Review and commentary of Lennon, Alexander T.J., et al., The Age of Consequences: The Foreign Policy and National Security Implications of Global Climate Change, Center for Strategic and International Studies and Center fora New American Security, November 2007
You can read and download the paper here: http://bit.ly/1L4Eyh0.
Even though the impact of climate change is becoming self-evident and the awareness of the public opinion is improving, the hazards that it could pose in terms of global stability and security haven’t already been fully grasped. The Age of Consequences is an important contribution to the debate over security issues related to climate change. Being the product of a miscellaneous group of experts coming from different professional and/or academic backgrounds, the study tries to be as much comprehensive as possible, developing three scenarios based on expected, severe and catastrophic climate cases. In fact, these climate cases are projections and not predictions. Yet, they underline the need of a conscious assessment of the implications for national security, due to the fact that the increase of climate change is consistent with a growth of unpredictable and abrupt events. Such events are likely to pose a serious threat to the US’ and the overall humanity’s capability to adapt and mitigate climate change in the “age of consequences”.
This paper is structured as follows. First, I will make a brief overview of the structure of the study, focusing on the major findings and implications of the scenario-based approach used. Secondly, thanks to the historical contribution of the first chapter of the study, I will try to critically assess the projections and connect them with contemporary events which are likely to have an impact on foreign policy and global security both in the short- and medium-term. Thirdly, I will present a case study on the MENA region using some of the findings of The Age of Consequences, arguing that we are already living in the “age of consequences” and that a business-as-usual behavior of both regional and global actors will increasingly endanger the global stability, equality and development. Finally, I will present my conclusions on the importance of the findings of the study and the urgency of a coordinated global action.