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Climate Change and Security: Developing a Proper Understanding

The effects of global warming towards the environment have been evident through numerous cases. To add detail regarding how apparent it has become, shepherds in China have reported to be having problems with the acquisition of water wherein their herds might be able to drink upon. From this, it is not difficult to discern that one of the most serious effects of climate change is through the constant decrease of resources that was once readily available to most.

Based upon this, concepts of violence and conflict have been often associated with the effects of global warming. The concepts however of environmental concerns in relation to security have undergone a shift in terms of being more accurate and scientifically supported than the assumptions initially made to explain the possible development of resource based conflict. During the advent of the ideology that violence may arise from the further decrease of resources as caused by climate change.

One of the main factors identified to be considered as a potential source of conflict is the expected migration of massive amounts of individuals from poorly developed countries to those that are considered as dominant. The reason behind such a consideration is that it is possible resources will be further diminished in developed countries with the arrival of immense numbers of immigrants. In fact, as established in the European Union Summit, the occurrence of a huge influx of immigrants in requires the application of new methods and regulations in order minimize the associated security risk.

Hence, in this sense, conflict may arise not only from cultural differences but also if scarcity of resources is also developed in the dominant countries similar to what is expected to occur in underdeveloped nations. An alternate possibility of how violence may be triggered in relation to the subsequent decrease in resources is also identified in various studies and public discussions. Given that food and water will become difficult to acquire in various areas, either through a local or international perspective, the need to gain resources may develop into specific groups to take such resources by force.

From a simplistic point of view, this scenario is quite easy to conceive as individuals are often expected to conduct drastic measures if placed in a highly critical scenario. In fact, the idea that armed conflict are to occur if such effects of climate change upon resources have been manifested have even been supported and implied in the Third Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. In result, the presentations of such possibilities through government based discussions make it seem to the public that the scenarios will truly occur and is a cause for alarm.

Despite the fact that such claims and predictions have been often stated by the governments throughout the world, it is important for one to take note that there are alternative views and even discussions wherein such claims regarding security and climate change have been contested. The first attack towards the validity of such claims is the facts that upon closer analysis, the basis of the claims are all non-definitive and some are not even credible enough to be utilized for such purposes.

This is a generally important point to consider due to the fact that if such claims lack in proper basis, then it is as good as unsubstantial. Due to the appearance of such studies to be rather recent, it is expected that the overall public perception of such a future wherein resources are very limited is the same as what the government implies, hence it may be considered as a global consensus. In addition, to the weakness of supporting data used in the studies conducted by the global authorities, conflicting results from other studies have also been identified.

For one, in the study conducted by the State Failure Task Force, it has been assessed that the link between the reduced amounts of environmental resources and state failure are unrelated. Related studies have also been conducted in order to provide a method of simulating the possible actions of individuals during a similar crisis has also been done. Specifically, upon the observation of scarcity in croplands have not yielded in armed conflict; in addition, it has been determined through various studies that the most prominent cause of conflict even when considering areas of highly different nature is in fact the size of the population.

Also, besides conflicting data and studies that have alternative results, a lack of proper perspective has also been associated with the current thinking that security will definitely be compromised upon the continuous development of the effects of climate change. In fact, it is quite apparent that the perspective used in pertaining to climate change has generally been pessimistic. In fact, the occurrences of such claims are based upon the premise that the effects of climate change are rather unstoppable and cannot be solved or minimized significantly.

Aside from this pitfall in terms of the way in which the idea of security in relation to climate change has been classically presented, the scope of considerations used in most presented studies have at most been centered upon the consideration of the possible implications developed countries and apparently have not taken a complete consideration of the possible implications for developing or poor countries in general. In relation to this, some experts have even mentioned that there is a possibility of positive effects occurring for developing countries as a change in demands may occur.

In general, from what have been discussed, it is clearly presented that although it is quite important and possibly efficient to consider the worst case scenario, it is simply improper to focus on such a thought entirely. It is probable that the public may understand the information regarding security and climate change in the wrong manner, in which a possible outcome is the lack of initiative to help solve or alleviate the environmental crisis.

The thinking that the development of violence due to the continuous reduction of resources is imminent is rather faulty as proper assessment and considerations have not been included. Therefore, it is important to understand that further studies are needed so that both the global and local picture of the possible events that will follow climate change will be properly understood and if negative impacts are identified then counter measures may be considered.

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