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Will men be able to stay calm ?

September 2003

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Climate changes of great magnitude, depending on where thay arise, might disrupt, or finish to disrupt, a precarious geopolitical balance, and favour an evolution propitious to conflicts.

A change of localization of favourable zones (for agriculture, for health, for anything else....) can generate important migrations, but most places on earth are already populated and newcomers will not necessarily be welcome. If the southern coast of the mediterranean becomes a desert, as certain simulations suggest, what will the 150 millions of local inhabitants wish to do ? Is Siberia becomes a green paradise but China a desert, what might - legitimally or not, that is not the question - arise in some chineses' mind ?

If some states go on refusing to take their share in reducing the emissions while some other are striken hard by some consequences of climate change, what might happen ? What would happen in the particular case of developped countries (therefore potentially potent for armed forces) that previously underwent similar environmental conditions, and that would evolve in radically different directions ?

Given the fact that a major disruptancy will most probably lead - among other things - to a large and persistant recession, given what some major recessions have sometimes produced in history (a previous episode, 70 years ago, what not that rejoicing...), how can anyone rule out wars and dictatures as a possible consequence of this perturbation, even in countries that consider they are definitely done with this kind of event just because it's been a while since they last experienced these things ?

Let's add that we live in a world where mass destruction weapons haver a tendancy to spread (and in my opinion they are as dangerous in the hands of so called developped countries, that are able as the other ones to produce dictatorships, civil wars, and "normal" wars), and that the fact that we have prevented ourselves from engaging in a major conflict for 60 years is not an absolute insurance, and the reader will understand that an imaginative writer might suggest a very long list of possible catastropha scenarios based on a climate turmoil.

How will men manage the aftermath - and particularly the bad surprises - of climate change ? It might well be, in fact, from this aspect that the most unpleasant consequences will arise....


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