Among Climate Threats, Military Leaders See Population Growth, Natural Resources as Key Factors
In 2007, an influential analysis by 11 retired generals and admirals characterized climate change as a “threat multiplier” that could aggravate the conditions for conflict. Last week, in a follow-up report launched at the Wilson Center, members of the CNA Corporation’s Military Advisory Board framed climate change as a more direct and immediate risk, calling it a “catalyst for conflict.”
The new report re-examines the risks of climate change in the context of advancing science and a “more complex and integrated world.” Perhaps surprisingly, the group of retired flag officers from all four branches of the U.S. military also come out strongly in favor of cross-sectoral responses to climate change, noting that the food-water-energy nexus and demographic shifts are inextricably linked to vulnerability.
Rapid Population Growth Exacerbates Vulnerabilities
Since the Military Advisory Board’s 2007 report, world population has grown by more than a half a billion people. This growth means increased competition for natural resources, the authors write – specifically water, food, and energy, the availability of which is also exacerbated by climate change.
Current World Population
Net Growth During Your Visit