Similar scenarios will be replicated all across the

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Unformatted text preview: n strategic thinking may be under way. Environmental perils may soon dominate the world security agenda. This shift is due in part to the growing weight of evidence pointing to a significant human role in altering the planet’s basic climate systems. Recent studies showing the rapid shrinkage of the polar ice caps, the accelerated melting of North American glaciers, the increased frequency of severe hurricanes and a number of other such effects all suggest that dramatic and potentially harmful changes to the global climate have begun to occur. More importantly, they conclude that human behavior—most importantly, the burning of fossil fuels in factories, power plants, and motor vehicles—is the most likely cause of these changes. This assessment may not have yet penetrated the White House and other bastions of head-in-the-sand thinking, but it is clearly gaining ground among scientists and thoughtful analysts around the world. For the most part, public discussion of global climate change has tended to describe its effects as an environmental problem—as a threat to safe water, arable soil, temperate forests, certain species and so on. And, of course, climate change is a potent threat to the environmen...
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