The Age of Consequences

Global Security Combined Assessment: This summary addresses global security implications surrounding likely warming in the event that political will remains stymied by a general lack of understanding of the scientific understanding and confidence levels in the evidence of human caused global warming. It is considerate of implications including the magnitude of impacts including: economic, resource scarcity, human migration and related issues including energy, healthcare, and associated potentials.

CSIS Report - The Age of Consequences - Global Security Combined Assessment

Leading edge assessment of projections if no significant action is taken.

The following assessment combines reasonable projections from multiple reports pertaining to probability based on current level of political will, or lack thereof for global security.

Nov. 2007 – Center for Strategic & International Studies Pentagon Report (including former CIA director R. James Woolsey):

  • 1.3°C – Case I: Heightened cross-border tensions, large scale migrations, resource scarcity, increased disease proliferation, economic consequences, some geopolitical reordering.
  • 2.6°C – Case II: Massive societal events: pandemic disease, coastal flooding, armed conflict over resources
  • 5.6°C – Case III: This catastrophic scenario would pose almost inconceivable challenges as human society struggles to adapt.

Apr. 2009 – Copenhagen Congress – The main impediment/lack of political will, 182 climate specialists polled:

  • Almost nine out of 10 climate scientists do not believe political efforts to restrict global warming to 2C will succeed. An average rise of 4-5C by the end of this century is more likely.
  • 60% of respondents argued that, in theory, it was still technically and economically possible to meet the target, which represents an average global warming of 2C since the industrial revolution.
  • 84 of the 182 specialists (46%) who answered the question said it would reach 3-4C by the end of the century; 47 (26%) suggested a rise of 2-3C, while a handful said 6C or more. While 24 experts predicted a catastrophic rise of 4-5C, just 18 thought it would stay at 2C or under.

May 2009 – Report from MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) Center for Global Change Science:

Probability of surface warming of 5.2°C by 2100, with a 90% probability range of 3.5 to 7.4 degrees.

Ronald Prinn, Dir. MIT’s Center for Global Change Science: “there is significantly more risk than we previously estimated” – “This increases the urgency for significant policy action.” – “There’s no way the world can or should take these risks,”


Combined, the cases presented (CSIS, Copenhagen 04-2009, MIT) indicate significant meaningful action is required. The global security threat of global warming will far outweigh other important issues (education, healthcare, energy, economy,) but combined assessment of available information indicates that addressing these issues synergistically will provide significant benefits.

Significant meaningful action is required at this point to mitigate potentials to the degree possible based on the action taken. Less action increases cost and risk in all areas. More action decreases cost and risk in all areas.