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Climatic Cataclysm: The Foreign Policy and National Security Implications of Climate Change Hardcover – June 6, 2008


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Climatic Cataclysm: The Foreign Policy and National Security Implications of Climate Change + Climate Change and National Security: A Country-Level Analysis + Climate Wars: What People Will Be Killed For in the 21st Century
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 237 pages
  • Publisher: Brookings Institution Press (June 6, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0815713320
  • ISBN-13: 978-0815713326
  • Product Dimensions: 9.4 x 6.3 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #911,311 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"Climatic Cataclysm builds on the best available scientific evidence to create three scenarios about the way the peoples of the world —ourselves included —may come to live as the result of climate change at various levels of severity. There is a key insight here, and it is that climate change will not only stress every ecological system but every political system on the planet, and that beyond a certain level, it can push them into chaos. This book is an important effort to translate the broad outlines of climate change into more specific visualizations of the social, political, and moral consequences for regions, states, and peoples. It has a quality of realism that reflects the breadth of experience of its contributors and also the skill of its editors in creating an integrated narrative. Very little time remains for organizing around a coherent idea of the impact of climate change and of the scale of the efforts that will be needed to cope with it. Climatic Cataclysm helps show the way." —Al Gore, Nobel Peace Laureate and former Vice President



"The authors provide an imaginative and worthwhile examination of what could turn out to be the greatest threat to our nation's security." — Tom and Jerry Blog



"This important volume, edited by a leading figure in the foreign policy establishment, makes an eloquent argument for why today's decision-makers have no choice but to act on the coming dangers of global climate change." —G. John Ikenberry, Foreign Affairs



"This disturbing, prophetic volume should be widely read." — CHOICE

Review

"Climatic Cataclysm builds on the best available scientific evidence to create three scenarios about the way the peoples of the world ¿ourselves included ¿may come to live as the result of climate change at various levels of severity. There is a key insight here, and it is that climate change will not only stress every ecological system but every political system on the planet, and that beyond a certain level, it can push them into chaos. This book is an important effort to translate the broad outlines of climate change into more specific visualizations of the social, political, and moral consequences for regions, states, and peoples. It has a quality of realism that reflects the breadth of experience of its contributors and also the skill of its editors in creating an integrated narrative. Very little time remains for organizing around a coherent idea of the impact of climate change and of the scale of the efforts that will be needed to cope with it. Climatic Cataclysm helps show the way." ¿Al Gore, Nobel Peace Laureate and former Vice President

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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By James A. Vedda VINE VOICE on May 26, 2009
Format: Hardcover
Although published by the Brookings Institution, this book is derived from a November 2007 study conducted through a partnership between the Center for Strategic & International Studies and the Center for a New American Security. Titled "The Age of Consequences: The Foreign Policy and National Security Implications of Global Climate Change," that study was authored by a team of experts in climate science, defense, intelligence, and foreign policy who expanded their report into this excellent book. Even if you've read the original report, get this book because it substantially adds to the information and analysis.
There have been many reports in recent years on the national security implications of climate change. This is among the best. Some recognizable names among the 12 authors are James Woolsey, former director of the CIA; Leon Fuerth, former national security advisor to Vice President Al Gore; and John Podesta, former chief of staff for President Bill Clinton. The other authors are also heavy hitters in their fields.
The authors created three increasingly grave scenarios: "expected" and "serious" over the next 30 years, and "catastrophic" over the next 100 years. These are quite frightening, particularly the latter two, and should not be read to small children. But this grave tone is appropriate for a report designed to warn of the urgency of the situation and present some serious thinking about its implications. The major implications are laid out in the final chapter for policy-makers, business leaders, and the rest of us to consider. A must-read for anyone who cares about what could happen in the rest of this century.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Midwest Book Review on September 4, 2008
Format: Hardcover
Could Global Climate do more than create environmental chaos? "Climatic Cataclysm: The Foreign Policy and National Security Implications of Climate Change" looks at the other implications that a shifting climate could visit upon a world. Pondering scenarios ranging from likely to full on possible doomsday-level scenarios, they are all explained on what they mean for the world, how they can be averted, and how they can be dealt with if it's too late to avert it. "Climatic Cataclysm" is an enlightening look at how nature can wreak havoc on politics.
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5 of 8 people found the following review helpful By James Safranek on August 26, 2008
Format: Hardcover
Given Brookings support for Bush's Middle East 'campaign' I typically would not turn to this centrist think-tank for policy direction on climate change, but I can bend with the warming winds on this issue, especially since these analysts got it right. I agree with the political implications discussed in this book: the political fighting in the U.S. has to cease so that alternative energy options are implemented ASAP. That is, as soon as (our next) President Obama takes office. Why ASAP?

Three future climate scenarios are laid out, each with successive implications for the very functioning of American society. The third scenario, or catastrophic tipping point, is predicated on man-made atmospheric carbon essentially creating a new and vastly foreign climate regime. This is consistent with the latest scientitific research on anthropogenic global warming.

Brookings analysts argue that this third scenario holds the greatest danger in around 50-100 years for both the natural world and human civilization as humanity faces forced migration, diseases, and the increased possibilities of nuclear war as a variety of national security threats dramatically heighten.

Skip the summer sci-fi reading and take this one on...since it reads like a dystopia anyway.
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