the island's one town, or one that excavates giant tunnels to reroute and even more giant holes to store the waters of flooding creeks.
All kidding aside, the Edogawa Underground Flood Control Project is probably the least-celebrated of the manmade wonders of the world. Here is an explanation on how to arrange a guided tour.
* Just to make it clear, the prefacing of the Op-Ed with the ridiculous Japan scenario is in no way the FT's fault. It is entirely the fault of the credulous Cameron.