Terrorists kill people. Weapons of mass destruction have the potential to kill an enormous amount of people... [but] global warming in the long term has the potential to kill everybody."
-New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, addressing the General Assembly of the United Nations
Short of "killing everybody," global warming can and will likely lead to bloody competition for suddenly scarce arable land and fresh water - as it has already contributed, to some extent, to the tragic violence in Darfur. That is, if things go well and we are able to stave off the worst case scenarios.
Bloomberg rightly captures the magnitude of the stakes involved and highlights the confoundingly disparate treatment that the various threats to national security are receiving. This is a topic that I riffed on a little over a year ago:
The foreign policy/national security elite are rightly concerned with threats from an emerging China, regressing Russia and hostile non-state actors/terrorists - especially fear that the latter could acquire some sort of WMD that would wreak havoc on an American city like New York (my home).
But Ansar al-Carbon Dioxide could end up doing a much more effective job of it, rendering all those concerns, and many others, moot. There is no foreign policy if there is no planet after all, and business interests might suffer a bit if Wall Street is made to resemble an octopus's garden. But concern about the environment lacks the exhiliration of military conflicts, and international power politics, and so it goes largely ignored. I am certainaly not without blame on this front, I acknowledge.
Maybe it would help if we called it the War on Global Warming?
Or the War on Carbonofascism? Maybe we could pretend that our addiction to greenhouse gas producing fuels is the result of a plot by Iran and al-Qaeda to destabilize power structures making it easier for the implementation of the impending joint caliphate.
Global Warming = Dhimmitude!!Would that get the Republican Party's attention?