IEET > GlobalDemocracySecurity > Fellows > Marshall Brain > Eco-gov
How to solve global warming conflict
Marshall Brain   Feb 26, 2008   Brainstuff  

The only word that can be applied to a recently-revealed military report is “depressing”: Now the Pentagon tells Bush: climate change will destroy us

How depressing? The article opens with: “Climate change over the next 20 years could result in a global catastrophe costing millions of lives in wars and natural disasters.” Here are the reasons why:

1) “European cities will be sunk beneath rising seas as Britain is plunged into a ‘Siberian’ climate by 2020.”

2) “As early as next year widespread flooding by a rise in sea levels will create major upheaval for millions.”

3) “The planet is carrying a higher population than it can sustain. By 2020 ‘catastrophic’ shortages of water and energy supply will become increasingly harder to overcome, plunging the planet into war. They warn that 8,200 years ago climatic conditions brought widespread crop failure, famine, disease and mass migration of populations that could soon be repeated.”

Strangely, the same thing came out last year about this time:  Military: Global Warming may Cause War

From the article:

The military report’s co-author, former Army Chief of Staff Gen. Gordon R. Sullivan, also pointed to sea-level rise floods as potentially destabilizing South Asia countries of Pakistan, India, Bangladesh, Indonesia and Vietnam.

Lack of water and food in places already the most volatile will make those regions even more unstable with global warming and “foster the conditions for internal conflicts, extremism and movement toward increased authoritarianism and radical ideologies,” states the 63-page military report, issued by the CNA Corp., an Alexandria, Va.-based national security think tank.

Wouldn’t it be nice if, when faced with a crisis, people instinctively worked together to solve the problem rather than blowing each other up? How could we get to that point? It might seem strange when you look at the title, but this article may hold some of the answers:  Why We Banned Legos 

The situation described in the article is a little like a modern day “Lord of the Flies.” The article looks at the behavior of people around a scarce resource - in this case Legos. From the article:

Occasionally, Legotown leaders explicitly rebuffed children, telling them that they couldn’t play. Typically the exclusion was more subtle, growing from a climate in which Legotown was seen as the turf of particular kids. The other children didn’t complain much about this; when asked about Legos, they’d often comment vaguely that they just weren’t interested in playing with Legos anymore. As they closed doors to other children, the Legotown builders turned their attention to complex negotiations among themselves about what sorts of structures to build, whether these ought to be primarily privately owned or collectively used, and how “cool pieces” would be distributed and protected. These negotiations gave rise to heated conflict and to insightful conversation. Into their coffee shops and houses, the children were building their assumptions about ownership and the social power it conveys…

Whether you agree with the point of the article or not, it offers an interesting window into the world of human behavior - something that starts with the thinking of little kids. Perhaps by understanding the behavior, we can change the outcome predicted in the military report.

Marshall Brain is a fellow of the IEET, and the author of The Day You Discard Your Body, Manna and the founder of


i think instead of telling us what global warming is and what you wrote last year about ‘military global warming may cause war’ or something..actually tell us how to solve global warming instead of gossiping about it!! paige emery

the prize to the shallow and shameless self-will is what we are facing as the “global warming threat’. it cuts the very roots of hope, donfidence and the good natured will to sustain and live a meaningful life. so there is anarhcy and dissention let lose among the dumb multitude in dissipating silence! It is the worst part than the actual plague! It is contagious!! unless something concrete and viable is done the inner harmony and peace will dissolve and the rule of nemesis can take over. Man has to be responsible for what he has done. Eaten the fruit of wisdom and boasts he can be the dupe of immortal master. He has become the monster instead. lost the harmony and the pleasantness of living. yet i am sure we can make amends if we are earnest and divinely daring. Either make it or get saked. there is no one to monitor and supervise. it is the hardest vision needed and yet i think it is possible if we do put all our wil and souls together. i do belelive once for all. God is merciful and kind to even the intolerable and inhuman. it is the simpleton who makes the real core of living. we have to take into account the soul of nature and the fair globe that we live in. It is not yet too late. but…......
yours truly,

Yea couldnt u just tell us a straight answer about how to solve global warming instead of yappin on about millitary???????

YOUR COMMENT Login or Register to post a comment.

Next entry: Smart Policy: Cognitive Enhancement in the Public Interest

Previous entry: George Wins Three 2008 Blogisattva Awards