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Climate Wars [Paperback]

Gwynne Dyer
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
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Book Description

Aug. 18 2009
From one of the world’s great geopolitical analysts, a terrifying glimpse of the none-too-distant future, when climate change will force the world’s powers into a desperate struggle for advantage and even survival.

Dwindling resources. Massive population shifts. Natural disasters. Spreading epidemics. Drought. Rising sea levels. Plummeting agricultural yields. Crashing economies. Political extremism. These are some of the expected consequences of runaway climate change in the decades ahead, and any of them could tip the world towards conflict. Prescient, unflinching, and based on exhaustive research and interviews, Climate Wars promises to be one of the most important books of the coming years.

From the Hardcover edition.

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“This is a truly important and timely book. No one, not even the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, really knows what the world climate will be ten years from now, but we and our governments have to make intelligent guesses. Gwynne Dyer has made the best and most plausible set of guesses I have yet seen about the human consequences of climate change, of how drought and heat may ignite wars, even nuclear wars, around the globe.”
— James Lovelock, award-winning scientist, inventor, and originator of the Gaia hypothesis
“Gwynne Dyer is one of the few who are both courageous enough to tell the unvarnished truth, and have the background to understand, not misrepresent the inputs. This book does a superb job of detailing the merging realities of climate/energy. These realities are not pretty.”
— Dennis Bushnell, chief scientist, NASA Langley
“Anyone still complacent about climate change will find Climate Wars instructive and disturbing. These articulate insights into climate geopolitics by Gwynne Dyer are an important tool for understanding why the climate challenge is big, hard, and vital to human survival — yet soluble if we pay attention now.”
— Amory B. Lovins, chairman and chief scientist, Rocky Mountain Institute
“The current debate on climate change is mostly on its future effects, but few are brave enough to work out what they might be. Here is a lovely, alarming and even entertaining attempt to look ahead. Water and war have always been associated. We need hope as well as good sense in looking at the future. Here it is.”
— Sir Crispin Tickell, diplomat, environmentalist, and director of the Policy Foresight Programme at the James Martin School at Oxford University
“Well written and well argued, crammed with impressive interview material and wonderful personal vignettes.”
Ottawa Citizen

From the Hardcover edition.

About the Author

Gwynne Dyer has served in the Canadian, British and American navies. He holds a Ph.D. in war studies from the University of London, has taught at Sandhurst and served on the Board of Governors of Canada’s Royal Military College. Dyer writes a syndicated column that appears in more than 175 newspapers around the world.

From the Hardcover edition.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index
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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
4.2 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars As a counter point to the single star review: May 26 2010
I'm writing this review to respond to the author of amazon's solitary negative review of this book that implies that Gwynne Dyer is nothing more than a conspiracy theorist, attempting to create a profitable hysteria:

This publication is primarily based on military strategies based on projections of climate change, strategies created by credible sources like the US military and the pentagon. These Strategies (one of the more famous called, "the age of consequence") are not the work of, "a spaced out out hippy," but of militarized powers, analyzed by a renowned PhD Military and Middle Eastern History commentator - who publishes a weekly column in several international newspapers.

