Despite the scientific evidence, some people still deny climate change and ignore the idea that the world’s temperature and conditions are changing.
However, denying climate change can lead to ignoring big issues that need to be addressed and could potentially threaten national security by lessening a country’s position on the global stage. The consequences of denying climate change can be felt in a number of areas.
International trade is important, but a growing reliance on global trade could potentially lead to food shortages and dramatic increases in prices. Relying too much on international trade could lead to a “growing risk to human security,” according to experts, and lead to systemic disruption.
Experts predict global warming will produce more violent storms and flooding, which could wreck havoc on roads, railways, and ports around the world. Major transportation hubs like the Panama Canal and roads in Brazil are especially in danger for being damaged, which would be particularly devastating.
The current trade system allows regions of the world to specialize in certain types of food to export around the world, which lowers costs and maximizes efficiency. However, the system could fall apart if climate change hurts the crops in one area of the world.
Corn growing in the United States, for example, could be hurt by rising temperatures, which would then affect the corn exports throughout the world. The U.S., Brazil, and Black Sea area account for 53% of the global exports of wheat, rice, maize, and soybean—together, these items are 60% of the food eaten around the world. Even a small change to one of these regions could lead to disastrous effects around the world.
Some of the biggest impacts for climate change will be felt in the world’s poorest and most underdeveloped countries, especially as marine fisheries across the globe are affected.
Climate change could potentially create sudden shortages of a number of food items as temperatures and rainfall change, affecting crop yields. Climate change means that ocean temperatures are rising, which could force some of the most valuable species to move out of their usual locations and destroy corals that support a huge variety of marine life.
The global fishing industry is worth $90 billion. Climate change could harm food security, public health, and overall livelihoods in poor countries that are less able to cope and don’t have emergency plans in place.
The countries most vulnerable to a potential drop in global fish production are mostly small islands, including Kiribati, Micronesia, the Solomon Islands, the Maldives, and Vanuatu. That doesn’t mean that larger countries are immune to the threat—China, Nigeria, and Indonesia are also at an increased risk. The ironic truth is that countries that have done the least to cause climate change are the ones whose fisheries will be the most affected by it.
Experts predict that climate change will escalate current global conflicts and push unstable countries and governments towards catastrophe. After all, if a region can’t get the food it needs and is focused on securing basic needs, it is less likely to focus on things like international cooperation and fighting terrorism.
This is already being seen with civil war-like conflicts in places like Guatemala and Nigeria, where climate change has affected crops.
Taking proactive steps to minimize these threats requires funds, and climate change deniers are less likely to approve such budget areas. But letting the problems grow only increases the chance that the problems spill over borders and put other countries at risk.
Historically, many countries have made decisions relating to climate change with only their own interests in mind. However, in order to be truly effective, these decisions need to be made by considering how they impact the entire world. Denying climate change puts countries at risk and makes them vulnerable to the changes that are already being felt.