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Global Warring: How Environmental, Economic, and Political Crises Will Redraw the World Map Hardcover – January 5, 2010

4.1 out of 5 stars 8 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

If melting ice animates environmentalists, it also galvanizes the thoughts of geostrategists such as Paskal. The prospect of a navigable Northwest Passage is one of many specific effects of climate change that she discusses in this provocative overview of the future of international politics. Rising sea levels and shifting precipitation patterns also auger implications that Paskal elucidates with sardonic readability. Her wry asides lighten a serious forecast that rough political weather portends. China and the U.S. will contest control of the Pacific Ocean; India and China will vie for the watershed of the Himalayas; and Russia will capitalize on foreign covetousness for its vast resources. Paskal’s survey covers the elementary security situation of each of the great powers; assesses the adaptability of each one’s government to climatic alteration; and outlines their general strategy. In this way China’s interest in Pacific microstates becomes clear and—to American strategists paying attention to China’s brand of nationalistic capitalism—worrying. By extending contemporary anxiety about the climate’s future to traditional worry about international security, Paskal taps into two disparate audiences. --Gilbert Taylor

Review

“Cleo Paskal is original and compelling; a pioneering scholar of the new terrain where climate change confronts national security, she charts the dramatic implications not just for the game of nations but for their geographic borders, their resources and their fundamental interests.” ―Martin Walker, senior director of the Global Business Policy Council and Editor-in-Chief Emeritus of United Press International.

“Cleo Paskal's mastery over geopolitics has been fused to a remarkable understanding of just how the coming geophysical changes may affect our planet. This is the fist comprehensive view of the real consequences of environmental change.” ―M D Nalapat, UNESCO Peace Chair and director of the Department of Geopolitics, Manipal University, India

“Cleo Paskal's vividly illustrates the complex interconnections between climate change, environmental conditions, and energy security. Rather than just take a global view, she also demonstrates how environmental changes will impact the lives of people across the globe.” ―Chad Briggs, Senior Advisor, Energy and Environmental Security Directorate. US Department of Energy.

“In a field beset by hyperbole on the one hand, and complacency on the other, Cleo Paskal's work provides a refreshing, well-grounded and highly readable take on geopolitics and environmental change in the twenty-first century.” ―Jeffrey Mazo, International Institute for Strategic Studies

“[Paskal] writes with the power of a journalist underpinned by the research habits of an academic. . . . She has for years contributed learned articles on how rising sea levels may change international borders with major implications. Her latest book arrives with the clarity and importance of the crack of doom.” ―Tom Spencer, executive director, European Centre for Public Affairs

“Cleo Paskal in her authoritative new book uses historical examples and modern climate science to draw parallels with 21st century geopolitics which is giving rise to climatepolitics. Paskal's extensive examination points to the uncomfortable conclusion that every country and continent will be seriously impacted by environmental changes this century. The idea that somehow the US and the rest of the developed world will be shielded from the impacts of global heating is patently false.” ―Jerry Cope, Huffington Post

“Unlike so many other books on the subject, Paskal doesn't limit her scope to the catastrophic environmental damage that climate change could wreak. Instead, she expands her scope to provide a thorough and detailed explanation of how this looming environmental crisis will impact global security and the geopolitical status quo. Global Warring is a pleasure to read, even though its message is distressing. It is neither a sabre-rattling activist's rant nor a dreary policy tome, although it contains the most significant aspects of each. It is a book that makes the reader sit up and take notice and, with luck, take action.” ―David Leonard, Quill & Quire

“The melding of realpolitik and international relations with climate change is what makes Global Warring deserving of attention. . . highly readable and perceptive. [A] very important book.” ―Nature

“If melting ice animates environmentalists, it also galvanizes the thoughts of geostrategists such as Paskal… in this provocative overview of the future of international politics. Rising sea levels and shifting precipitation patterns also auger implications that Paskal elucidates with sardonic readability.” ―Booklist

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Press; 1 edition (January 5, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0230621813
  • ISBN-13: 978-0230621817
  • Product Dimensions: 6.5 x 1 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,884,716 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Jacqui Denomme on March 13, 2010
Format: Hardcover
To start off with, I must say that if we were to decide to elect a world government at some point in the near future and author Cleo Paskal ran for office I would not only vote for her, I would offer to be on her campaign team. The depth and breadth of her grasp of the coming effects of what she calls 'Environmental Change' (a much broader and more appropriate term than the more commonly used 'global warming' or 'climate change) is phenomenal.

I learned so much in this relatively short but very dense and impeccably researched book that put much of what I read in the news into perspective. I also benefited from the crash course in geopolitics that she delivers and appreciated her ability to hold both macro and micro-perspectives of the changes that have occurred in our past and that are to come in the future.

Her chart on page 244 is a must-read for anyone in the world who has a position of governance or influence. It is a brilliant synthesis of four aspects of preparedness for the potential hazards of the environmental changes that we are in the middle of and can expect more and more of. She describes three aspect of preparedness: 'Reinforce, Rescue, and Recovery' or preparation FOR potential disasters, planning for rescue when they occur, and the repair and cleanup afterward (which of course includes 'reinforce' in the event of another disastrous event). For each of these three aspects, there are four segments of society that must be involved and act according to their domain: Governments, the Private Sector, Society (NGO's, faith-based groups, community organizations, neighbourhoods, etc) and the Media. She goes on to give examples of how some nations have excelled in some areas but come up short in others.
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Format: Hardcover
The strength of this book lies in Paskal's capacity to relate a broad set of disparate and dynamic physical and social scientific findings into a coherent projection about the future. She does a surprisingly good job of herding cats. This well-crafted projection calls for an immediate set of policy responses which make sense. Because of the urgency of the writing and the author's sense of humor, this book is a page-turner. I recommend it to academics and non-academics interested in the relationship between international law and the use of force.
-Noah Weisbord, Visiting Assistant Professor of Law, Duke Law School
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Format: Hardcover
Cleo Paskal, an international political journalist who has written for The Economist and the New York Times is able in this book to show how the coming effects of global warming will affect international politics.

In her first chapter, "The Coming Storm," she gives a detailed look at the breakdown of civic life in New Orleans after Katrina. Because of lack of emergency planning and poor engineering by the Army Corps of Engineers, it took just four days for a functioning city to turn to anarchy, in which the U.S. Army was at war with gangs of thugs roaming the streets and looting at will. She makes the point that Blackwell security forces were allowed in before the Red Cross. Because of the lack of planning, the objective of government became not rescue and aid but the protection of private property. The use of force, she says breaks down the social compact.

The second part of the book deals with the cold rush, the opening of Canada's Northwest Passage and perhaps the Arctic Ocean to shipping. This will be a great boon to shipping as it will make the trip from Europe to Asia 3,000 miles shorter. The trip across the Arctic Ocean over the pole will be even shorter.

The U.S. has been very short-sighted in historically designating the Northwest Passage, which wends its way through Canadian islands as international waters. This commercial concern deprives Canada of the necessary means to regulate and control the passage. Without that regulation, Paskal says, North America is like a fortress with an open highway running right through it. The U.S. needs to accept Canada to help it protect its passage. If it does not, Canada will be tempted to enter security agreements with Russia and China, both of which want access to the Passage.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Informative and interesting perspective on world politics based upon environmental and geographic conditions.

Particularly found the discussion of a "Northwest Passage" below the Arctic Circle enlightening.
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