March 25, 2009

Water Wars

from World Climate Report

Contrasting Ideas about Climate Change and War

....Ms. Barnaby set out to write a book detailing the history of “water wars”—wars fought over water scarcity—with special interest on how climate change may impact such conflicts in the future. Since all sorts of entities, including the United Nations, the World Bank, and General Sullivan, have made grave prognostications about conflicts developing from global warming’s impact on water supply, Ms. Barnaby surely reckoned that a book detailing the history of the subject would be a popular read.

But then she encountered a major roadblock—the more she looked for “water wars” the more it became obvious that there just weren’t any. Instead, she found that nations with water deficits “solve their water shortages through trade and international agreements.”

Ms. Barnaby detailed her investigations which ultimately led to her not writing the book (since there was nothing to write about) in an essay titled “Do nations go to war over water?”...

....Maybe the Subcommittee on Energy and Environment will invite Ms. Barnaby to their next hearing on climate change and national security for that they can get a more rounded briefing on the topic. But, probably they won’t, after all Ms. Barnaby includes this pearl of wisdom, “There is something other than water for which shortages, or even the perceived threat of future shortages, does cause war — oil,” which is decidedly not what those in control of the Subcommittee want to hear, after all, this is precisely the type of action (perceived threat of oil shortages) which they are promoting!

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