Tuesday, June 28, 2011
Even Canada's Military Brass Get It - Finally!
Canada's Department of National Defence has run the numbers and, just like their counterparts at the Pentagon and British Ministry of Defence before them, concludes that energy shortages, water shortages and climate change could spark wars within the next 15-years. Well, duh!
"Global reserves of crude oil could become problematic by 2025," wrote Maj. John Sheahan in a draft version of the report, Army 2040: First Look. "This implies that (barring the discovery of significant new reserves, and barring the adequate adoption of substitute fossil fuels or alternative fuel and energy sources) critical energy shortages will develop in the time frame of (and perhaps prior to) 2025."
The report noted that alternative fuels and energy may not be enough to respond to rising demand for energy that is forcing oil production to reach its capacity — a threat commonly referred to as "peak oil."
"There can be little doubt that unrestricted access to reliable energy supplies is a global strategic issue, one for which, recently, numerous nations have been willing to fight, and have indeed done so," said the report, released to Postmedia News through an Access to Information request. "Thus the trend that envisions depletion of fossil fuels such as crude oil in coming decades may also contribute to international tensions if not violent conflict."
Sheahan is part of a Canadian team of analysts led by Lt.-Col. Michael Rostek, who are researching long-term planning scenarios for the military. Members of the team said earlier this spring that they had submitted their analysis to senior military officials who are still reviewing the work.
The analysis also warns that, even under conservative estimates, up to 60 countries could fall into a category of water scarcity or stress by 2050, making the natural resource "a key source of power" or a "basis for future conflict."
The draft report said that despite some "vigorous debates" about the pace, cause, magnitude and impacts of global warming, there "can be no further debate that global climate change is occurring." It would turn the phenomenon into a "shock" and not just a driver of change, the report said.
Crop failures resulting in mass migrations and starvation, along with rising sea levels from melting ice caps and other factors, would be among the impacts.
"These sorts of changes could lead to impacts resulting in the abandonment of large urban and cropland areas, further aggravating a broad range of existing resource scarcities," said the report.
...]The report] predicted four possible scenarios for the future, including one in which Canada would be at the forefront of a prosperous green economy that favours clean energy, environmental protection and promotes improving living standards around the world.
But they said the path would depend on policy decisions made by governments today.