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NEWS: Canadian military says water scarcity could provoke wars within 15 years

Mike DeSouza

Mike DeSouza

Mike DeSouza of Postmedia News reports on the front-page of the Ottawa Citizen today, “Critical energy and water shortages combined with climate change could provoke wars within the next 15 years, warns a newly-released analysis (Army 2040: First Look) by the Department of National Defence. ‘Global reserves of crude oil could become problematic by 2025,’ wrote Maj. John Sheahan in a draft version of the report… The analysis also warns that, even under conservative estimates, up to 60 countries could fall into a category of water scarcity or stress by 2050, making the natural resource ‘a key source of power’ or a ‘basis for future conflict.’ …But the report said that resource scarcity doesn’t directly cause violent conflicts, since those would also depend on other political, economic, military and social factors.”

“The draft report said that despite some ‘vigorous debates’ about the pace, cause, magnitude and impacts of global warming, there ‘can be no further debate that global climate change is occurring.’ It would turn the phenomenon into a ‘shock’ and not just a driver of change, the report said. Crop failures resulting in mass migrations and starvation, along with rising sea levels from melting ice caps and other factors, would be among the impacts. …Another section of the report said that melting ice in the North and the potential reserves equivalent to as much as 22 per cent of the world’s fossil fuels, could also create new challenges for Canada in the Arctic.”

“Maj. Sheahan is part of a Canadian team of analysts led by Lt.-Col. Michael Rostek, who are researching long-term planning scenarios for the military. …Rostek’s team has predicted four possible scenarios for the future, including one in which Canada would be at the forefront of a prosperous green economy that favours clean energy, environmental protection and promotes improving living standards around the world. But they said the path would depend on policy decisions made by governments today.”

The full article is at http://www.ottawacitizen.com/technology/EXCLUSIVE+water+shortages+climate+change+could+provoke+wars+report/5019945/story.html.