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World: Conference Focuses On Terror Potential Of Abrupt Climate Change

Climate Change Report
26 January 2007 (RFE/RL) -- Much of the attention devoted recently to global climate change has focused, understandably, on its causes and possible prevention. But a group of international experts gathered on January 24 for a conference, organized by a think tank focused on security issues, on the potential for extremists to use the effects of climate change to their own advantage.
Attendees at the conference focused on the large-scale security threats that could accompany catastrophic climate change. It is an aspect of the challenge facing governments, in particular, as the impact of global warming becomes more clear. "The reason we're doing it now is that the science behind climate change is now reaching a very strong consensus that we have got a real problem -- many challenges ahead of us," says Rear Admiral Richard Cobbold, the director of Britain's Royal United Services Institute for Defense and Security Studies, which organized the conference. "What I think is quite new is that these challenges are bringing with them security challenges. And that's what our business is." Cobbold says obstacles could include catastrophic shortages of water, food, and energy resources that might threaten all of mankind. There might also be loss of life and mass human migrations as a result of flooding or drought that climate change threatens to bring.
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