Terrifying new book

I’ve just started reading a book called Climate Wars, by Gwynne Dyer. I chanced on an advance copy, but look out for it in a month or so. The author, a respected international affairs journalist, starts from the position that we need immediate global co-operative action in the next two decades to prevent serious global warming, and that isn’t very likely. So he has looked at what global warming is likely to do to international relations, talking to military analysts and geopolitical commentators, and then mapping out some potential scenarios.

And his conclusions are scary. Damn scary. I’ll post more when I finish the book, but a central theme is that continued population growth married with changing weather patterns will lead to terrible global food shortages.

Just one example. If the Himalayan glaciers melt, it will dramatically reduce water flow in the Ganges, Indrus, Mekong, Yellow River and Yangtze – rivers that feed a quarter of the world’s population.

That means hundreds of million of refugees and/or countries full of starving people which are prepared to go to any lengths to secure a food supply, including invasion of neighbouring nations. 

China, it should be noted, has never recognised Russia’s claim to Siberia – which Russia only annexed about 100 years ago under the Tsars. So China, unable to feed its population, will be eying off the now-productive agricultural land of Siberia 

As I said, it’s scary stuff indeed. I’ll post some more when I finish the book, but I’d recommend you get yourself a copy.


4 Responses so far »

  1. 1

    David Lewis said,

    There’s a .mp3 file, supposedly of a lecture given by Dyer on this topic, floating around the internet, and ABC, Australian Radio has podcasts that are interviews with Dyer on this book, from ABC Late Night Live, and ABC World Today. If people (like me) can’t get the book right away listen to those.

    Twenty years ago people talked about the implications for global security, but as global warming now seems real and threatening, types like Dyer are getting involved. Its fantastic. There’s no better way to get some action than if everyone in the entire world wakes up terrified its going to lose everything, and this book might contribute to that, I hope.

    Gwynne Dyer usually writes on war and security issues. He’s a former instructor at the U.K. equivalent of West Point, i.e. Sandhurst. He’s a book writer and columnist these days. Over a hundred newspapers carry his column. He writes as if global warming is real. He’s not a climate scientist trying to convince people the science is sound and what it is, Dyer is talking on the podcasts as if he accepts what the top flight climate people say, now then, here’s what it means as a contributor to the factors that have always led to war in the past.

    “I spent the past year doing a very high-speed self-education job on climate change but I think I probably talked to most of the senior people in the field in a dozen countries,” Dr Dyer said.”

    I’m wanting to study the book, as Dyer is someone people in my country Canada llook to for analysis. Its significant that he’s staked out any position at all in this debate, and we can expect other heavyweights in other fields to get involved as the denial of the last twenty years finally explodes.

    How did you get your advance copy and how can I get one? I’m near Seattle right now headed down to Oregon and Northern California on vacation. There’s a .mp3 file floating around the internet, and ABC, Australian Radio has podcasts that are interviews with Dyer on this book, from ABC Late Night Live, and ABC World Today

    abozoluser at gee mail dot com

  2. 2

    Danny Bloom said,

    “military analysts” “polar cities”

    You know I have been trying to contact Mr Dwyer for two years but he never replies. Gmail account on his website. i guess he only replies to PHDS and experts. Or maybe he does not read his email. No matter, I will find him one of these days.

    I want to ask him what he thinks about POLAR CITIES, also dubbed LOVELOCK RETREATS to house survivors of global warming in the future. Sited in Alasaka, Canada, Russia etc.

    See my website and feel free to blog on this idea pro or con. Surely the military analysts have already started planning for polar city refuges, although they probably give them a different name like “human population retreats” or something. But if future wars are to be fought over food, as Dwyer says, and he’s right, then climate refugees of these wars will need places to live. POLAR CITIES is one such answer. More to come. Let’s use our noggins and come up with good lifeboat fire exit ideas.


  3. 3

    Danny Bloom said,

    Danny Bloom adds:

    What would make a great news story for some investigate reporter to do would be: how are military analysts in the USA and Europe and Russia dealing with all this, and what kind of contingency plans are they drawing up, perhaps in secret, perhaps in public, for human population refuges in the northern areas? According to Gwynne Dwyer, who has spoke to many military people this past year and is himself a military analyst and now a news columnist, most rich nations have already convenved comittee meetings to address this very topic: where to put all the people fleeing climate change — climate refugees — as the Earth hots up? Nobody is calling them polar cities yet, and nobody is calling them Lovelock Retreats yet, but I am sure they have “names” for them. Ask the CIA or the Homeland Security people. Certainly, this should be made public news. When?

  4. 4

    Danny Bloom said,

    Canadian ecoactivist predicts future wars over food

    Gwynne Dwyer, author of new book CLIMATE WARS, has seen the future and
    it’s not a pretty picture

    By Danny Bloom

    Journalist and military analyst Gwynne Dyer is on a mission: to
    convince scientists and the general public that future global wars
    will be fought over food — not oil.

    In recent newspaper columns and speeches, he has highlighted what he
    sees coming down the road on terms of climate change and the future
    problems it will produce, and it’s not a pretty picture.

    On millions of American and Mexican “climate refugees” migrating
    northward to Canada and Alaska:

    “[Canada will] have a slight problem of 300 million American refugees
    at our border. […] We’re going to have to go along, it would be
    unneighbourly not to, and you don’t dare not co-operate [with the
    Americans]. I foresee a situation where we would share our food, as
    long as we weren’t starving more than they were.”

    On who’s to blame for climate change and the problems it will produce
    in the future:

    “Cheer up, it could be worse, but I can’t just remember how. Nobody’s
    to blame. As soon as we began mass civilization, we were bound to end
    up at this point. And now we have to deal with it.”

    On military analysts in Britain and what they’re worried about:

    “They’re not worried about the ice caps melting or polar bears
    drowning, though someone might set up a fund to buy polar bear life
    jackets, or rising seas. They’re worried about food supply.”

    On geoengineering concepts:

    “If the situation becomes dire enough, dire solutions, like a giant
    sunshade in space, may be needed. If the emergency is big enough, you
    may want to do it if it’s the only way to keep from driving off the

    So you read it here now in print online: the future wars of the world
    won’t be fought over oil or border demarcations, but food. Climate
    change will produce “climate wars” and “climate refugees”. We’d better
    start listening to the likes of Gwynne Dwyer. He’s not spouting off
    for nothing. He’s trying to warn us, to sound the alarm.

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