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Unformatted text preview: t; in fact, the greatest threat imaginable. But viewing climate change as an environmental problem fails to do justice to the magnitude
of the peril it poses. As Reid’s speech and the 2003 Pentagon study make clear, the greatest danger posed by global climate change is not the
degradation of ecosystems per se, but rather the disintegration of entire human societies, producing wholesale starvation, mass migrations and
recurring conflict over resources. “As famine, disease, and weather-related disasters strike due to abrupt climate change,” the Pentagon report
notes, “many countries’ needs will exceed their carrying capacity”—that is, their ability to provide the minimum requirements for human survival. This “will create a sense of desperation, which is likely to lead to offensive
aggression” against countries with a greater stock of vital resources. “Imagine eastern European countries, struggling to feed their populations
with a falling supply of food, water, and energy, eyeing Russia, whose population is already in decline, for access to its grain, min...
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