Report: EU Must Build Military in Face of Climate Change *

The Trumpet
17.03.2008

The European Union needs to increase its civil and military power because of “serious security risks” posed by climate change, according to a joint report from the EU’s two top foreign-policy officials.

The paper draws attention to resource shortages in particular. EUobserver reports:

“Significant decreases [in crop yields] are expected to hit Turkey, Iraq, Syria and Saudi Arabia and thus affect stability in a vitally strategic region for Europe,” predicts the report, while “water supply in Israel might fall by 60 percent over this century.”

The document also warns of major changes to landmass leading to territorial disputes, political radicalization in poorer regions of the world, and the effects that sea-level rises and increases in the frequency and intensity of natural disasters would have on port cities and oil refineries.

The Trumpet has forecasted for years that resource shortages will increase tension between nations (see, for example, “The Coming Food Shortfall” and “Running Out of Water”). Europe will have to deal with these very real problems. The report points out that these problems will also increase the EU’s immigration issues, as people from poorer countries attempt to travel to areas that are thriving.

Much of the document, however, addresses a slightly different problem. The EUobserver reports:

The seven-page paper, to be submitted to EU leaders at a summit in Brussels later this week, warns of a range of stark scenarios, in particular the threat of an intensified “scramble for resources”—both energy and mineral—in the Arctic “as previously inaccessible regions open up.”

The logical progression, according to the authors, is that Europe needs a stronger military strategy to combat these so-called “climate-change-based security risks,” which has some Europe-watchers concerned.

“Some of these recommendations may well be sensible, but there’s no way of knowing until they’re fleshed out. The devil is in the detail. It’s important to know what powers the EU will assume in the event,” Tony Bunyan, head of civil liberties group Statewatch, said, adding that the EU could be on the road to obtaining a “nexus of powers.”

Although the really inconvenient truth is that man-made global climate change is far from proven, Europe is citing this as a reason for military build-up. Although the report calls for Europe to address some valid problems, Brussels is also using these problems as an excuse to build power. As the EUobserver points out:

For the most part, however, much of the climate-change-based security risks mentioned in the report have been listed elsewhere. What is new is the proposal of the incorporation of risks resulting from climate change into European defense policy thinking.

Historically, certain nations in Europe, Germany in particular, have invented a crisis to provide an excuse for taking controversial action. Global warming may be just such a “crisis.”

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