While government representatives sit idly, debating over cocktails whether to do something about global climate change with carbon trading schemes, their own houses are afire. Climate change, left unchecked, will doom every government on the planet, and it will happen much sooner than they presently imagine.
Because of the incredible overpopulation of the Earth, rapidly approaching seven billion people at a growth rate of 200,000 each day, the demand for food will soon out-strip that of the planet's ability to provide it. Let's face a few facts:
The oceans are all but fished-out, with food-fish stocks collapsing in many areas;
World phosphate fertilizer supplies are being rapidly depleted, and will be gone by late this century;
Peak Oil guarantees an approaching explosion in oil prices and severe and growing shortages, rendering energy for tractors, pumps, combines, refrigerators, and transportation prohibitively expensive.
Combine these realities with the compounding effects of climate change on agriculture as evidenced by recent events in Russia, and you can easily imagine that food supplies will be dropping dramatically along with the collapsing economies.
Lacking rain or extreme flood events, blistering heat and severe storms will destroy the ability of humans to produce food. This will destabilize governments in two ways: sharply reduced tax revenue due to lack of trade, and restive, hungry populations. Already there is increasing evidence from both the International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and German government defense analysis that the stress of increasing heat is causing an upsurge in conflict in some areas of the world.
The U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) has already acknowledged the rapidly growing threat in its Quadrennial Defense Review (QDR), which states
"Climate change will contribute to food and water scarcity, will increase the spread of disease, and may spur or exacerbate mass migration. While climate change alone does not cause conflict, it may act as an accelerant of instability or conflict, placing a burden to respond on civilian institutions and militaries around the world. In addition, extreme weather events may lead to increased demands for defense support to civil authorities for humanitarian assistance or disaster response both within the United States and overseas."
Unable to long sustain police and military forces without tax revenue to pay them, governments will soon be held at the mercy of mobs of hungry and starving people demanding to be fed, and willing to go after the food where ever they find it. Quoting from The Coming Extinction of Humanity:
"Water shortages for both drinking and irrigation will expand. Crops will whither for lack of water, and farmers will wait for rains that will not come.
Livestock, too, will be without adequate water as streams and rivers shrink and disappear in the growing heat. Without fuel for pumps, even what water is available will be inaccessible. Sheep and cattle will die in the fields.
Eventually herds will be slaughtered for food, and all remaining grains will be consumed directly by humans, which will alleviate, or at least delay, some of the worst famine. Precious stores of grain will be doled out to hungry millions, who will wonder where their next meal will come from."
This terrifying scenario is not empty rhetoric. Climate change will be a self-accelerating effect, as growing CO2 and atmospheric heat begin to melt the vast stores of methane clathrates which will cause a rapid feedback loop of heating far beyond the ability of humans to respond or adapt. Nor will other species be able to cope with the abrupt disappearance of their habitats. The process is already underway.
Again, quoting from the DoD QDR:
"...climate-related changes are already being observed in every region of the world, including the United States and its coastal waters. Among these physical changes are increases in heavy downpours, rising temperature and sea level, rapidly retreating glaciers, thawing permafrost, lengthening growing seasons, lengthening ice-free seasons in the oceans and on lakes and rivers, earlier snowmelt, and alterations in river flows."
Once the readily-available food supplies are consumed, urban populations will raid zoos and preserves, while rural residents will turn to 'bush meat' and rapidly deplete wildlife, driving hundreds of species to immediate extinction. Yet even that will not be enough to sustain the billions of humans.
And again from The Coming Extinction...:
"The scene will be repeated across the globe, with serious impacts even in 'first-world' nations such as Japan, France, Britain, and the United States. Brasil, Venezuela, Mexico, China, Vietnam, Malaysia, Indonesia, and many nations in both coastal and interior Africa will also be severely impacted. No place on Earth will be out of the reach of the calamity.
While these competing waves of hungry and unsheltered populations are scouring the countryside for food, the receiving populations will be attempting to defend the little they have. Because of the inevitable resistance to the refugees from existing populations, conflict will be unavoidable."
Governments will quickly find their backs to the wall as normally well-behaved populations become increasingly restive, and then outright rebellious and ungovernable. Government, stripped of its resources, will be powerless to act, or even defend its own interests. From The Coming Extinction...:
"Hunger is a powerful motivation, and normally law-abiding people will be forced to steal, fight, or die. In fact, all three will be inevitable on a mind-numbing scale. Scarce resources will be wasted in warfare. Food shortages will grow, rioting will occur, and mass starvation will become common.
While the forces of order will attempt to sustain laws and the authority of government, they will be strained to the breaking point and beyond by the rising tide of chaos.
The immense scale of the problem will overwhelm aid efforts, which will be largely ineffectual. The United Nations will attempt to muster resources, but will only be able to address the most limited issues as food shortages worsen in the major grain-growing nations as well.
Governments will reel in reaction to the outrage and pain of their citizens, and there will be no comfort for those who feel they have failed."
Once government credibility is destroyed by famine and ineffective response, there will be no role left for them.
Governments of the world need to come to the realization that their own self-preservation and that of their citizens is at stake when they consider the climate change issue. Nothing less than our strongest efforts will avert the potential tragedy.
Crossposted at http://blog.rjconnors.com/