Geo-green, geo-green, geo-green
Tom Friedman wrote another geo-green column this weekend, presumably hoping that repetition begets action. The piece does not cover new ground for Friedman or the argument but is useful for keeping the issue on the front burner. It is both fitting but also a bit concerning that he twice quotes Peter Schwartz, the scenario writer (and occasional Hollywood script consultant) behind the Pentagon climate change report that got so much attention after mentioned in Fortune.Schwartz is simultaneously appropriate (he often places climate challenges within larger political and security contexts) and limiting (he is not a climate expert and his abrupt climate scenarios posit everything goes to hell in a handbasket simultaneously) as a source of confirmation and legitimation for Friedman and the argument.
A number of other geopolitically thinking environment experts might be lesser known but greater authorities for Friedman to consult. Some include Nigel Purvis of The Brookings Institution and Josh Busby of Harvard University, who penned a short climate and security piece as an input to Kofi Annan’s High Level Panel on Threats, Challenges and Change. It is reprinted here (PDF) in the Woodrow Wilson Center’s Environmental Change and Security Project Report.
The German government issued a climate and security report a few years back. Best to focus on the third chapter by Sebastian Sebastian Oberthür, Dennis Tänzler and Alexander Carius of the Berlin-based Adelphi Research.
The climate-security link will be given more academic treatments this summer at an Oslo workshop of the Global Environmental Change and Human Security Project (GECHS) of the International Human Dimensions Programme on Global Environmental Change (IHDP).