Discussion: Climate Change & War
CAMDEN CONFERENCE DISCUSSION SERIES: Climate Change and War – Inevitable?
Join the Conversation!
“Climate Change and War – Inevitable?” Discussions have now concluded, but the information and resources are below:
- Thursday, January 16, 2014, 6:30-8:00 p.m. at the Rockland Public Library
Wars have been a means of resolving conflicts since the beginning of time. Conflicts of the future will be fought over the lack of local resources basic to life – fresh water and food. By 2050, it is estimated that 8 billion people will live in cities; world population will grow to 9 billion. Climate change and increasing populations are severely straining rivers, reducing farmland (24% is already gone) and creating conflicts along borders formed by water. Fresh water, in particular, is seen as a vital economic resource and a critical element of geo-political relations and national security interests.
The Camden Conference announces the fourth topic in the new Discussion Series – entitled “Climate Change and War – Inevitable?” Join the conversation! The discussions are like a book group, requiring preparation by reading short articles/viewing brief videos that form the basis of your participation. Estimated time to prepare for this topic is 40 minutes. There is a 10-page article and two audio interviews 15-minutes. We would like to emphasize that there are additional articles and videos listed for this topic that you may want to view to enhance your knowledge. A facilitator from the local community will be there to keep the discussion on track.
The essential articles and videos are listed below, or you may click here to download the complete reading list. Alternatively, a reading copy of the essential articles will be available at the library circulation desk.
Essential Articles and Videos
1. Climate Change and Conflict (2013). Living on Earth audio interview. 6:55 minutes. An interview by Steven Curwood with Ted Miguel of UC-Berkeley on climate change.
This is a recent seven-minute segment of NPR’s Life on Earth series. NPR’s Steve Curwood interviews Edward Miguel of UC Berkeley. Miguel was one of the researchers who published the results of a new study, published in the renowned journal Science, that shows a direct link between higher temperatures in the world’s climate and increased conflict ranging from individual violence to civil war going all the back to the Mayan period.
Facilitator’s note: The link will take you to a transcript/menu page for the entire program aired on August 2, 2013. To hear the interview, click on the play button for the first segment, Climate Change and Conflict, found near the top of the screen. To view the transcript for the interview, click on the title itself.
Note: Because there are numerous segments on this Web page, to print out just this transcript, copy the transcript itself and paste it into a word processor and print from there.
2. Climate Change War Game: Major Findings and Background (2009). A working paper from the Center for New American Security. Sharon Burke and Christine Parthemore. 10 pages.
This is a summary of the proceedings, put together by the Center for New American Security (CNAS), of a gathering of 45 prominent scientists, government policy makers, and business leaders from around the world. The group was divided into four teams representing the US, the European Union, China, and India — the four largest contributors of carbon to Earth’s atmosphere. In simulation mode, the four teams were instructed to come up with “framework agreement” on managing the effects of long-term climate change. They were given three days to accomplish their (simulated) task. This reading is a summary of their findings.
Note: To print out this article, simply print the page using your computer’s print command.
3. ‘Uncertain’ Science: Judith Curry’s Take On Climate Change (2013). An interview on National Public Radio. Richard Harris of NPR. 7:50 minutes.
Judith Curry, chair of the Department of the School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences at the Georgia Institute of Technology, believes that if climate scientists more readily would acknowledge the inherent uncertainties of the issue, skeptics would more likely accept the established central tenets of global warming.
Note: To print out the transcript of this interview, click on the “Transcript” link at the top of the page and then print the transcript using your computer’s print command.
For assistance or more information about the Camden Conference Discussion Series, please contact the Camden Conference Office by email to [email protected], or call 207-236-1034.
The 27th Annual Camden Conference: The Global Politics of Food and Water, will be held February 21 through 23, 2014. The mission of the Camden Conference is to foster informed discourse on world affairs through year-round community events, public and student engagement, and an annual weekend conference.