For the past seven years, freelance journalist Gwynne Dyer has been trying to understand the military's new interest in climate change. From the interviews he conducted with scientist and government officials Dyer came to an alarming conclusion: the lack of food production caused by the earths rising temperatures will create massive death and incredible chaos. "Al Gore sugar coats the situation," said Dyer. "If we don't stop the global temperature from rising, it's going to get bloody as the world fights for food." Dyer's book, "Climate Wars: The Fight for Survival as the World Heats," examines this potential global conflict. According to Dyer, for every degree Celsius the temperature rises, the earth as a whole, looses 10 percent of its food production. Though food production isn't affected evenly across the planet, it is still a problem that needs to be solved. Dyer says that many countries that have the power to better the environment have a "lifeboat" mentality. According to Dyeer a lifeboat can only hold a designated number of people, and countries can only have a maximum population, so it's going to get ugly when you have to keep people out to save yourself. "When do you stop calling them economic refugees and start calling them climate refugees?" said Dyer. Last Wednesday night at The Regulator, a independent bookstore on 9th Street about 30 people gathered to hear Dyer speak and to get a signed copy of his new book. "It's important to get more people involved and more people to act fast," said retired high school counselor Marvin Woll of Raleigh. "This summer alone had a record number of days with temperatures above 90 degrees." "All you ever hear on the news about climate is that it's going be another beautiful day in the Triangle," said concerned citizen Linda Rodriguez of Durham. "You never hear about the massive floods and food shortages that many countries are enduring from climate change." Dyer is considered an expert on the military issues. He has served in the naval reserve of Canada, the U.S. and England and has taught as senior lecturer of war studies at England's Royal Military Academy Sandhurst. In 1983 Dyer produced the documentary "War." The eight-hour miniseries was shown in 45 different countries and commissioned by the National Film Board of Canada. One installment of the documentary, "The Profession of Arms," was nominated for an academy award. Dyer's political column is circulated in major newspapers all over the world, including the Japan Times and Egypt Today. In the United States, his column circulates in several major papers, including the Raleigh-based News and Observer. Dyer hasn't always been interested in climate change. It wasn't until he took an annual trip to Washington, D.C. as a reporter that his view of the climate grew dim. "I followed climate change like I followed oil prices," said Dyer. "I didn't get it ..." Dyer said that there was a real undercurrent of panic about climate change in many of his interviews. He said his interview with NASA climatologist James Hanson was especially worrisom. He also examined research done at Hans-Joachim Schellnhuber of the Postdam Institute for Climate Impact Research for a better understanding of the impact of climate change. According to Dyer, our military's alarming dependency on fuel is pushing the Pentagon to begin using alternatives. Over half of the casualties in Iraq came from soldiers protecting envoys that were hauling fuel.
Dyer's said Pentagon and CIA sources said that the Mexican Border will be completely closed within the next 10-15 years. It is America's way of saving it's own on the lifeboat. Since much of Mexico is in the subtropics, their food production will be badly hurt by climate change. According to Dyer, their rainfall has already been cut by 50 percent over the last 10 years. Dyer said that that when half the nation is either recent or of direct Mexican decent, blocking out others trying to come in will cause nothing short of a civil war. "The amiable fiction is that you can't shut a two, three thousand mile curtain if you are not willing to kill people." Dyer is not entirely hopeless about the earth's future. He has higher hopes now than he did when he started the book. Dyer's solution: geoengineering. Dyer said that our only parachute in this global conflict is altering specific parts of the earth's environment to keep the earth from heating up so fast. One form of geoengineering that he highlighted was enhancing the clouds over the earth's oceans to help reflect sunlight back out of the earth's atmosphere. He also mentioned underground storage of carbon dioxide as a way of reducing greenhouse gasses.
Dyer's book can be purchased online at www.gwynnedyer.com.