Climate Crisis as a Security Threat (Essay Sample)
Climate change poses threats to national security, as effects like rising sea levels and catastrophic storms threaten both military and civilian infrastructure and can even affect migration patterns. climate change is not only an ENVIRONMENTAL issue but also a security issue. in a detailed research, discuss HOW CLIMATE CHANGE IS PERCEIVED AS A SECURITY THREAT. WHAT SECURITY THREAT IS POSED BY CLIMATE CHANGE?source..
Climate Crisis as a Security Threat
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Climate Crisis as a Security Threat
The climate crisis is reshaping today’s world with the rapid change in the earth's climate. Defined by changes in average weather conditions for extended periods, climate change entails changes in temperature, precipitation patterns, the frequency and severity of certain weather events, and other climate system attributes (Barnett, 2013). Climate change has significant impacts on the environment and people's livelihoods. Common impacts include drought, rising sea levels, severe weather events, heat waves, and disruption of regional weather cycles (Lautensach & Lautensach, 2020). These effects are linked to human security. As the climate crisis intensifies, its impacts exacerbate the existing economic, social and environmental challenges, which contribute to insecurity (Fenton, 2014). Scarce resources like food, water and economic security trigger security concerns associated with climate change. Other impacts include forced migration and displacement, weakened military facilities, loss of livelihoods, and political instability. Often, vulnerable regions that are affected by scarce resources are prone to geopolitical instability that raises security concerns (Vietti & Scribner, 2013). The nature of climate change as an existential threat has become significantly clear, with discussions over how to combat it dominating the agendas of international organizations. Several global agencies recognize the implications of climate change on security and have recognized climate change as a security threat (Lautensach & Lautensach, 2020). This piece examines how the climate crisis is perceived as a security threat and assesses relevant proposals attempting to address this threat.
One way climate crisis is perceived as a security threat is through scarcity of resources that undermines livelihoods and increases migration or displacement (Lautensach & Lautensach, 2020). Climate change diminishes access to resources, which increases the possibility of conflict. Droughts are becoming more extreme worldwide as climate change alters air currents. This new breed of extreme drought can destabilize societies. A severe drought can ravage agriculture, depriving individuals of food sources and economic activity (Barnett, 2013). It also dries up water points, making it difficult for people to access water. If these events occur in fragile areas that already experience political tensions, the conflict prospect could be severe as people compete for the available resources (Lautensach & Lautensach, 2020). Equally, extreme flooding and precipitation could overwhelm crop systems and cause widespread contamination. This could be a tipping point in conflict environments.
Syrian Civil War is a perfect example of how the climate crisis threatens security (Lautensach & Lautensach, 2020). Studies show that the Syrian Civil War has intensified due to water shortage caused by climate change (Lautensach & Lautensach, 2020). Water scarcity has always been an issue in Syria. The country’s water sources, such as Rivers Euphrates and Yarmouk, have stirred tension due to the management disputes between the neighboring countries (Lautensach & Lautensach, 2020). From 2006 to 2011, Syria encountered a period of extreme drought that escalated the situation (Lautensach & Lautensach, 2020). Agricultural produce declined. About 75% of farmers' crops failed, and around 85% of livestock died from hunger and thirst (Lautensach & Lautensach, 2020). Currently, the drought situation in Syria is even direr. In 2016, the grain yield reduced to 50% of the yield in 2011 (Lautensach & Lautensach, 2020). This decline resulted in major economic instability in the country.
Water scarcity, crop failure, livestock death and financial hardships influenced rural-urban migration (Lautensach & Lautensach, 2020). This movement placed cities under great stress, with people competing for scarce resources, jobs, food and shelter. As a result, social unrest and dissatisfaction increased, making scholars view the water shortage as a major tipping point in the war. Although the Syrian Civil War would have occurred regardless of a drought, it is worth noting that the drought conditions aggravated the existing conditions. This war has been active since 2011 (Lautensach & Lautensach, 2020). It has led to the loss of millions of people and left millions of others in need of humanitarian assistance (Lautensach & Lautensach, 2020). The war has created turmoil between countries that disagree on the effective measures to be taken and has created tension between nations divided on accepting refugees in their societies. In some areas like Darfur, the loss of fertile land due to prolonged drought has forced farmers to migrate into regions traditionally used by herders (Burrows & Kinney, 2016), sparking conflicts that continue today.
Another way climate change is perceived as a security threat is through its ability to promote insecurity. Climate change strengthens insecurity through migration. Disruptions in the economic lives, displacements, and political persecution linked to climate change constitute human security threats (Huntjens & Nachbar, 2015). The world is experiencing the worst refugee and migrant crisis, with over 65 million people displaced from their homes and more than 21 million seeking refuge in other nations (Lautensach & Lautensach, 2020). The rural-urban migration influx is expected to nearly double in the next few decades due to the devastation of climate change that forces people to relocate to cities or seek refuge in neighboring countries. However, many cities are already struggling to tackle their climate issues.
From rising seas to freshwater shortage, population growth and fragility in cities have made urban areas the epicenter of economic and social inequalities: - increasing the risk of violence and insecurity (Fenton, 2014). A case in point is Arman, Jordan, where water mismanagement, changing precipitation patterns and a rapidly growing urban population
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