February 12, 2013, 8:00 PM —
Image credit: Flickr/CraneStation
The impact of climate change will go beyond an increase in extreme weather events to threaten U.S. economic and national security interests, a new Harvard study concludes.
"Lessons from the past are no longer of great value as a guide to the future," says Michael McElroy, Gilbert Butler Professor of Environmental Studies at Harvard University and co-lead author of the study. "Unexpected changes in regional weather are likely to define the new climate normal, and we are not prepared."
"We are not prepared." So what exactly are we not prepared for? From the report:
The important societal implication of global warming in the near term is not that portions of the earth are going to experience higher temperatures, increased precipitation and
increased droughts; it is that the extremes are likely to become more prevalent and more
frequent. What was once a 1 in 100 year anomaly is likely to become a 1 in 10 or 1 in 30
year anomaly or even more frequent in the near future. Our infrastructure and agriculture
is not designed to accommodate the increasing frequency and prevalence of such
extremes. Human security and the interests of most nations are at stake as a result of such
increasing climate stress. The national security context will change. The potential for
profound impacts upon water, food and energy security, critical infrastructure, and
ecosystem resources will influence the individual and collective responses of nations
coping with climate changes. U.S. national security interests have always been influenced
by extreme weather patterns. Now the risks will become larger and more apparent. The
study renders the judgment that the increasingly disruptive influences of climate extremes
necessitate their careful consideration in threat analysis, mitigation, and response. It is
in the best interest of the U.S. to be vigilant about extreme weather patterns, the behavior
of nations in their attempts to mitigate or adapt to the effects of changing extremes, and
impacts on social, economic, and political well-being.
Or we can just stop making God angry!
Thanks global warming deniers, their media enablers and the stooge politicians who do the bidding of energy companies for making sure we're not prepared for the droughts, floods, severe storms, heat waves and wars over water and food that appear destined to be a staple of our children's futures. Good job.