I can appreciate any argument on the validity of sourcing, or the probability of occurrence of predicted events being quite low, or maybe even slights on the authors character that give reason for bias. I find this very useful pieces of information in a review, and quite frankly relevant. That said: discounting a work of this caliber as alarmist fiction denies that it is based largely in fact (and when it treads into speculative territory, it goes out of its way to acknowledge this) as well as it's primary use as the basis of exploring current conception.
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25 of 28 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Potential for Great Calamity Dec 3 2008
By Ian Gordon Malcomson HALL OF FAME TOP 10 REVIEWER
As a journalist and expert on modern warfare, Dyer takes the issue of global warming to an entirely new level of discussion in his latest book, "Climate Wars". For him, the subject of greenhouse gas emissions is no longer limited to an academic discussion on how they may or may not impact and alter our biosphere. Rather, global warming is a reality that is starting to reconfigure some of the very delicate geopolitical balances existing in our present world. For Dyer, writing this book is an opportunity to examine some very plausible doomsday scenarios that could face us in the very near future as we wrestle with this almost unconquerable problem. The growing shortage of water in some of the world's biggest watersheds is a major focus of the writer's attention. With northern and tropical interior lands drying up in places like Western Russia, Central China, India, Central Africa and Central Canada, it is not unlikely to assume a major shift in population as people seek other sources of food. While there is indisputable evidence that the earth is heating up at a steady rate of a couple of degrees every decade, nobody knows for sure how this will all play out in its effects on relationships between countries over matters such as deteriorating air quality, water shortages, the appearances of megacities, and the shortage of food. Dyer drives these points home by setting up very scary Sci-Fi apocalyptic settings that are meant to bowl the reader over with their potential destruction. One silver lining in all Dyer's ponderings is that the world is finally beginning to address the need to be less dependent on fossil fuels and more committed to practicing better environmental sustainability. Read more ›
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Geopolitics of Climate Change Sept. 8 2009
By Randy A. Stadt TOP 1000 REVIEWER
The title "Climate Wars" hints at Dyer's contention that global warming will not be a benign phenomenon where things will continue as before. Rather like the human body, where a fever of only three and a half degrees Celcius is potentially fatal, an increase of only a few degrees can potentially cause massive changes in the earth's climate. The earth's biosphere appears to be more fine-tuned and fragile than we thought, and we have unknowingly pushed it far toward making the earth a far less habitable place for humans to live.

He believes that irreversible changes are coming at a rate higher than even recent generally accepted predictions, so that the goal, for example, of the U.S. and British governments to achieve 80 percent cuts to emissions by 2050, is not enough. To illustrate what may be coming, then, he creates a number of fictitious scenarios, set at various times in the relatively near future. These scenarios are possible futures he imagines in a world increasingly under stress from the effects of climate change. They illustrate his point that global warming is not the relatively easy problem that, for example, CFC's and the ozone layer was, where the world could simply rally together and deal effectively with it.

Though there are technological hurdles to be overcome, they are not insurmountable, and could largely be dealt with in the next couple of decades if the international community, with a single mind, made a decision to move away from oil and coal energy sources and develop alternatives. Of course that would include, among other projects, building five million wind turbines around the world in the next five years - quite an undertaking, but certainly doable, especially if you consider that the world builds 65 million cars a year.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Possible scenarios that make you think April 21 2010
The author interviewed an impressing selection of people from ALL sectors, including not only sciences but also the economy and the military from all over the world. If some reviewer defame this book as too green or too eco, he didn't read it: It is partly build on information from the US Pentagon which is not known for its hippie-eco-attitude. Instead, the book is written rather objective, the author does not claim to predict what will happen, but what can happen if we don't manage to reduce our GHG emissions. The illustrated scenarios raise various international topics and make you think of our future and of our current behaviour in new, disturbing ways.
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Cautious optimism
This should be mandatory reading for school curricula the world over. That's not likely of course. There's hope for us.
Published 4 months ago by Jodie
5.0 out of 5 stars Really hits home
Every alternate chapter of "Climate Wars" describes a different future scenario, exploring how climate change could affect international relations. Read more
Published on Jan. 15 2012 by climatesight
1.0 out of 5 stars Climate Wars from a Spaced Out Hippie
This work of fiction/speculation has to be one of the world's greatest crimes against the environment for the destruction of trees used in its publication. Read more
Published on Nov. 5 2009 by Fancy Sailor
5.0 out of 5 stars Most important book you will ever read
This book is hugely important and Gwynne Dyer has done a service to all of us by writing it. It is a call to everyone to look up from their lives and realize what is in store for... Read more
Published on Aug. 17 2009 by William Rankin
5.0 out of 5 stars Gripping and insightful. Couldn't put it down.
This book is remarkable. It is gripping and shocking. As one might say about a good thriller, I couldn't put it down. Read more
Published on March 13 2009 by Douglas Paulett
4.0 out of 5 stars Climate Wars - Gwynne Dyer
As an acquaintance of Gwynne Dyer's I am always interested in his world opinions especially as seen from outside North America. Read more
Published on Feb. 8 2009 by P. Chipman
4.0 out of 5 stars Important
While this book is rushed and repetitive in many places, it is a hugely important synthesis of scientific, military and political sources. Read more
Published on Oct. 29 2008 by Eyes Wide Open
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